‘I want to make an impact’: Fleming MS principal says he’s happy to be part of changes implemented at his school

Principal Devin Adams is thrilled about his job at Lamar Fleming Middle School. It was a job he had to reapply for this summer.

“I had to reapply for my job,” he tells KPRC 2′s Candace Burns. “It was definitely interesting.”

Adams is considered one of Houston Independent School District’s best administrators when it comes to turning around underperforming campuses. He became assistant principal of the year during his first year, then later principal of the year.

RELATED: Inside Fleming Middle School: Who is Devin Adams?

Adams has been the head principal at Fleming for two years now. His school is one of the district’s New Education System campuses.

After regaining his position, he had to hire all the teachers who are now implementing the new very structured curriculum.

But, how did Fleming get here… what brought on all of this change?

Let’s rewind to June 1, 2023…that’s when the state-appointed board and Superintendent Mike Miles took over HISD, replacing the elected school board -- A divisive decision made by the Texas Education Agency.

But the state takeover wasn’t a total surprise, there were warnings. In 2015, Texas made a law… if a school or district gets failing grades for five years straight, the state steps in.

Phyllis Wheatley High School met that criteria.

Superintendent Miles immediately prioritized the overhaul of three low-performing HISD high schools and the elementary and middle schools connected to them.

That brings us back to Principal Adams at Lamar Fleming Middle School. The predominantly Black and Brown campus of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders had seen a steady decline in enrollment.

“I do believe in it because I believe that the instructional model of the new education system is something that really will help our students achieve. We will have made sure that they are we are closing those achievement gaps,” he said.

Adams says the structure was badly needed here—and he’s happy to be a part of the change.

“There was not a doubt in my mind when I heard, like everybody else heard, that I would have to reapply for my job. There was not a doubt in my mind that I would not do so. I want to be here. I want to make an impact here, and I don’t feel as though my work is done,” he said.

Fleming Middle School students will move on to learn in one of the lowest-performing schools -- Wheatley High.

About the Authors:

Candace Burns is committed to helping keep her community informed, and loves sharing inspiring stories about people who make the world a better place.

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 3, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.