Fawn Ukpolo heads Southeastern Lab School
HAMMOND – Fawn Ukpolo is the new principal of the Southeastern Louisiana University Laboratory School. Ukpolo brings a number of years of experience in education and administration to her new appointment.
Prior to becoming principal this fall, she served as a classroom teacher, and professor in the College of Education at Austin Peay State University; California State University, Los Angeles; and Louisiana State University. She has earned an associate’s degree in accounting from the University of Hawaii, bachelor’s degree in science education, master’s degree in administration supervision and reading from Austin Peay State University, an education specialist degree in administration and supervision, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Tennessee State University.
“The College of Education and Human Development is pleased to have someone with Dr. Ukpolo’s experience and enthusiasm leading the Lab School,” said Dean Diane Allen. “In our search for a new director we looked for someone who could take the Lab School to a higher level of student and teacher performance.”
“I have wanted to be a principal since 1996,” said Ukpolo. She said she is excited to have an impact on a school “that’s doing wonderful things for kids,” and is eager to introduce new strategies and activities to Lab School teachers.
Ukpolo said her motto is to “always put students first.”
“Children grow up so fast,” she said, “and we want to do what is necessary to make their lives better and to ensure that they get an education inclusive of academics, athletics, and social development.”
Ukpolo recently launched an after-school tutorial program to assist children. Currently nine Southeastern student assist teachers at the Lab School and she hopes to have more student involvement through the tutorial program.
“We are trying to improve our students’ LEAP scores. Their scores are high, but we want to get them higher,” she said.
Ukpolo, who commutes from the westbank of New Orleans, starts each day at 4 a.m. with a five-mile run. “That’s my love,” she said. A former aerobics instructor, her enthusiasm for exercise also includes running nine miles on the weekend, participating in biking and running marathons.
“I try to get to work an hour before school opens,” said Ukpolo. She spends that time getting organized for the day and catching up on her emails. Once the students arrive, her day is non-stop with the overall admimistration of the school, total educational program, promoting and maintaining a positive school climate conducive to effective educational experiences, and demonstrating positive relationships with students, staff, parents and community.
Ukpolo is the mother of three, a son who attends Cal State, a daughter at Southern University, and a ninth grade son at St. Augustine High School. Her husband, Victor Ukpolo, is chancellor of Southern University-New Orleans.
“Dr. Ukpolo has demonstrated in just the first few weeks of school that she is exactly the person we were looking for. I think we will look back on this school year and be amazed at how far we advanced in a year,” said Allen.