As children settled in on a recent Thursday morning at Pink Elementary School, home to 550 primarily lower-income students in Fort Bend County’s Lamar CISD, the school’s ebullient principal, Tiffany Foster, embarked on her daily ritual: a power walk from class to class.
Foster started in the lower grades, popping into Carmen Abilucea’s second-grade bilingual class to peek over a girl’s shoulder at her worksheet. Several minutes later, Foster reached Pink’s upper grade levels, crouching down in a hallway to whisper to a fifth-grader wearing a forlorn look. Finally, she arrived in the school’s pre-kindergarten wing, quipping that the adoring 4-year-olds are “where I go to get my self-esteem.”
“Just saying ‘hello’ can kind of change that kid’s day,” said Foster, now in her third-year leading Pink Elementary. “They come up wanting a hug, wanting a high-five. Just that connection means a lot.”