Shreveport, LA - In 2009 Marvin Alexander became Green Oaks high school's principal.
"A lot of people were saying it's going to be career suicide, because many have come before you and they couldn't turn the school around. What makes you think you can turn this school around?
At the time the school was in jeopardy of being taken over by the state, but he was determined to make a difference.
"I've always been the type, you tell me what I can't do. I like to show you what I can do."
His first task was putting together a great team of counselors and teachers. Alexander says the campus is data driven because that's the only way to see real results.
"In God I trust. Everybody else got to bring data. You're not going to tell me how good you are, you're going to show me."
Not everyone was on board with his ideas in the beginning. He wanted students to focus on academics, so he did away with traditional pep rallies and only allowed academic rallies.
"If you had it then and it wasn't working we have to try something different."
Eventually the community backed his plan. His main focus was on all 700 students at Green Oaks and ensuring mentoring was a priority to make sure no child was left behind.
"When you rebuild a school or a program, it's about making sure your boys and girls walk across that stage. If they don't walk across that stage then that defeats the purpose."
Alexander was able to double graduation rates and he believes the hard work will pay off when school performance scores are released in October.
"If the calculations is right then Green Oaks will move to a "B" school."