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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

86-Year Old Elementary School Principal Says He’s Not Yet Ready to Retire — Renews Contract for 4 More Years!

Principal Hiram Broyls

Principal Hiram Broyls

Chicago, IL — Hiram Broyls, the 86-year old principal of Burbank Elementary School in Chicago, is unstoppable despite his age. Although he is already past his retiring age, he decided to continue being the principal of the school he served for over four decades. He signed a four-year contract and he said he won’t leave anytime soon.

“I like being here and after all these years this is a way of life,” he said in an interview with Chicago Public Schools. “If I were at home there would be the four walls, a television set and no justification for getting up in the morning. It would be very dull.”

Broyls had always been working in the education sector. He started as a teacher at the former Louis Champlain School of Chicago for 17 years before he became a principal at Dulles.

In 1977, Broyls became the first African-American principal in Burbank. At that time, CPS is implementing a desegregation plan to create and maintain racially integrated schools. Broyls, who came from a predominantly African-American school, had to transfer to a new school which is predominantly Italian-American.

He doesn’t have any idea what would happen, but eventually, everything went smoothly.

“It took me awhile, but everyone was so nice,” he said. “The children treated me with respect and after awhile I lightened up and tried to be a motivator rather than a tyrant. It worked better.”

Ever since, Broyls had led the school to numerous achievements. One of which is the Burbank Elementary being a Level 1+, which is the highest level a school can get on the CPS ranking system.

Along the way, Broyls was with the school when they encountered obstacles as well. He had also maintained the progress with the evolving times for over 40 years. He is proud to say that Burbank Elementary is where children are being pushed academically and recognized for their achievements.

In the coming years, Broyls surely still has a lot that he could do. He would continue being the school’s principal as he recently renewed his contract for another four years.

Watch his story below: