Midlands educator making history at Chapin High

<p>WACH Fox celebrates Black History with a look at of achievements of African Americans across the Midlands.</p>

CHAPIN (WACH) -- Dr. Akil Ross making his morning rounds at Chapin High.

Ross became principal in 2010.

His appointment making its way into the history books.

You see Dr. Ross is the schools first black principal.

â??I realize that there is growth in country, in our community. But I live it daily and daily I find that thereâ??s more that unites us then divides us,â?? says Dr. Akil Ross.

But being an educator wasnâ??t his first pick.

"I always had a fascination with engineering and flying, aerospace engineering, â??says Dr. Ross.

He become interested in teaching but decided to step outside of the classroom.

Before his promotion he was the school's assistant principal.

â??I can remember vividly being in the class and saying if I could just do something to help other students that I donâ??t have,â?? says Dr. Ross.

Chapin opened it's doors back in the early 1920's.

The school's academic excellence has been featured nationwide.

In publications such as the Washington Post and Newsweek magazine.

Dr. Ross says he's making sure that the school maintains its status.

â??Our after school acceleration program. We have a leadership program called ALA. Itâ??s an academic leadership program and it teaches students to be leaders in their community. Our SAIL program has a 100% graduation rate within that at risk population and it has lead to some great changes,â?? says Dr. Ross.

Dr. Ross says he tries not to focus on making history but he can't escape it.

â??You will standout in this position. Because of that you hold yourself accountable and hold yourself to high standards,â?? says Dr. Ross.

Dr. Ross also making a change to schools throughout his district.

â??I was a part of rewriting the description of African American history in the district. Because I think it's about all students knowing the culture and contributions of African Americans. I think that builds to the whole notion of the great country that we have. That from these different groups we have a melting pot of success,â?? says Dr. Ross.

As we reflect on Black History Month, Dr. Ross remembers when he was looked down upon because of skin color.

â??Racism, discrimination, I wrap it up in ignorance. We face ignorance alot and itâ??s sad and you try not to let anything or anybody get in the way of your progress,â?? says Dr. Ross.