- Early College High School
Principal Profile: Renee Aldrin
By Trevor Hawes
It’s been quite a year for Renee Aldrin, chancellor of Early College High School at Midland College.
ECHS@MC achieved a score of 99 out of 100 on the Texas Education Administration accountability ratings. Her campus is now considered one of the best in the nation after it was named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
Yet when reflecting on these successes, Aldrin says she almost didn’t answer her calling to work with children.
After graduating from Palo Duro High School she enrolled in a program to become an X-ray technician. She quickly learned a career in medicine wasn't for her.
Aldrin dropped out and took a break from school, but the urge to work with children nagged at her soul.
“I had two cousins who were born deaf, blind and mute,” she said. “Their dad would bring them around, and my experiences with them were so profound that I just knew I needed to work with kids.”
A single mother under pressure to provide for her children, she enrolled at West Texas State University (WTSU) and pursued a bachelor’s in reading with hopes to be a teacher.
A job fair at WTSU landed her a teaching position with Midland ISD, where she has spent the entirety of her 30-years-and-counting career in education. She revels in helping students navigate turbulent waters, to which she relates personally.
“We were poor growing up,” Aldrin said. “My dad was a cook in the Army, and my mother was a homemaker. We didn’t have much, but we had each other and our family in Amarillo.” Succeeding in school was also difficult for her.
“Unlike my sister, who never had to crack open a book, I had to study very hard to make the grade,” she said. “However, I persevered, and it’s how I know that any child from any background can succeed in school.” This knowledge pushed Aldrin to pursue a master’s degree in counseling — that and her son.
“When I walked the stage to get my bachelor’s I heard my son crying,” Aldrin said. “I figured he got into trouble, but I was wrong. He was sad because I didn’t graduate with the hood master’s students get to wear. He said ‘Mommy, you worked so hard, why don’t you get one of those?’ I knew then that I had further to go in my education.”