Our New Principal: Meet Ms. Elena Paul!

Ms. Elena Paul standing before a bookshelf

Ms. Elena Paul standing before a bookshelf

Adrian Vasquez and Theodore Alevizos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Ms. Elena Paul may be new here at Birmingham, but she is no stranger to the education system.

Her journey began in her birthplace, Korea, where she was enveloped by the best education her home town had to offer. She and her family moved to Germany before she reached her teenage years. In Germany, she was exposed to “common core” curriculum for the first time, and she said this helped her learn creatively and allowed students to “apply their education to real-world scenarios.”  

She had a brief stint in Canada before coming to the United States, where she enrolled for her senior year in high school. During her senior year, she had to take four years worth of classes in order to graduate. Ms. Paul discovered her passion for the education system when she was hired for a translating job at Taft High School. “Once I started my job at Taft, I never left the educational world.”

When she is not being our principal, Ms. Paul loves to surround herself with hobbies like reading and eating at unique restaurants. Her taste in music is very diverse, and ranges from hard rockers like Axl Rose to pop vocalists such as Celine Dion. She enjoys sports, and cites basketball and soccer as her favorites. All in all, she loves to relax after a hard day of work.

Ms. Paul notices that our school is not at the best it can possibly be, and she is working on projects to improve it. In comparison to other schools, Birmingham is less diverse and less affluent, but has far more opportunity than other schools. She went on to say that Birmingham has “the largest open enrollment in Los Angeles,” and that that our lack of feeder schools forces teachers to work “three times as hard to bring students up to the expectations of Birmingham’s curriculum.”

Since feeder schools work with the high school that they’re feeding into, preparing students to enter high school, they ensure that students are properly educated to the standards of the high school. Because Birmingham has open enrollment, many students come from different schools, and even different parts of the city, and students may not be up to the expectations that Birmingham has for its incoming freshmen. This disparity diminishes the efficiency of Birmingham’s teachers and is one of many challenges Ms. Paul aims to fix in the future.

Despite any challenges Birmingham faces, Ms. Paul enjoys our school greatly and looks forward to the future. She recalls being the Cat in the Hat during the pep rally as a very fun experience.