An Interview with the Harvard Film Team

By now most City students likely know that Harvard University has been filming here at our school, but many are still wondering why they’re here. We interviewed both the Harvard film team, represented by Mr. Phillips, and their project leader Mrs. Hendrickson to find out more about this exciting project.

What is the filming for?

Mr. Phillips: The filming is for an online course that’s being developed as part of a partnership between Harvard School of Education and Harvard School of Business. It’s called the Harvard Certificate in School Management and Leadership, and it combines from the school of education and the school of business to educate principals about ways to improve their schools and help students to succeed. Ryan Huppert was selected as one of the principals we wanted to participate in a case study because you guys are doing really phenomenally. Your school will be used as a teaching case study by the faculty that teach the course.

Mrs. Hendrickson: We’re developing a series of courses for school principals called the Harvard Certificate in School Planning and Leadership. We’re interviewing Mr. Huppert for the third course in the four course series to train school principals. The course city will be a part of is called Leading People. We discovered City High Middle through a nationwide search and City really stood out for us. We’re excited to interview Principal Huppert because he’s doing some really meaningful work. We talked with him about his vision for the school and the structures he’s implementing to make that vision a reality. One of the things we’re talking about in this course is how school leaders need to create a vision and involve others in that work. Teamwork is a big piece of that.

Have you had a chance to speak to any students?

Mr. Phillips: We have only officially interviewed Mr. Huppert but we’ve chatted with students and our faculty member was here yesterday to speak with students and ask them about their experiences here and the things that they’re learning.

Have you had a chance to work with multiple schools or are we the first?

Mr. Phillips: Within the program there are four separate courses and this is the third course that is being produced. We film at four schools for each course, so this is the 12th school where we’ve filmed. We’ve been at schools all over the country, although none of them were IB.

From what you’ve seen, how does IB compare to other curricula?

Mrs. Hendrickson: I’m not sure I’m the best person to answer this question because I’ve only been involved in this course and City is the only high school we’ve been to for this course. I guess what I would say is that from the work we’ve done so far the IB curriculum is just so rigorous and specialized that it makes a unique environment and a unique school culture. We’ve talked with Mr. Huppert about the work he’s done to make sure that all the kids feel they can achieve the IB diploma and how challenging that is.

What is your impression of City so far?

Mrs. Hendrickson: It’s really been a pleasure to be here. We have been to a bunch of schools and I think what’s special about City is that everyone we’ve met has been so kind and the vibe in the school is really positive. We’re really grateful to have been at City and we want to thank everyone for their hospitality.

The City Voice would like to thank Harvard for their willingness to do an impromptu interview with us. Their schedule has been so busy during their time here that we were unable to schedule an interview ahead of time, but they were kind enough to take a few minutes out of their day to talk to us anyway.


Former Editor in Chief of The City Voice, finally graduated City High Middle School as part of the Class of 2022.