Gwen Elder knows everything there is about A&M Consolidated High School. Beyond her job as Principal, she's a graduate, herself, of the high school.
Every morning, Gwen Elder makes her rounds, greeting students and offering helpful reminders.
"This is what I know. This is my second home. This is where I spend, probably -- I spend more time here than I do at my own house," laughs Elder.
It's a house that's familiar to her. Before being appointed principal in march last year, she served as associate principal.
"I'm very blessed to be in a position where I can lead an organization and a campus where I'm so passionate, where my roots, where the foundation began. I'm very blessed and honored," said Elder.
Elder makes it a point to connect with her students. As a former student and graduate of Consol, she sees a lot of herself in the kids who pass through the halls.
"Am I being that example that others can follow? Not so much what I say, but how I walk," asks Elder.
"Am I motivating? Am i encouraging? Am I honest? Am I a person of good character? And I try to live that daily. I want my light to shine so others may see 'Man I want to be like Mrs Elder.'," she continued.
Her strength and confidence come from her mother, who's in her 70s.
Elder watched her work two jobs as a single mother to provide.
"She always instilling in us a value of hard work. Nothing in life was going to be given to you but if you worked hard you could achieve anything that you wanted to achieve," shared Elder.
She doesn't take her work lightly. Elder understand the positions she's in as an African American woman is an important example.
"I'm very serious about what I do and i'm very honored to be given a chance to lead when some people who paved the way and they weren't given that opportunity," said Elder.
"When it's all said and done, I want the works that I've done to speak for me," shared Elder.
Elder says her ultimate goal is what's best for the student. In her mind, that means getting a solid education.