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The principals Daughtry: 'Tough but tender' Part 2

NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 1/18/2012, 6:11 p.m.

Herbert Daughtry Jr. has 200 pupils at his school, Ronald Edmonds Learning Center II; his sister, the Rev. Dawnique Daughtry-Pemberton, has four times that, a fact she ribs him about a little.

He is six years in at his school and has also worked at his sister's school-they were there together at one point. "It was great," she assured. "We have a similar work ethic and philosophy around educating children. He was at Ronald Edmonds first as a social studies teacher when I taught somewhere else. But when we worked together, we did so quite beautifully. We have similar styles and we balance out each other's personalities."

Their father, the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, said it was important to mention that whenever he was involved on the front line of a struggle-from getting justice for Randy Evans, who was killed by a cop at Christmas in 1977, to fighting to end apartheid in South Africa-"You can be assured that my wife and my children were there."

"That made us the kind of leaders that we are," said Daughtry-Pemberton, "being committed to the community-with the people, for the people. We are based in struggle-service to others, love of family, knowing you have to give back. I think all of that provides a foundation so that you can be others-centered-it's the absence of that kind of foundation I think that makes you self-centered."

Daughtry-Pemberton divulged that their foundation includes "the various mentors-and family first; the first teachers are your parents, and we had great parents." The siblings nod in agreement. "Then, for us, having that extended family, which has been our church. We've always prayed together. We only had one TV, so we had to learn how to negotiate with each other and get along as siblings, so that leads you to find a strong sense of self."

Whether it be "the Masjid, the church or the boys' club that is the extended family, that can give you a strong sense of 'I can do anything,'" she continued.

"You are focused on the educational needs of the students, but if you're really about the child, there are so many other needs-social needs and emotional needs-and you have to take into account the other factors in a child's environment," said Daughtry Jr. "All of those things come together and they impact how they live, how they work. How do they get home? Who's at home when they get there? Did they eat? All of those things definitely have an impact on the child."

Both Daughtrys cite as a determining personal and professional influence the strong educational and sociopolitical history of Brooklyn's District 13.

"We were both trained under great educational leaders: Dr. Katherine Corbett, Dr. Lester Young and Dr. Khalek Kirkland. So we come from a strong foundation in terms of what education means to children of African ancestry. That's our educational backdrop, then you put that with Reverend Daughtry being our father, and how we grew up-and our philosophy of service to others-this is just what we do.