Baton Rouge Parents Magazine

From Teacher to Principal: Filling the Gaps at Idea Bridge Academy

When a gap is present and needs to be filled, someone must step in. This is exactly what longtime educator Dhiyaa-ud-Deen Abdullah did when deciding to take on more of a leadership role in the local school system. Mr. Abdullah’s tenacity to improve the education system motivated him to go from a schoolteacher to the full-time principal of Idea Bridge Academy.

Born in Raceland, Louisiana, Dhiyaa-ud-Deen Abdullah has a passion for children’s education and learning. Throughout his time as an undergraduate at Southern University studying sociology and later obtaining a master’s degree in public administration at A&M College, Mr. Abdullah feels that he was called to the path of being an educator. After all, he believes that education has changed his own life’s trajectory, and thus, education can give his students the chance to alter their own life trajectories. With education comes knowledge, and this is how generational curses and barriers are overcome.

Mr. Abdullah worked as a schoolteacher for four years, beginning in New Orleans at Langston Hughes Academy and later relocating to Baton Rouge where he is now the principal of Idea Bridge Academy. He shares that he “saw so many gaps” and felt that “somebody needs to step up” in the education system. This mindset has allowed Mr. Abdullah to successfully take on the leadership role of a principal after serving as a schoolteacher: “I take the work very seriously…I see the children as a reflection of myself.”

As a principal, Mr. Abdullah ensures that Idea Bridge Academy fosters a personalized learning environment where each student’s individual qualities are tested to assess their reading abilities; this allows the school to track the student’s progress. The school’s approach to education focuses on the whole child, offering art, dance, technology, and athletic programs.

Mr. Abdullah, or more personally known by his students as “Principal D,” loves seeing his students want to come to school and learn. This is a testament to the school’s staff and the investment that Idea Bridge Academy puts into its students.

Mr. Abdullah expresses how important it is to “[build] a community that appreciates who we are as individuals.” One way Idea Bridge Academy has supported this idea is by hosting events to keep the students, their families, and the community involved. Coming up at the end of September is the school’s Student Showcase, an event displaying the student’s improvements and work to their families. The Student Showcase is set to take place on Tuesday, September 20 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The school is also hosting a Community Circle on Friday, September 23.