Tyler Hart, ’01


Unforgettable emcee

With a microphone in hand and his wife, Melissa, by his side, Tyler Hart, ’01, entertained crowds as the on-court emcee during Richmond basketball games in the 2010s. Now, the principal of a Houston-area elementary school, Hart has an audience of hundreds of cheering kids sitting crisscross, sharing in the celebration of Friday pep rallies.

When Hart became the principal at Yeager Elementary in January 2023, test scores were lower than the regional average, and the campus was part of a school improvement monitoring program. “But I didn’t lean into that first,” he said. “I leaned into climate and culture. If I build a school where people want to be, all that other stuff will organically start to improve.”

Every Friday, the sounds of Hart rolling a boombox through the hallways bring kids out of their classrooms for an impromptu flash mob. “My biggest philosophy,” he said, “is that I want to build an environment where kids and staff are breaking down doors to get into school, not to get out.”

“I leaned into climate and culture.”

Hart has instituted regular celebrations of student achievement. These rallies feature special guests thanks to Melissa’s job connections as vice president of programming for Audacy. Hart can now shoot an email to Toro, the mascot for the Houston Texans, and the big, blue bull will show up to Yeager to be greeted by the deafening screams and waving hands of his students.

This winter, Hart brought the fourth graders on a field trip to a Rice University basketball game. While he wasn’t on the court at halftime like he was during his Richmond days, he enjoyed the pure magic of the collegiate sports he misses.

As a school principal, Hart has found he can help guide students toward achievements through community engagement, togetherness, and pure fun. And in celebrating the success of his students, Hart brings a piece of his emcee talents from Richmond all the way to Houston.