I recently started as the Executive Director of the Baltimore affiliate of Higher Achievement. I’m incredibly honored and humbled by this opportunity, and looking forward to serving our scholars in this role. I began my career in education as a Special Education Teacher with Baltimore City Public Schools. After teaching for five years, I became a school leader and was a principal in the district for four years. In July of 2020, I took on a new role at the district office, overseeing operations in our curriculum department. Along with my career, my family has grown in Baltimore; in March of 2020 my daughter was born (and then a global pandemic a week later!). Baltimore is my home, and I’m continually proud to serve my community, especially our young people and their families.
It’s no secret that Baltimore has its fair share of problems. It wouldn’t be hard to isolate one, or many, and write a blog post about the topic. After living in Baltimore for eleven years, while working for the school system that entire time, I’ve seen up close the manifestations of purposeful disinvestment; it’s usually communities of color most negatively impacted.
Identifying problems is, in my estimation, relatively easy. When there’s a hole in your roof, you don’t need to hire a contractor to diagnose the issue. Solutions, then (especially lasting ones), become the real work of spurring a Baltimore Renaissance. Higher Achievement is lucky to support three schools and communities (Lakeland, Highlandtown, and Mt. Royal) in service of that effort.
In south Baltimore, Lakeland Elementary/Middle School shines as an example of what’s possible for Baltimore. Through deep partnerships with UMBC and the broader community, Lakeland was able to renovate the adjoining recreation center and turn it into a hub for STEAM learning for the entire community. A Lakeland alumnus is working towards making the national blind soccer team.
The good news doesn’t end there. In a few months, students at Highlandtown Elementary/Middle School #237 will enter a completely renovated school building, thanks in part to the advocacy of community members and school staff. At Mt. Royal Elementary/Middle School, students have access to a range of programming including music programs with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and rigorous, college preparatory coursework with the Ingenuity Project.
As I begin in the role of Executive Director of the Baltimore affiliate, I’m proud that Higher Achievement is a part of these communities. The great things happening at these schools, for these scholars, didn’t happen in isolation. It took hard work and dedicated scholars, families, and staff to achieve these results. The conditions have never been better in Baltimore to create and sustain even more of these solutions. Our scholars and schools are getting ready for another great year of programming in the 2022-2023 school year. Will you join us?
Higher Achievement Baltimore Executive Director