Sunday, June 15, 2014

KIPP TEAM annual Be the Change gala, Newark

1) I went to the KIPP TEAM annual Be the Change gala last night in Newark and was, once again, inspired by the amazing things these dedicated educators, children, and parents are doing. Here are three pictures: on the left is the founder of TEAM, the incomparable Ryan Hill, giving a presentation; in the upper right are KIPPsters – one each from kindergarten through the oldest, who just graduated from George Washington University this month (who gave a moving keynote speech), all of whom introduced themselves and their impressive accomplishments; and in the lower right are parent volunteers who were honored, with students who presented them awards:
In addition to Ryan, the other exceptional educators I enjoyed running into last night were Chris Cerf, Cami Anderson, Kathleen Nugent, Mashea and Michele Ashton (dear lord, help me figure out a way to tell these twins apart so I don't make another horrible faux pas!), Fatimah Burnam-Watkins, Ben Cope, Drew Martin, Sha Reagans, Lauren Cooke, Ali Nagle, Mark "MoJo" Johnson, Charlie Metzger, and many others (forgive my faulty memory) (Joanna Belcher and Hannah Richman, I saw you but didn't have a chance to say hi!). You guys are my heroes!
A special shout-out to Alan and Jennifer Fournier, who made an incredible $750,000 gift that was quickly matched, resulting in over $2 million being raised last night!
I should also note that TEAM is expanding from Newark to Camden, opening its first school this summer, in a city that desperately needs better schools: the district of 15,000 students last year graduated (I hope you're sitting down) only 3 (THREE!) college-ready students. This is a stain on our nation.
Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard (I wrote about his appointment here: is leading the charge at the district level, while the KIPP schools are being led by ed warrior Drew Martin, who's moving from his former position as school leader of Rise Academy in Newark. And because I never miss the opportunity to give grief to people I really love, here's a mash-up of Drew:

 Subscribe in a reader