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February Newsletter

Announcing the 2023 the Heart of the School Awards Finalists!

The Heart of the Schools – the Fund for Educational Excellence’s year-round initiative to show community support and appreciation for Baltimore City Public Schools principals through recognition, grants, and events – was thrilled to receive 770 nominations for 105 principals for this year’s Heart of the School Awards! It was incredibly uplifting to read examples of outstanding leadership across our city shared by students, teachers, parents, partners and fellow City Schools principals.

After reviewing the nominations, our Selection Committee chose the following 10 principals as the 2023 Finalists. Based on what we read from their school communities, each has had a tremendous impact on their students, staff and communities and has built a strong, engaging school culture.

Mark Bongiovanni – Curtis Bay Elementary School
Kelly Casagrande – Charm City Virtual/Virtual Learning Program East
Tiffany Etheridge – Belmont Elementary
Venus Jackson – Harlem Park Elementary School
Nichelle Johnson-Walker – Morrell Park Elementary Middle School
Peter Kannam – Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School
Aleesha Manning – Cecil Elementary School
Brandon Pinkney – Walter P. Carter Elementary Middle School
Jacqueline Williams – Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
Cheyanne Zahrt – City Neighbors High School

In the coming weeks, five 2023 Heart of the School Award Winners and five Honorees will be announced from among these Finalists and celebrated at the 2023 Heart of the School Awards & Celebration on Thursday, May 25th at the Hippodrome Theatre.

The Heart of the Schools extends its congratulations and appreciation to all 105 principals who were nominated.

Danielle Adams
Erita Adams
Bettye Adams
Sheila Adams
Gary Argiro
Denise D. Ashley
Ladaisha Ballard
Sherelle Barnes
Corey Basmajian **
Nia Berry
Heather Bradley
Sidney Brooks
Caitlyn Brooks
Lisa Brown
Lauren Brown
Darrin Brozene
Kelly Carideo
Kamala Carnes
Greta Cephas
Ashanti Chambers
Krystal Cornish
Brigette Cottman
Nicholas D’Ambrosio
Tamika Daniels *
Danielle Davis
Shontel Douglas
Matthew Ebert
Theodosia Edwards
Joseph Eldridge
Nancy Fagan
Rashida Ford
Katrina Foster **
Dwight Freeman
Greta Goodwin
Tanya Green
James Gresham
David Guzman *
Cindy Harcum *
Olia Hardy
Patrick Harris
Harold S. Henry, Jr.
Danielle Henson
Justin Holbrook
Matthew Hornbeck *
Emily Hunter *
Mavis Jackson
Najib Jammal *
Amber Kilcoyne *
Bernarda Kwaw
Chevelle Lampkin
Tricia Lawrence
Latoya Lewis
Tanyaneka Lipscomb
Melody Locke
Elena Lokounia
Rochelle Machado *
Kerry-Ann Malcolm
Marc Martin *
Keisha Matthews-Traynham
Monica McClain
Cathleen Miles **
Troy Mitchell
Ashley Moore **
Benjamin Mosley **
Ninia Mouzone
April Myrick
Shavon Newkirk
Stephanie Novak-Pappas
Baba Olumiji
Kedra Paige
Erika Parker
Karl E. Perry
Denita Plain
Natasha Pouncey
Tracey Pratt
Tonya Redd **
Yetunde Reeves
Amanda Rice
Rhonda Richetta
Craig Rivers
Brian Roberts
Diya Slayton **
Sedrick Smith
Pamela Smith
Alzata Spencer
LaShella Stanfield
Carlillian Thompson
Roxanne Thorn-Lumpkins
Dave Verdi
Theresa Ware
Tiffany Williams
Shawnette Williams
Tammatha Woodhouse
David Wunder
Eugenia Young

* denotes past Heart of the School Award Winner
** denotes past Heart of the School Award Finalist

Learn more about the selection process, the Heart of the School Awards & Celebration, and the award criteria here.

Tickets on Sale Now: Join Us for the Heart of the School Awards

Get your tickets today and join us Thursday, May 25th at the Hippodrome to celebrate and thank Baltimore City School Principals for their incredible leadership and impact on Baltimore’s students.

The festive evening will highlight 10 exceptional principals as Heart of the School Award finalists, with five being honored as winners for demonstrating exemplary innovation, execution, and leadership in building strong school cultures.

Get Your Tickets Here

We’re Hiring! The Fund is Looking for a Development Manager

The Fund is seeking a results-oriented Development Manager with exceptional fundraising skills to help maintain and broaden the organization’s donor relations and fundraising initiatives. If this is you, please apply! If this is someone you know, please make them aware of this opportunity!

Of Note: 

Additional insights, updates and resources.

  • Senior Program Director, Kevin Leary, penned this reader commentary responding to The Baltimore Sun’s recent article on Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Scores with a key factor that led to the successful gains made in English language arts in Baltimore City Public Schools. Read it, here.
  • We’re co-hosting Baltimoreans for Educational Equity’s February general membership meeting at Enoch Pratt Central Library next Tuesday, February 28th at 6 pm. Join us for an update on student transit equity. Register, here.
  • ICYMI: A year-and-a-half since the release of our report, Not in Service: Why Public Transit Must Aim to Serve Students, learn where progress has been made toward transit equity for Baltimore City students and where it has stalled in our latest blog post, here.
  • Each month, Baltimore City Public Schools recognizes two high school student-athletes with a special Under Armour medal for their leadership and athleticism. Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the school year. Recognize a fantastic City Schools student-athlete, here.

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