We are delighted to announce that Sarai Reed will transition to the Assistant Director of the Middle School, taking on this leadership position as our current Assistant Director, Janelle Bradley, moves to serve as the Director of the Middle School. Ms. Reed, who has been at Latin since 2019, is currently a 6th grade English teacher. She joins the Latin leadership team with the goal of extending her impact beyond the classroom to deliver a classical education for the modern world that is truly accessible for all. Ms. Reed will build on her work as a teacher and continue to focus on both the hearts and minds of her students. Working collaboratively with students and their families, she aims to foster the growth of all our Middle Schoolers as scholars and individuals.
Ms. Reed is a DC native and graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. She received her BA/MA in English from The George Washington University. After graduation, she received a call from a former teacher at Duke Ellington, and the next day was standing in front of 33 10th graders. She recalls that first year of teaching as “a baptism by fire.” And yet, in spite of this challenging and at times humbling experience, Ms. Reed was hooked.
Sitting in her classroom at Latin, Ms. Reed is surrounded by pictures of great authors and several full (but beautifully organized) bookshelves. Among these is a diverse range of authors, and great African American writers are well-represented. She explains, “Students should see themselves reflected in the texts they are asked to read and write about. They should also see themselves in their teachers. In my classroom, I show up as my whole self with the hope that my students will feel inspired and safe to do the same.” Her English classroom has been the intersection of her love of literature and her calling as a teacher, exploring identity through books with students very much in the process of figuring out who they are.
We know Ms. Reed will bring her whole self to the role of Assistant Director of the Middle School, as she has done as a teacher, and will continue to help students discover themselves during their years at Latin.
We are delighted to announce that Meg Kovach will serve next year as the Assistant Director of the Upper School. Working with Director of the Upper School Kara Brady, Ms. Kovach will build on her work as the 9th Grade Lead and work with all Upper School grades to ensure our students have what they need to succeed as students and grow towards adulthood during their four years of high school.
Ms. Kovach joined Latin in 2019-20 as a Math teacher. A gifted educator, she balances high expectations with a huge heart. Even during the pandemic, she has demonstrated an unflagging passion for working with high school students and ability to connect with them. Ms. Brady was one of those impressed with Ms. Kovach: “Working with her more closely in her role as the ninth grade team leader this year made it abundantly apparent to me how valuable she is to both students and faculty alike.” At some schools, a move into the administration might suggest a move away from student-facing work. This is not the case at Latin generally and certainly not true for Ms. Kovach. In fact, she is excited about her new position increasing opportunities to work with students and help meet their needs, whether through formal programs and initiatives or through individually crafted solutions.
Meg started her career as a math teacher and worked most recently in a large comprehensive high school in Prince George’s County, where she served as the Chair of the Math Department. In spite of her success and continued passion for working with high school students, Meg came to see the size of the school (with about 700 students per grade) to be an impediment to meeting the varied needs of her students. At the urging of a friend on the Latin faculty, she met with Principal Smith and could instantly feel a difference. “It was immediately clear to me that Diana – and by extension Latin – was a place that wanted to understand me as a person rather than a resume. That focus on the individual is of course what Latin is all about and the reason I wanted to teach here.”
We are so glad she did make that move to come to Latin! Please join us in congratulating her on this new role.
WASHINGTON — For the 20 Democratic candidates who tussled onstage in Detroit last week for their party’s nomination, the debates were a chance to goose poll numbers, undercut rivals and wring donations from potential voters.
For the nearly 200 students who attended a summer debate program last week run by the Washington Urban Debate League, the contests were something else: a lesson plan.
The program, a two-week boot camp for middle and high schoolers held at the Washington Latin Public Charter School, enrolls mostly minority students from underserved backgrounds. The presidential debates offered a teachable moment, said David Trigaux, the league’s program director.
“We always try to find ways to connect to what’s going on in the public discussion,” he said. “The timing of the debates couldn’t be better to provide examples of some things to do and some things not to do.”
The standardized test scores at Washington Latin Public Charter School are among the best in the District. The waiting list of families clamoring to enroll in the middle and high school clocks in at more than 1,500 students. And the school, which educates about 700 children and boasts a rigorous classical curriculum, sends its graduates to the nation’s most prestigious universities.
But when Washington Latin sought permission from the city to double in size and open a second campus, it was not a slam-dunk decision.
Two of seven members on the D.C. Public Charter School Board — the oversight panel that decides which charters open and close — voted against the school’s application. Other board members expressed their reluctance. And while the board voted in July to allow Washington Latin to establish a second campus for the 2020-2021 academic year, board members made school leaders agree to more than a half-dozen conditions. READ MORE
Reporter Kidd O’Shea dropped by to appreciate our teachers on Thursday of Teacher Appreciation Week. He brought coffee and breakfast, we shared why we teach. A few early-rising students also shared what they love about teachers at Latin. Diana Smith also introduced our Jazz Band and the juniors’ field trip with veterans to the 9/11 memorial in Shanksville, PA with The 9:57 Project. Watch online!
Q&A: At D.C.’s Washington Latin Public Charter School, ‘the Greatest Success Is the Culture’
By Emily Langhorne, Reinventing America’s Schools
Diana Smith, principal of Washington Latin Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., received a lot of press this summer when her No-Tech Tuesday Challengecaught the interest of the media, educators, and parents. Read more…