Simone is a Senior Analyst on the Schools and Talent team
What makes you interested in education in DC?
I believe that, when done well, education can be transformative for individuals and can lead to political, economic, and social freedom. Personally, I’m committed to serving students in diverse cities. DC has a rich history that has been shaped by Black people playing a significant part of the city’s civic life and cultural identity. I also appreciate that because DC is a smaller city, it is easier to see and feel the progress that has been made.
What was your previous experience with public education?
I’m originally from New York City, which has the largest public school district in the country, and my experiences with public education were excellent. I attended public schools my entire life and thought school was a place to be creative, learn, and to advocate for yourself. I attended New York University for undergrad and felt fully prepared for college based upon my experiences. It wasn’t until college where I met students from across the country who did not have the same experiences as I did with their public school system. It was this experience and learning more about disparities in education from my sociology courses that I gained my interest in education policy. I initially wanted to pursue policy work but quickly recognized the added value of having teaching experience when making policies.
What brought you to Education Forward DC?
I wanted a way to plug into DC education while having a “big picture” view. Ed Forward DC is in a unique position to be plugged into DC and support both district and public charter schools. I enjoy the fact that we can take this approach in order to think about what is best for all students in the city.
What are your hopes for public education in DC?
I commend those who are doing the difficult work across the city to ensure that every student has access to a high-quality school. My hope for the city is that we are constantly thinking about how we can improve schools (both district and public charter) and focus on serving all students well. I also hope that we can continue to equip DC public school graduates to be in positions of power in the city.