Celebrating The Incredible Women Leading DC Public Charter Schools
Rachel Kimboko is the Founding Executive Director of DC Wildflower PCS, which recently opened and aims to “serve a larger, universal purpose in eliminating racial and social discrimination and hierarchy – and offer an intimate liberatory educational experience.”
Daniela Anello is DC Bilingual PCS’s Head of School. Under her leadership she has helped the school grow to educate more than 440 students. She was recently featured in Education Week where she shared her journey to become an education leader as a Latina woman.
Mashea Ashton is the Founder and CEO of Digital Pioneers Academy, a school focused on computer science education. She has been honored by multiple organizations for her leadership and advocacy, such as SHE Wins LLC and the Aspen Institute. She was recently highlighted on the TODAY show, for her work inspiring students and creating a community where “everyone is known and respected.”
Shannon Hodge is KIPP DC’s new President. She previously served as the Founding Executive Director of the DC Charter School Alliance, and the co-founder and executive director of Kingsman Academy Public Charter School. Earlier this school year, she spoke alongside DC PCSB Executive Director Michelle Walker-Davis on what it means to lead as a Black woman, at the 2022 National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) conference.
Lecester Johnson, CEO of Academy of Hope PCS, has led her school since 2006, helping it expand into two additional locations, increased its revenue, and helped the nonprofit become a public charter school. She is a formidable leader, who was awarded Georgetown University’s John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award in 2014, for her work.
Christie McKay is the Founder and Executive Director of Briya PCS. Under her direction, Briya won the Washington Area Women’s Foundation Leadership Award in 2010. McKay is also the Director of Education at Mary’s Center.
Karen Dresden is the Co-Founder of Capital City Public Charter School, and their current Head of School. Her leadership has helped Capital City expand into a lower, middle, and a high school with a 100% college acceptance rate. President Obama visited Capital City PCS at the start of his presidency, and called it “an example of how all schools should be.”
Pamela Faulcon is the Principal of Early Childhood Academy PCS, a small school with a child-centered curriculum for PK3-3 students. Alongside serving students, she is a published author of Hello Neighbor!, a children’s book about a young boy visiting his neighborhood while on his bike.
Finally, Angel McNeil is the Founding Principal of Rocketship Infinity Community Prep. McNeil successfully led Infinity Community Prep through the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, even though it was in its founding year, and has spearheaded multiple efforts to work with her colleagues on professional development, alongside continuing to stay a present and friendly presence on campus.
We are always #DCCharterProud of the many women—including those not mentioned in this article—across DC public charter schools who have been trailblazers in education, creating their own schools, curriculums and communities despite setbacks!
If you would like to read more about other women leaders we have celebrated in the past, click here.