Dear Maya Family: A Letter from the CEO

June 30, 2014

The summer days are whizzing by so fast I can hardly believe it. After a marvelous series of commencement ceremonies, our central office, YALC and Academy have been operating in full gear these last few weeks managing a number of exciting changes. The high school doors will remain closed for the summer to allow for major renovations by our partner Forrester Construction, an immense endeavor you can read about in this issue of our newsletter.

These next few months will also serve as crucial planning periods for the upcoming school year. We have been so fortunate to welcome two incredibly knowledgable and passionate individuals to help with the preparations:

Brian Rahaman, our new high school principal, comes to us from the SEED Foundation as the former Director of Program Design.  He has extensive experience working with teachers to guide their instruction and will lead the high school with an acute focus on building student literacy and mastery. We are delighted to have him lead the high school forward.

Adele Fabrikant who will serve as Chief of Schools will coach our school leaders, lead our Directors of Special Education, Postsecondary Student Success, and Socio-Emotional Learning and oversee organization-wide academic policies and practices. With over 14 years of experience in education, Adele most recently served as the Deputy Chief, Office of Youth Engagement for the DC Public Schools. Adele was also the Founding Principal for a public transfer high school serving over-age and under-credited youth with the New York City Department of Education.

The 2014-2015 academic year promises to be quite the fresh start. New walls, new leadership, new bright-eyed freshmen. While I am heartbroken that our namesake, Dr. Maya Angelou, is unable to witness such transformations, we are continually moved by her phenomenal spirit. The world is immeasurably better because of all that she gave and the Maya Angelou Schools will strive to uphold such a powerful legacy.

This summer newsletter seeks to highlight the achievements of not only our students, but of our staff and partners as well. You can read about our long-time partnership with WilmerHale and the Young Adult Learning Center’s latest accomplishment towards full accreditation. Also in this edition is a profile on Ms. Romelle Simpson, a 2009 graduate of Maya Angelou High School, and her journey to accomplishing her dreams of becoming a patent attorney.

The stories are endless and we want to share with you what all has happened this year in our family. Remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, especially if you’d like to engage in more frequent updates. Have a wonderful summer and we look forward to another year of your support!


Warmest Regards,

Dr. Heather Wathington