With each new school year comes new enrichment activities! Check out some of Thurgood Marshall Academy’s newest programs launching in September 2014. For more information, or to meet the club advisors, be sure to check out our annual Clubs Fair on September 11th, 2014.
As her daughter MaKayla Jackson launches her last year of high school, Mrs. Betty Jackson reflects on her experience as a Thurgood Marshall Academy parent.
When researching MaKayla’s options for high school, Mrs. Jackson notes that her family specifically sought Thurgood Marshall Academy because of its Tier 1 status, the highest designation from the DC Public Charter School Board, “[because] private school was not an option for our family.” Thurgood Marshall Academy wasn’t the only top-school the Jacksons considered when making the decision of where MaKayla would attend high school. MaKayla was offered interview opportunities at Banneker High School, McKinley Tech, and other selective DCPS high schools. But based on their interactions with the school’s faculty and staff – particularly with Executive Director Alexandra Pardo – the Jacksons decided that Thurgood Marshall Academy would be the best option for their family. “Mrs. Pardo goes out of her way, pulls up her sleeves, and truly listens to the concerns of her parents and her students. She knows her students. She knows their struggles and is genuinely concerned about every single one of them,” Mrs. Jackson explains.
Thurgood Marshall Academy has a new history teacher this year: Ms. Naomi Gamoran will be joining the Social Studies Department as the World History I and Psychology teacher. Though Ms. Gamoran is new to the Social Studies Department, she’s not new to Thurgood Marshall Academy. She served as an Academics Associate during the 2013-14 school year through Avodah, a Jewish Service Corps, after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013.
The results of the 2014 DC Comprehensive Assessment (DC CAS) are in, and school-level scores confirm what we already knew: Thurgood Marshall Academy continues to be one of the highest performing non-selective high schools in the District of Columbia. We provide, to students and families in Ward 8, a local, high-quality option where all students can succeed.
RepDevGlobal is a new nonprofit that aims to demystify the field of international development for high school students through after-school programs. And the nation’s capital is a fitting setting to launch a local chapter.
The Thurgood Marshall Academy chapter of RepDevGlobal is the first among all D.C. public and public charter high schools. This is no coincidence. Kimaris Toogood, founder of RepDevGlobal and the club advisor at Thurgood Marshall Academy, explains. “For RepDevGlobal to have a chance, we needed to pilot it in a high performing school where the students are already on a college track.”
From DC to the DR: Dominique Griffin (TMA ’09) Heads to the Dominican Republic to Join the Peace Corps
In August 2014, you can add the Dominican Republic to the list of places where Thurgood Marshall Academy alumni are contributing to the development and growth of local communities. Dominique Griffin (TMA ’09), a 2013 graduate of the University of Vermont, will be headed to the Caribbean nation to begin her two-year Peace Corps placement, where she will be working with local children and families on mental, sexual, and physical health issues. She first gained experience in this field while still in undergrad, at the University of Vermont, where she worked in the outreach department of the school’s student health center to create and deliver a variety of health-related workshops to her peers. “From what I understand about my Peace Corps placement, I’ll probably be doing similar work in the Dominican Republic,” says Dominique.
The Tradition Lives On: Thurgood Marshall Academy's 10th Annual Commencement Ceremony Celebrates 100% College Acceptance for its Largest Class to Date
In the tradition of the past nine graduating cohorts, 100% of Thurgood Marshall Academy’s seniors gained acceptance to college; they were accepted at over 90 different colleges and universities, including top-tier schools such as Yale University, Stanford University, Bates College, Rice University, University of California – Irvine, and The George Washington University. They represent a breadth of academic and professional interests, representative of the range of classes available to students at Thurgood Marshall Academy. The graduates “are majoring in fields from nursing to journalism to engineering, and attending colleges from Maine to California” in pursuit of their dreams, says Emma Levine, Thurgood Marshall Academy’s Alumni Program Manager/Associate College Counselor.
Washington, DC – On May 22nd, the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) selected Thurgood Marshall Academy to receive its National Excellence in Urban Education (NEUE) Silver Award, along with a $2,500 grant, in recognition of the school’s success in providing a high quality education for students from low-income and minority communities.
Thurgood Marshall Academy Ranked as the #3 High School in the District of Columbia by US News & World Report
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April 23, 2014
Thurgood Marshall Academy was ranked as the #3 high school in the District of Columbia by US News & World Report. Ranked behind two admission only magnet schools, Thurgood Marshall Academy is the only charter school to be included on the ranking list in the District. The school is ranked 1,368 nationwide. Us News & World Report ranks schools based on academic indicators including college readiness; reading and math proficiency; and student-teacher ratio.
For this week’s installment of our series “Journey to College Acceptance,” we checked in with senior Stewart Gray to hear about his latest college acceptances and his progress towards making the daunting decision of choosing a college to attend next fall.
In the fall and winter, Stewart applied to a total of 19 different colleges: University of California (UC) – Berkeley, UC-Irvine, UC-San Diego, UC-Santa Barbra, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, University of the District of Columbia, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Harvey Mudd College, University of Maryland – College Park, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Pomona College, Rice University, University of Southern California, Stanford University, University of Texas – Austin, and Yale University.
Journey to College Acceptance: Interview with Mr. Sanjay Mitchell, Director of College and Alumni Programs at Thurgood Marshall Academy
For the second installment of our series “Journey to College Acceptance” we talked with Mr. Sanjay Mitchell, the Director of College and Alumni Programs at Thurgood Marshall Academy, to gain his perspective on the current college landscape. We will be talking with Mr. Mitchell about what students should look for in a college or university; challenges they may face in the research and application process; and his own personal thoughts on where Stewart Gray should attend in this fall. For students and parents, keep this advice in mind and share with any friends or family members who are currently involved in this process!
March 31, 2014 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School celebrated the news that senior Stewart Gray was accepted to Yale University, the first Ivy League acceptance for a student in the school’s thirteen year history.
Stewart also received acceptance letters from several schools, including Stanford University, Rice University, Pomona College and Northwestern University. “I’m very surprised about the good news,” says Stewart. “Now, I have thirty days to weigh the pros and cons of each and make my final decision.”
The National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) at San Diego State University announced Thurgood Marshall Academy as one of sixteen schools to win its 2014 National Excellence in Urban Education Award.
Statistics can tell a story, albeit an impersonal one: In an effort to share our best practices and give a name and face to these achievement numbers, we will follow one student, Stewart Gray, as he completes the last few months of his high school tenure. Through a series of weekly posts and articles, we will interview Stewart as he awaits his college application decisions, completes scholarship applications, chooses a school to attend in the fall, walks the final stretch to graduation, and finally, his move to college. During this series, you will also hear from Mr. Sanjay Mitchell, Director of College & Alumni Programs, about the preparation that Thurgood Marshall Academy seniors undergo during their last year of high school to prepare for college.
TMA spotlights Dave Morrow and Raymar Hampshire, two men in our Mentor Program, who share their thoughts on how they draw on their own experiences and past mentors to influence their work as role models for our students. Read more…
Recap the excitement from this year’s Celebrating Our Roots.
Thurgood Marshall Academy is proud to be featured in a segment produced by Nick News entitled, ““Black, White, and Brown V. Board of Education: A Return to Segregated Schools?” The documentary focuses on equality in education throughout the nation. Aired on Tuesday, February 11th, the piece highlights the experiences of four Thurgood Marshall Academy students—sophmores Darrius Cook and Asia Boulware, and freshmen Philonda Williams and Jeremiah Simms. Thurgood Marshall Academy was selected as an example of a nationally recognized high-performing school.
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December 16, 2013
Kannon Shanmugam, a current Trustee and supporter of the school, was elected Chair of Thurgood Marshall Academy’s Board of Trustees on December 3, 2013. Kannon is currently a Partner at Williams & Connolly LLP and has argued 13 cases before the Supreme Court. He has been recognized by numerous publications as one of the nation’s leading Supreme Court and appellate advocates. “I’m excited about the opportunity to serve as Board Chair. I look forward to working with the Board and staff to maintain and improve TMA’s position as one of the city’s leading charter schools,” states Kannon.
Thurgood Marshall Academy’s staff, faculty, students, and Board echo this excitement, and look forward to collaborating with Mr. Shanmugam as the school prepares the next generation of students to succeed in college and beyond.
One Saturday a month, local volunteers serve as mentors to our students. They attend workshops, field trips, and spend quality time together throughout the school year. Our mentors and students spent December’s Mentor Day serving the community and reflecting on the things for which they were most grateful. To prepare for this Mentor Day, everyone at TMA participated in a school-wide competition where students, faculty and staff donated toiletries, socks, underwear, hats, scarves, and similar items to create gift boxes for S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat), a local non-profit that provides meals, health services, and job training for the homeless. In just two short weeks, the Thurgood Marshall Academy family showed their holiday spirit by donating over 400 items to S.O.M.E.’s Shoebox Gift Drive.
We’re excited to announce that three seniors received full-tuition scholarships from the POSSE Foundation. Joey Adams was accepted to Sewanee University of the South, while Amber Hudson and Kavon Holley were accepted to the University of Rochester.
Although many high schools measure their success by the percentage of students accepted to college, Thurgood Marshall Academy – whose mission is to prepare students to succeed in college, not simply to be accepted – has an Alumni Support Program to ensure that our graduates are able to fulfill the school’s mission.
In September, teachers Liza Enrich and Laurel Horn took six students to Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania to tour the school’s historic campus. The young women explored the dorms and historic classrooms and met with students and administrators. They were, for a few hours on a cloudy Saturday, integrated into the fabric of this prestigious women’s college. This college visit is just one element of Thurgood Marshall Academy’s Women’s College Cohort (WCC), now in its second year. Led by Chemistry Teacher Liza Enrich and Special Education Teacher Laurel Horn, both alumnae of Scripps College in Claremont, CA, the WCC exposes female students to the powerful impact of the women’s college experience.
Growing Healthy Schools Week is an initiative that celebrates school gardens and farm-to-school programs throughout the district. Thurgood Marshall Academy was thrilled to host a kick-off event for this wonderful celebration of green initiatives for the 5th year in a row.
Thurgood Marshall Academy Educator Kena Allison Receives $25,000 Surprise Award from the Milken Family Foundation
What began as a school assembly to celebrate Thurgood Marshall Academy as a Reward School turned into a surprise for Kena Allison, physics teacher and instructional specialist, who received the top educator award from the Milken Family Foundation.
We did it again! For the second year in a row, Thurgood Marshall Academy is the highest performing non-selective high school in the District of Columbia based on scores from the 2013 DC Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS) as well as the highest performing high school in ward 8 among both District of Columbia Public Schools and Public Charter Schools.
With an Accountability Score of 81.6 – a composite of the school’s math, reading, and composition scores – Thurgood Marshall Academy earned the status of Reward school this year. Schools that reach 80.0 points on their Accountability Score or are in the top 5% of growth citywide are considered Reward schools. Thurgood Marshall Academy earned the highest composite score of all non-selective high schools and was only one of two non-selective high schools to earn Reward status. Thurgood Marshall Academy’s Accountability score averaged 56% higher than neighboring DCPS schools in ward 8, an indication of the significant need for high performing high schools for youth in this community.