Our team is ready for a fantastic school year supporting schools, teachers, and education leaders to grow REAL Family Engagement in public and charter schools in DC (and across the country!) We are excited to introduce some of the most critical members of our team – our School Partnership Coaches! Coaches work closely with a portfolio of Flamboyan’s partner schools to ensure that the REAL Family Engagement model is embedded within the school’s culture and way of being. Deeply committed to racial equity, coaches are always focused on elevating the agency and voices of people and communities most impacted by inequity. We sat down with our coaches to find out more about them and their hopes for the upcoming school year.
Meet Mamie, Director of School Support
Mamie helps school leaders and teachers improve student outcomes by creating immediate and sustainable REAL Family Engagement. After 20 years as a teacher and school leader, she is committed to continuously working in education because all children deserve a secure space to learn and grow.
Prior to joining Flamboyan, Mamie taught middle school for 10 years in North Carolina before starting a Personalized Learning STEM High School in Research Triangle Park. She also worked with the Hope Street Group Teacher Voice Network to amplify constructive teacher-led conversations around education policy that most benefits students.
Outside of Flamboyan, Mamie can be found spending time with her family and their tiny dog, reading both frivolous fiction and provocative prose, or playing one of her more than 200 board games.
What drew you to Flamboyan?
I was initially drawn to Flamboyan because of a commitment to helping students and families most impacted by inequity find success in our school systems, despite the barriers stacked against them. I loved that Flamboyan was both unabashed about their commitment to anti-racism and put their beliefs into practice.
Why does REAL Family Engagement matter to you?
In my almost 20 years as a teacher and then a school administrator, I saw all the time how a lack of trust between families and educators impacted students. And as a mom with two middle school students, I’ve seen how important school is in my kids’ lives. It really does take all of us working together to help students successfully navigate both the academic and social-emotional aspects of growing into successful adults. For me, REAL Family Engagement means families and educators having a trusting relationship and shared ownership to help students excel.
What are your hopes and dreams for the schools you’re coaching this year?
I hope that the schools I am coaching this year will develop strategies for family engagement that are based on the needs of their individual communities and consider what is best for families, educators, and students. I hope that they build trusting relationships with their families and that those relationships lead to better outcomes for their students.
In your role as a coach, what are you most excited about in the coming school year?
This year, I am most excited about listening. I’m excited about working with my Family Engagement Leadership Teams to listen to their families, educators, and students. It is only through listening and understanding each school’s specific landscape that we can develop strategies that work for their context. As someone who is still relatively new to DC and doesn’t necessarily share the identities and background of the communities I’m serving, I know it’s essential for me to listen before I can coach.