D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Banneker Principal Honored

Anita Berger, principal of Benjamin Banneker Acdemic High School in Northwest, has been selected as DCPS’ Principal of the Year.

Berger, who was honored in a surprise ceremony by new Chancellor Antwan Wilson, was recognized for her work boosting graduation rates and academic achievement at Banneker.

Berger, who has been principal at Banneker since 2005, began her career in school leadership by obtaining a master’s degree in Administration and Exercise Physiology from Howard University.

She remains active in the Howard community through her work with the Teacher Education Advisory Council.

Berger’s guidance at Banneker not only helped increase the number of students passing Advanced Placement exams by 35 percent, she also boosted her school’s math and reading test scores by more than 20 percent in one year and has graduated 100 percent of Banneker’s students.

High School Opportunities

Although the D.C. high school lottery enrollment process closed on Feb. 1, the word continues to be spread about opportunities students gain by attending one of the city’s public high schools.

For example, McKinley Technology High School offers an IT Career Academy where students to focus in either interactive media, networking or computer science.

Forty-four percent of students who attend McKinley live in Wards 7 and 8, and school officials believe in the potential to increase those numbers. In addition, there’s the Engineering Career Academy at Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School in Northeast, where students learn about engineering design, architecture, aerospace engineering and computer science.

Similar to McKinley, Phelps has the potential to increase its 24 percent of enrollment among students who live in Wards 7 and 8, officials said.

ESSA Accountability

Implementation of the new Each Student Succeeds Act begins in the 2017-18 school year.

Its committee of D.C. State Board of Education members will work diligently with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to continue gathering input from diverse stakeholders on the design and development of the new accountability system for the District.

The committee consists of Chair Ruth Wattenberg (Ward 3) and members Jack Jacobson (Ward 2), Joe Weedon (Ward 6), Ashley Carter (At-Large), Lannette Woodruff (Ward 4), Markus Batchelor (Ward 8) and Karen Williams.

At the Jan. 18 monthly public meeting, the board elected Williams as president and Jacobson as vice president. Both members were recently re-elected to serve a second term on the board.

MLK Day of Service Volunteerism

The recent Martin Luther King Day of Service drew more than 1,700 volunteers who rolled up their sleeves to paint indoor murals, build classroom furniture and play structures, and organize learning spaces at four DCPS schools: Roosevelt High School, Dorothy I. Height Elementary School, Bancroft Elementary School and Powell Elementary School.

During the celebration, U.S. Secretary of Education John King, who was accompanied by his wife and daughters, welcomed a packed auditorium of volunteers at Roosevelt.

They joined Mayor Muriel Bowser, Council member Brandon Todd and Jeff Franco, executive director of City Year DC, who all also spoke and served as volunteers at the event.

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Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I knew I had to become a writer when at age nine I scribbled a note to my younger brother’s teacher saying I thought she was being too hard on him in class. Well, the teacher immediately contacted my mother, and with tears in her eyes, profusely apologized. Of course, my embarrassed mother dealt with me – but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for words and writing. Nowadays, as a “semi-retiree,” I continue to work for the Washington Informer as a staff writer. Aside from that, I keep busy creating quirky videos for YouTube, participating in an actor’s guild and being part of my church’s praise dance team and adult choir. I’m a regular fixture at the gym, and I like to take long road trips that have included fun-filled treks to Miami, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi. I’m poised to take to the road again in early 2017, headed for New Orleans, Louisiana. This proud grandmother of two – who absolutely adores interior decorating – did her undergraduate studies at Virginia Union University and graduate work at Virginia State University.

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