Great school leaders are always growing and adapting. In an ever-changing educational landscape, we need to be ready to respond to evolving needs, rethink our approaches, and find innovative ways to meet challenges.
Change is a constant, but consistency matters too, and we must also reflect on what we want to protect and preserve. For us, this includes maintaining an unwavering commitment to joyful engagement for all and a firm belief in the transformative role Montessori education can play in a child’s life.
Every summer is an opportunity to reset and refine. As we prepare to open our doors for our 15th year together, we know we want to do more to ensure we fully deliver on our mission for every member of our community. Many plans for the new year are rooted in parent, student, and staff feedback: We’re introducing Spanish instruction for 1st through 8th grade, reopening our library, increasing staff hours for Seed to Table, and adding intervention and specialist staff to provide coaching for teachers and support for students.
This fall also marks the culmination of our enrollment expansion. Though we are opening two new classrooms – adding a new Lower Elementary classroom, the Marigolds, and reopening the White Oaks in Upper Elementary – our overall enrollment will stay about the same as last year, at roughly 550 students.
Change also creates space for growth and opportunity. As I continue my transition from serving as Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School’s executive director to an advisory role, we’re making way for new leaders and planning for a sustainable future. We operate in a challenging climate and an expanded leadership team is key to our success and necessary to ensure our infrastructure meets the needs of our growing organization.
After a rigorous and extensive search process, I am thrilled to welcome a new executive director to our community, Meghan Rennard. Megh is an experienced public education professional and has served in key leadership roles with Teach For America and The New Teacher Project. She holds an undergraduate degree from Colby College, and graduate degrees in education from Johns Hopkins University and in educational policy and management from Harvard University.
During the interview process, Megh impressed our team with her commitment to Baltimore, public education, and Montessori, and a leadership style that prioritizes accessibility, relationship-building, and innovation. A former Montessori student herself and current parent to two Baltimore Montessori Public students, Megh credits her Montessori educational experience with the skills and passions she brings to this role, including an active commitment to promoting lifelong learning and equitable outcomes within a positive, productive work culture. We are confident that Megh is the right leader for our organization’s next phase and so pleased to welcome her as executive director. To support Megh’s transition, I will provide onboarding and training as a part-time executive coach and will continue to serve on Baltimore Montessori’s board of directors.
Effective leadership is collaborative, giving space for multiple voices and leveraging strengths, while balancing autonomy, accountability, and support. As executive director, Megh assumes a role that is primarily external, and her focus will be to implement the school’s new strategic plan, pursue advocacy initiatives, and secure the resources necessary to sustain our future and expand our impact. Megh will work in close partnership with our board of directors and the team I have mentored and developed. Monica Donnelly, who joined me as a founding parent and staff member in 2008, will continue to serve as foundation director. Monica’s focus areas include organizational stewardship, business operations, talent development, and external relations. Monica will also help connect and integrate the school’s internal priorities and external aspirations. Kerry-Ann Malcolm, who joined us in 2017, will continue to serve as our school’s principal and instructional leader, charged with implementing our instructional vision and achieving our school-based goals. Kerry-Ann is tasked with maintaining a safe, nurturing, and supportive school environment for all members of our school community. She is supported in this work by our talented and dedicated assistant principal, Emmanuel Bonabe.
Many thanks to our executive director search committee and board of directors, and to each of you for your support and partnership as we work together to continue to build the school our children deserve and propel our organization toward greater impact in Baltimore and beyond.
I’m proud of our team and excited to see what’s next for our community.
School Founder and BMI Board Secretary