Upcoming School Year Embraces New Leadership, Classes, and Clubs

Thurgood Marshall Academy photographs by Stephen Voss.Now that summer vacation has come to an end, Thurgood Marshall Academy is looking forward to an exciting school year, an energetic freshmen class and revitalized upperclassmen, and a unique law-themed curriculum that is coupled with college preparatory course work. It’s August 24th, and hallways are flooded with nearly 400 students and more than 30 teachers.

During these recent hot summer months, though, the leadership team didn’t cool off. Instead, Thurgood Marshall Academy faculty and staff forged ahead to ensure that the upcoming school year would be nothing short of successful.

Faculty and staff, including all grade-level Deans and Thurgood Marshall Academy’s new interim Executive Director, Richard Pohlman, welcomed students upon entry. After receiving their name badges, students journeyed off to their homeroom class, where they compared their class schedules with each other.Thurgood Marshall Academy photographs by Stephen Voss.

This school year, faculty will continue to have the support of former Instructional Coach, Kena Allison, who was promoted to interim Head of School. In this expanded role, she will work closely with new and seasoned teachers to provide academic leadership and support in a myriad of ways that ensure they grow as dynamic educators. Ms. Allison will work alongside Thurgood Marshall Academy’s new Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Bridget Abbas. Ms. Abbas has already provided a wealth of knowledge during Thurgood Marshall Academy’s intense Teacher Academy, where she led a number of workshops that explored learning approaches that better support students.

“I think that new leadership is a great thing,” said Ms. Allison. “It will bring new answers and ideas for those ongoing questions and struggles our students face.”

While a vast percentage of teachers are returning to Thurgood Marshall Academy, the school went on to invite new talent to its campus to teach courses just added to the curriculum. This year, juniors and seniors will have a rare opportunity to enroll in AP Statistics, AP Chemistry, and Global Studies.

To reinforce what students learn in the classroom, Thurgood Marshall Academy offers enrichment programs and extra-curricular activities that students can partake in after-school. Brandelyn Anderson, who was promoted to Director of Programs, is slated to host the upcoming Clubs Day, which gives students an opportunity to sign up for such programs. Most popular and recurring clubs include Green Club, Happy Black Girls (HBG), Debate Team, and more. But this year, Ms. Anderson is looking forward to introducing new clubs.

Over the summer, incoming freshmen and sophomores participated in Thurgood Marshall Academy’s Summer Prep, a 6-week program designed to get new students acclimated to the school’s culture. Rising juniors and seniors “went global” and explored famous attractions while abroad in Costa Rica, Morocco, Spain, and Tanzania. Other students dedicated the vacation to making up course work during Summer School, while others enjoyed internships and summer youth employment. Most students, though, enjoyed a slow-paced vacation in anticipation for back to school.