- What is your name and alma mater? Which UELIP cohort were you a part of?
My name is Michael Redmond, and I was part of the Summer 2014 cohort. I attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for my undergraduate studies, Belmont University for my graduate studies, and then the University of Southern California, Vanderbilt, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Before UELIP, I also taught in the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System.
- What position were you in as a UELIP? What project(s) did you work on?
As a UELIP I worked in the Office of Teaching and Learning and was a part of the STEM department under Dr. Kim Cherry. My primary responsibility was building and facilitating relationships between STEM-geared internships and the schools to help provide relevant work and professional experience for students in their junior and senior years.
- What is your current position?
I am currently serving as the Summer School Principal at Truesdell Education Campus. I am also currently pursuing a doctorate at Georgetown that focuses on diverse student populations, with a primary research interest in mitigating the school to prison pipeline. I believe the path to the American criminal system begins in the school – where young black and brown children are over-identified in special education and under-identified in gifted education.
- What motivates you in your current position as Principal at Truesdell?
I think it is important for black and brown kids to know that the world does not determine how worthy they are. I stay in education because of those children, because of their dreams and their life trajectories. I want to give children the foundation to believe they can do whatever they want and be whoever they dream – I want children to believe that they are already excellent.
- What were your fondest memories from the UELIP program?
My fondest memory as a UELIP was heading the social committee and organizing events, like Jazz in the Sculpture Garden or Amazing Race. I would get into work really early – around 5:30am – and then by 12pm would have time to start planning everything out. I headed the committee with someone who would become one of my closest friends in life, Lincoln Boyd.
- What is one meaningful relationship you’ve formed during your time with DCPS?
Mary Ann Stinson, Principal at Truesdell EC, has been pivotal in my growth. She is really committed to my personal development and helped turn my good qualities into great qualities, and that has been really exciting for me as an educator so I can help my students become even better than they currently are. Principal Stinson was the first leader in my life who was very vocal in her encouragement of me.
- What advice would you give to UELIPs?
The same thing I tell my kids: your dreams are valid, and whatever you want to do, do it. Do not be afraid to go for it. There are going to be people in this world who tell you that you’re not smart or strong enough, but you just have to believe you’re capable and take that initiative yourself to accomplish your goals.