RBHS Monarchs Administration ~ Meet our RBHS Leadership Team
Dr. Benjamin Williams is the Principal of Ron Brown College Preparatory High School, DC’s only public all-male high school. Before assuming this role, Dr. Williams was the Associate Principal at School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens for two years. In 2015, he received a Rubenstein Award for highly effective leadership.
Dr. Williams began his career in Charlottesville, VA where he taught high school social studies, and served as an elementary and high school assistant principal. He received his bachelor’s degree, master’s of teaching, and Ph.D. in leadership and administration from the University of Virginia.
Kwabena Tumaini is a native of Oakland, California. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies from San Francisco State University and his Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Howard University. He began his career with DCPS in 2012 as the 7th grade math teacher for Kelly Miller Middle School. In his five-year tenure, he led well organized lessons that led to > 66% of students exceeding their growth goal on the E.O.Y Math I-Ready exam and > 84% of students increasing or maintaining their math PARCC score. Following his teaching career, he assumed an Instructional Coach position for Mathematics at Plummer Elementary School.
Mr. Tumaini is dedicated to uplifting and inspiring all students. As an educator, he has assisted with opening an all-boys elementary school in Washington, D.C., lobbied for fair economic treatment for High School T.R.I.O Programs such Upward Bound, delivered key note addresses for graduations, and dedicated countless community service hours to help improve the life trajectories of disenfranchised youth. Tumaini is strong believer in the Ubuntu African philosophy which states, “I am, because we are.” As a community, we will continue to strive for greatness and help Ron Brown become the most sought-after High School in DCPS.
Ms. Odom has served as an Instructional Coach as well as a SCALE Teacher Leader for DCPS prior to becoming Assistant Principal. In this role, she led professional development around instructional shifts as aligned to the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, as well as Culturally Responsive Teaching practices. As a classroom teacher and teacher leader, she worked to lead the implementation of a School-wide Enrichment Model that immersed all students in enriching and experiential learning opportunities as well as enhancing inquiry-based instructional practices, or “gifted for all” opportunities. She also worked as a part of the Positive Behavior Intervention Support team to develop and facilitate many of the Positive Behavior Intervention Support initiatives for the entire school.
Ms. Odom is a proud DCPS parent, which is the driving force behind her dedication to educating the Young Kings of Ron Brown College Preparatory High School.
Dr. Curtis is a native of Richmond, Virginia and has lived and worked as a psychologist in the District for the past ten years. He graduated from Morehouse College with a B.A. in Psychology with magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors. Dr. Curtis is also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and was initiated at Psi Chapter. Following his undergraduate work, Dr. Curtis attended University of Virginia where he earned a M.Ed. in Educational Psychology and a Ph.D. in Clinical and School Psychology. Dr. Curtis has worked professionally with students with severe emotional and behavioral difficulties while programming for them through an alternative, Restorative Justice framed lens. He has worked to devise individualized and group interventions focused on helping students placed outside of their homes who had significant histories of school failure, trauma, and minimal self-regulation increase outcomes by transitioning back into less structured environments and successfully returning to their neighborhood schools.
Through working at Ron Brown College Preparatory High School, Dr. Curtis will be engaged in the active and necessary work of disrupting the school to prison pipeline while empowering Young Kings of color in DC to be their best selves. He believes that the philosophy and program at Ron Brown High School will be in the vanguard of revolutionary education spaces for historically disenfranchised and oppressed people in America.
Chonn Lacey is the Manager, Strategy and Logistics (MSL) at Ron Brown College Preparatory High School. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations and logistics of the school and oversees the following operational functions: finance and purchasing, student data systems, facilities and property, human resources management and technology.
He was born and raised in Pottstown, Pa. but has resided in the Washington DC area for the past 12 years. He has a Bachelor Degree in Sports and Recreation Management for Temple University, and has 12 years of experience managing staff, programs, and facilities with stops in Fairfax County and Washington DC parks and Rec. Prior to this career Mr. Lacey played professional Football in the NFL and Arena Football League. His philosophy is that anyone can achieve greatness regardless of the obstacles they face in life and lives by the motto of Goals Over Obstacles.
I’m very excited to join the staff of Ron Brown College Preparatory High School for the 2018 - 2019 School Year. It has been my pleasure to work in DC Public Schools for over fifteen years in many capacities, with the common goal of educating our students holistically. Prior to joining the Leadership Team at Ron Brown HS, I served as the Pathway Coordinator at F.W. Ballou SHS, where I focused on preparing our students who were off track academically to improve their effort and seek additional support in order to matriculate through high school. Forging relationships and empowering youth is at the core of my everyday work, and it is the foundation of my passion for education. My educational experience includes a Bachelor of Science from Morgan State University along with an MBA from Trinity University of Washington, DC. I look forward to continuing to serve the youth and the families of DC Public Schools.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife and son as we explore the many things to do in the Washington, DC area.
Teacher Leader Innovation (TLI) ~ Meet our TLI Team
The Teacher Leadership Innovation (TLI) program within DCPS offers excellent teachers the opportunity to spend part of the day teaching and part of the day leading other adults in the building in enhancing the educational experiences for all students. TLI Teacher Leaders are school-based employees who teach for at least 50% of the day, and spend the remainder of their day coaching and leading their peers. TLI began in 2013 and continues to be an integral leadership position at schools across the district. This school year, at Ron Brown, there are 3 TLI Teacher Leaders leading LEAP Teams in the contents of Math, Science, and English Language Arts (ELA).
TLI Teacher Leaders lead teachers through a cycle of content specific seminars, in which they develop teachers’ content knowledge, support their planning, and guide the analysis of student work tied to the DCPS curriculum. TLI Teacher Leaders also often provide coaching support for teachers on their team by using a variety of coaching touchpoints, including observation and debrief, co-planning, or modeling and debrief.
In addition to coaching for content support, our TLI Teacher Leaders will support teachers in fulfilling the mission and vision of Ron Brown by providing coaching supports that ensure all teachers are providing rigorous and culturally responsive experiences that prepare Young Kings to act as reflective agents of change to solve problems that impact their diaspora.
Ms. Johnson began her career teaching middle school literature in 2006 in South Carolina. After relocating to DC in 2010, she taught English language arts at Eliot Hine Middle School for seven years before joining the Ron Brown community as a ninth grade English teacher. In addition to teaching English, she has held multiple leadership roles at the school and district level. This year, Ms. Johnson will be broadening her work at RBHS to serve as the TLI Coach for the English department. In this capacity, she will support the teachers in the English department in implementing rigorous and culturally responsive instructional practices that allow our students to master the district curriculum. Ms. Johnson believes that we all have the capacity to author our own life stories. Through her work both inside the classroom and in the broader English department, Ms. Johnson’s goal is to equip our Young Kings with the tools they need to be the hero of their life stories.
Ms. Kearney is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She lives by Luke 12:48 which states, “For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required.” She returned home to DC in 2012 to serve her community as a Teach for America DC Region Corps Member. During her first year in the district, she was awarded the 2012 New Teacher of the Year, 2012 7th Grade Math Teacher of the Year, and 2012 Overall Teacher of the Year at Ronald H. Brown Middle School.
As a devoted community organizer and education advocate for underserved students in DC, Ms. Kearney used her former chair role for TFA Collective DC to help launch the Be the Change Scholarship Program to provide funds for student of color in financial need, current co-chair position for DC Education Coalition for Change to include the voices of students and families in securing political wins that helped shape policy for better outcomes for students east of the river, and served on the SY 18-19 Chancellor’s Teachers’ Cabinet to elevate teacher voice in helping to shape the future of DCPS.
She hopes to continue to use this role to cultivate a culture of competency, curiosity, and collaboration whereby all math teachers feel supported in providing urgent, high quality and personable instruction that ensures every mathematician will experience a cohesive and joyful math journey and are equipped for societal change.
Ms. Akunwafor is our new science TLI and brings with her a vast amount of experience in coaching and pushing students academically forward. Ms. Akunwafor believes all students can achieve the highest level of success regardless of economic status, circumstances and ethnicity. Ms. Akunwafor holds a Bachelor's in Arts in Biology and a Master's in Education Curriculum and Instruction/ Special Education from Howard University. Ms. Akunwafor has eight years of experience at the high school level. She has become an expert at scientific pedagogy with emphasis on environmental and life science. Ms. Akunwafor is a proud Washingtonian who loves her city and the young scholars it represents. Ms. Akunwafor is excited to be a part of the RBHS family and is looking forward to working with scholars, parents, staff and community stakeholders. “Each one, Teach one” when one learns it is our duty to teach our community. Igbo saying, “Onyemachi” – no one knows tomorrow so you must live for today.
See Mr. Tumaini’s bio above.