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Dr. Michelle Pierre-Farid is the Chief Academic Officer for Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Previously she was the Executive Director New Leaders Program in Washington, DC. While overseeing the development and support of growing strong urban school principals, Dr. Pierre-Farid was able to push the training of the resident principals because she was, herself, a New Leader.

As a member of the inaugural class of 2003 – 2004, she used her training to turn around two schools in 5 years. Her last school, Southeast Elementary Academy, saw double-digit gains in two years, increased student attendance and won the EPIC Award for being one of the top charter schools across the country for moving students to the next level.

Dr. Pierre-Farid was lauded for turning around Tyler School, one of the lowest-performing schools in Washington, DC, where the Capitol Hill community had essentially abandoned the school. Pierre-Farid led the school to dramatic improvements in a few years: reading achievement scores increased by 40 percentage points; over 50 percent of the special education population was considered proficient, and math achievement increased by 20 percentage points. Her school won the TEAM award, given to only three schools that year for having 20% gains. Tyler School went on to be selected to be part of DC Voice’s “Out-of-the-Box: Site Visits to Schools that Work” series, providing opportunities for parents and community members to see high-performing, high-poverty schools.

Pierre-Farid’s work has been highlighted in the Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, the Hill Rag, the Education Channel, and more recently, in Playmakers, a New Leaders publication that features leaders that are making a difference in improving teachers’ instruction. She credits her strong belief in the importance of education in “not only changing a life, but in changing a community.”

Dr. Pierre-Farid holds a bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University, two master’s degrees from Towson University and Trinity University and a doctorate from University of Pennsylvania in Educational Leadership. Her most important work, she attests, is as mother of two wonderful young ladies, India and Simone. She is married to Wali Farid.

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