Katrina M. Foster, a graduate of the Baltimore City Public Schools and Teach for America, has been selected as the new principal of the East Baltimore Community School (EBCS), a K-8 charter school that has become the centerpiece of redevelopment efforts in East Baltimore. Foster, who was selected from a national search, is joining the school as it prepares for its move in 2013 to a new $43 million facility that will also include the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Center. The appointment was approved by the EBCS board and was effective Aug. 1.
Foster received a bachelor’s degree in English from Pepperdine University, a master’s degree in teaching from the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, and a post-graduate certificate in administration and supervision, also from Johns Hopkins. Born and raised in Baltimore, she attended Baltimore City Public schools. Following college, she returned to Baltimore in 2003 as a Teach for America corps member and English teacher at Frederick Douglas High School, where she received the Teacher of the Year award in 2004-2005.
An experienced urban educator and administrator, Foster has led teams of educators in producing high student achievement outcomes. Prior to joining EBCS, she led the middle school expansion at the New Era Academy in Baltimore, where she also played an integral role in that school’s efforts to achieve Maryland School Assessment reading and math scores that remained higher than the district’s average. Foster has also served as a curriculum specialist and corps member advisor for Teach for America in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, respectively and has been an instructor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education.
David Nichols, EBCS board chair and vice dean for education at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, described Foster as a skilled collaborator and a builder of consensus among students, parents, and teachers. “The EBCS board believes that Ms. Foster has the skills and compassion to help the East Baltimore Community School build upon its strengths and storied history to achieve the next level of prominence, and to make a lasting impact on education in the East Baltimore community and our city.”
Foster will lead a K-8 school that focuses on academics, health and social services, and youth and community engagement to improve student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. The school, which is part of an innovative university-community initiative, was recently renamed the Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School (or Henderson-Hopkins). Both the new school and early childhood center are operated by the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, in partnership with Morgan State University’s School of Education and Urban Studies.
“I’m honored and delighted to be the new principal of EBCS, especially at this exciting time,” Foster said. “As a school leader, I believe it is my duty to motivate my teachers and students to excel. I am invested in their success and it’s my primary responsibility to uphold the school’s mission and vision, maintain a supportive learning environment, and collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that our children receive a quality college preparatory education.”
The first day of school for Baltimore City Public Schools is Monday, Aug. 27.