Distinguished Alumna Kelly Harper to Speak at SOE Graduation

By Will Howard

We are delighted to announce that Kelly Harper, MS ’16, will be the speaker at the 2019 School of Education graduation ceremony on May 22 at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. Harper, who is DC’s 2019 Teacher of the Year, has been named a finalist for 2019 National Teacher of the Year.

Harper is a third-grade teacher at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School in Washington, DC, and is currently in her seventh year of teaching. She has been recognized for inspiring her students through projects that focus on social justice and advocacy, and she serves as a leader at the school and district levels. Harper began her career in Houston, Texas, as a Teach For America corps member. There, she helped students achieve significant gains in the classroom and was the 2014 Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award Houston Finalist and National Nominee.

In their announcement of Harper as a National Teacher Award Finalist, the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education noted that Harper “believes education is a powerful tool for dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and a transformative tool for combating injustice” and she seeks “to empower her students to become change-agents in their neighborhoods and the world.”

Harper has served on the 2016–2017 DC Public Schools Chancellor’s Teachers’ Cabinet and was a 2014 TeachPlus DC Federal Policy Fellow. While teaching at Amidon-Bowen Elementary, Harper has served as a teacher-coach for reading teachers, worked as a professional development trainer for teachers across DCPS for English language arts (ELA), and written ELA curriculum for DCPS. She currently is on her school’s Flamboyan Foundation Family Engagement Leadership Team and is a facilitator for DCPS’ Family Engagement Collaborative.

The School of Education is honored to present this distinguished and inspiring alumna as its speaker at the 2019 graduation ceremony.

HARPER, A NATIONAL TEACHER OF THE YEAR FINALIST

Kelly Harper, MS ’16, a former Teach for America corps member and third-grade teacher at Amidon-Bowen Elementary in Washington, D.C., was named a finalist for 2019 National Teacher of the Year.