At every stage of my childhood, somehow, my mother found a mentor, an activity, a job that gave me a productive outlet and different perspectives to consider. When I was a kid, I didn’t always want them or fully appreciate them. However, as an adult, I recognize that each experience broadened my thinking and gave me relationships that influenced the choices I made.
In college, I was struck by the relationship between 3rd grade literacy and incarceration rates for young African American boys. Wanting to do something about that trend, I volunteered in a mentoring program that took me into two elementary schools. The interactions with the students changed my life. I experienced the unbridled joy when students learned new concepts, and a burning desire to transform the inadequate systems in place to support them. So, I shifted my career from finance to education.
From that point, my interest has always been systems improvement and transformation. I recognize that these terms are not as relatable as the vital work of teachers in the classroom or principals leading schools. But, effective systems are what must be in place for all students to get the right protective supports at the right times. They must exist for teachers and principals to have the greatest impact with the most students.
Given the outcomes of many students, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to improve the systems that support them. To this end, I have spent much of my career working in leading organizations that have focused on driving innovation, scaling promising practices, and delivering services to students and families. I have led teams that have worked closely with families, community partners, and data collection entities to improve services that support families and students.
I have been honing the vision for Parent Valet for several years through a variety of iterations and professional experiences because I recognize a significant problem that has yet to be resolved. Parents and the professionals that support their children do not have adequate tools and systems to ensure the right protective supports can be identified at the right times. The data bears this out. I want to solve this problem so that all children have the experiences that will prepare them to contribute to society and live a life they love.
Charles has more than 20 years of experience working with school districts, foundations, and professional service organizations taking on initiatives requiring major change, or supporting grantees/clients with a key element of launching new initiatives. Charles previously served as Deputy Superintendent of the Seattle Public Schools; Chief Strategy Officer, Denver Public Schools; and Assistant Superintendent, Duval County Public Schools. He also worked as Program Officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Early in his career, he worked with Salomon Smith Barney. Charles is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law; Columbia University’s Teachers College; and Morehouse College.
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