William Haith, a native Washingtonian who grew up in Anacostia, became principal of Anacostia High School in 2018. (DCPS photo)
William Haith, a native Washingtonian who grew up in Anacostia, became principal of Anacostia High School in 2018. (DCPS photo)

William Haith, principal Anacostia High School in southeast D.C., grew up in Anacostia, and has lived the life many of his students now live.

“Over the past year, we experienced incredible heartbreak with the loss of Gerald Watson and other students who have been victims of violence,” he said in the August issue of The DCLine. “I deeply understand the pain our students and community feel when a loved one is lost to tragedy. My close family members still live in this community, and each day I am grateful for the opportunities provided to me as a young child. I was able to take my love for football and use it as a force to propel me into a job I love.

“I believe the most important career in our city and our country is serving as an educator, and I am committed to helping my students succeed,” he said. “I know the grit, perseverance and determination it takes to survive the sometimes, turbulent streets of Southeast.

“I also know the love, pride and resources that are available in our community,” Haith said. “Southeast nurtured and prepared me for college and my career. That’s why I am proud to be the principal of Anacostia High School, which was designated in the spring as one of the DCPS system’s ’10 Connected Schools.’”

New Programs, Schools

DCPS expanded access to high-quality pre-kindergarten for the 2019-20 school year by adding nine new classrooms at the following schools: Bunker Hill Elementary School, Ketcham Elementary School, LaSalle-Backus Education Campus, Miner Elementary School, Takoma Education Campus, Truesdell Education Campus, West Education Campus, Wheatley Education Campus and Whittier Education Campus.

In addition, several schools opened with brand-new buildings and facilities that will transform learning environments and support high-quality instruction for hundreds of students.

For example, Kimball Elementary School (Ward 7) was completely transformed and the new building supports the school’s STEM focus with new science spaces, an outdoor classroom and community spaces.

Jefferson Middle School (Ward 6), C.W. Harris Elementary School (Ward 7) and Houston Elementary School (Ward 7) buildings were also renovated to meet 21st-century learning standards. Those renovations include new and updated classrooms, technology and learning spaces.

‘Career Ready’ Internships

From site visits exemplifying the culture of D.C., to listening to the knowledge and wisdom of experts in the hospitality and tourism industry, this past summer, the Interning at Destination DC in conjunction with the American Experience Foundation opened interns’ eyes to the real essence of D.C.

Through “Career Ready” internships, DCPS students and alumni Makayla Cruz, Nizar Ghoumari, Jashawn Evans and Zoe Roberts gained in-demand professional skills that will serve as an important stepping-stone to their future success.

DCPS Goes to College

Nicholas Amponsah, a 2019 graduate of Luke C. Moore High School in Northeast, has appreciated the opportunity to complete much of his coursework on the computer through the school’s self-paced model and to build new skills through a class on Microsoft Word.

This fall, Nicolas enrolled at the University of the District of Columbia to major in computer science. After moving from Ghana in 2016, Nicholas was eager to enroll in college, but was not able to because he had not yet earned a diploma. He later enrolled at Luke C. Moore and graduated in June as valedictorian of his class, an honor he said he earned through “hard work.”

Nicholas describes his experience at Luke C. Moore as “perfect” and encourages students who are interested in getting their diploma to explore the options that the school offers.

“It’s a very good opportunity for people who maybe were out of school and want to come and get their diploma,” Nicholas said.

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