Carlina Brown is being honored as a Champion of Change for her time and effort in supporting parent involvement in our children's education.
I am honored to be recognized as a White House Champion for change on behalf of the PTSA at Rainier Beach High School. RBHS is located in the most diverse zip code in the nation, 98118 in Seattle, Washington. It is housed in a neighborhood frequented by the common negatives of any poverty stricken environment however; it is the one bright spot where students feel safe and valued. With slightly over 400 students it serves over 19 languages. Students on average enter our school with a skill set several years below high school standards due to different needs i.e. English Language Learners, Special Education and passed on or ignored educational needs.
We were once a school that was often excluded from vital discussions so when expressing our concerns and wishes to our school board members and Superintendent we are relentless and brutally honest. We do our research and can confirm with facts and knowledge of our school and its history.
Our leadership and advocacy work has been successful in bringing programs and attention to the needs to our students. We are currently seeking International Baccalaureate insignia program and have a successful beginning to a Culinary Arts, Law Magnet and Microsoft/Cisco Technology programs.
We are known for our unvarying fight to be heard and demand for equity and quality education for all students. It takes a relentless approach to connect with decision makers in education and a cavernous commitment of many hours to organize research and participate in countless networking opportunities.
Outspoken speeches, winning of lawsuits and publicity of petitions to remove principals are the type of work that has made us a challenger in conversations regarding education and the success of our students’ particularly African American students. Our motto “We are not your mother's PTA”.
It is our conviction that without proper parent engagement success in urban schools will be difficult to achieve. It is a wholesome approach to education that allows students to achieve graduation at a soaring rate of speed in learning what is required to meet the expected goal of a diploma and a paved road to higher education. With proficient cultural acceptance and understanding of our very diverse community this definitive success will be achieved. Parents must be recognized as experts of their children, and be present at the table when building foundations not after the building is built.
We pride ourselves on our broad network of well seeded leaders in our city. Our names are synonymous with our school and our PTSA. Thank you to Rita Green, LaCretiah Claytor, Pam Berry, Valerie Fisher and Taloyna Greene, the executive team of RBHS PTSA Seattle, WA. This kind of representation takes a sisterhood/brotherhood that is strong and unified and we are one when we speak.
Carlina Brown is PTSA President at Rainier Beach High School.