State of the Schools: Past. Present. Future.

Thursday’s State of the Schools was a humbling and powerful experience. More than 130 people joined Duncan Klussmann (Spring Branch ISD Superintendent) and KIPPsters Ajibola Bodunrin (Class of 2014) and Vanessa Ramirez (Class of 2002) to hear where we had been and where we are  today.

To hear Ajibola, an 8th grader from KIPP Polaris Academy, talk about his boarding school and college plans was a strong reminder of the opportunities that exist for children who are taught to reach for the stars.

And Gema Porras Funez brought us back to earth sharing her testimonial in a video of her path through KIPP, St. John’s, and UofH Downtown to become a world history teacher at KIPP 3D Academy. She reminded everyone that if 300 KIPPsters help 300 people, then 90,000 are better off than they were. And if those 90,000 each help 300 others, 27 million people are on a path towards fulfilling lives…and when those 27 million help 300, well, 8.1 billion people have been touched and we have fixed the planet…and she is doing it every day.  Here’s the video of her story.

Then Duncan Klussmann’s thoughtful consideration of what all schools can learn from each other reminded me how much progress we really are making towards the tipping point—the day when we can truly claim ALL of our children are well.

And Vanessa Ramirez brought us home, reminding us of the passion and determination that we saw in her eyes in 1994. If you haven’t heard Vanessa tell her story before, check her out at the KIPP Generations’ Groundbreaking last spring.

And somewhere in there, I shared our past, where we are today, and the work we still have left to do. Here’s what Jennifer Radcliffe wrote about the State of the Schools in the Houston Chronicle. Watch our highlight video of the event.

Thank you, Ajibola, Gema, Duncan, and Vanessa for believing and being the change.

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