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September 30, 2020
KIPP Massachusetts Appoints Rhonda Barnes as Exec. Director
Rhonda Barnes
Rhonda Barnes

June 28, 2020 — KIPP Massachusetts, a Lynn-based nonprofit that is part of a national network of college preparatory, public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students, recently announced that Rhonda “Nikki” Barnes has been named executive director.

Barnes succeeds Caleb Dolan, who decided to step down after serving as executive director of KIPP Massachusetts for the past 10 years.

Barnes, who joined KIPP Massachusetts in 2013, has more than 20 years of classroom experience in elementary, middle, and high school, as well as 10 years of experience working in education nonprofit organizations.

“Nikki has proven herself time and time again as an exceptional educator, manager, advocate, strategist, and leader," said board chair Amanda Seider. "Her focus on equity, critical consciousness, and anti-racist approaches to education will take our work to the next level, and push us all to be the very best we can be in service of students and families.”

Barnes joined KIPP Massachusetts as a sixth grade teacher at KIPP Academy Boston, became dean of students in 2014, and principal in 2015. Under her leadership, the organization said, KIPP Academy Boston experienced some of the highest student growth in the state of Massachusetts, including some of the best performance in reading growth on the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment in the KIPP national network.

Most recently, Barnes served as chief schools officer of KIPP Massachusetts, supporting its five school principals. Nikki will be the first black woman to serve as executive director of KIPP Massachusetts.

Her work with nonprofit organizations has focused on teacher quality issues and minority community outreach, including overseeing a multi-million dollar partnership with The Tom Joyner Foundation to increase the number of fully licensed teachers of color in high minority, high poverty districts.

Barnes is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic University (and Virginia Commonwealth University, where her graduate research around Teacher Leadership led to the creation of the VCU Center for Teacher Leadership.

KIPP Massachusetts currently operates five schools KIPP Academy Lynn Middle School, KIPP Academy Lynn Elementary School, and KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate in Lynn, and KIPP Academy Boston Middle School and KIPP Academy Boston Elementary in Boston. Its staff of 300 serves 2,000 students.

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