Jamar McKneeley

Founding Member

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My educational philosophy is derived from Marian Wright Edelman’s special quote: “The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child; it is whether we can afford not to”.  I earned both a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Southern University in Baton Rouge. Prior to becoming an educator, I worked in the field of finance as a budget analyst for two non-profit organizations in Baton Rouge. After serving for seven years as a teacher and Assistant Principal at Edna Karr High School, I transitioned to the position of Principal of Alice Harte Charter School. In 2013, together with the principal of a nearby high school, I formed InspireNOLA charter schools, a new Charter Management Organization in New Orleans focusing on educating the youth of our city. Currently InspireNOLA manages two schools, Alice Harte Charter School and Edna Karr High School, which are two of the top performing charter schools in New Orleans.

Under my leadership, Alice Harte and its students experienced great success, including: increased School Performance Score by 25 points; improved structure and discipline; matriculated all 2011-2012 eighth grade students to the top five performing high schools in New Orleans; fulfilled 22 out of 24 school-wide assessment goals set from 2010-2012; ranked in top 10% of schools in New Orleans; earned a Value-Added score of 5 for academic growth; incorporated a belief that all students can achieve levels of basic or above on all state test and DIBELS; and added an Academic Games and student leadership program. Over the last five years Alice Harte was ranked as a top five charter school in New Orleans. For the 2013-2014 school year Alice Harte was ranked as an A school and top gain school proving that students with high-poverty can excel.

As Executive Director of InspireNOLA, I currently manage two of the highest performing open-admission schools in New Orleans and focus on creating a pipeline for leadership, supervising administrative and instructional personnel, establishing a clear vision for the organization’s mission and goals and branding the new CMO. For the 2013-2014 school year InspireNOLA charter schools was ranked as an top performing charter management organization.

Every day I am reminded of our shared purpose of inspiring the lives of children in the city we serve.