You’ve never heard a story like Mitchell’s. I stumbled across it while eagerly scavenging for glimmers of leadership in America and what I found was a storm of human virtue. In
the strictest terms, without a touch of hyperbole, within Mitchell I was exposed to raw
examples of human resilience, bravery, wisdom and deep love. If you are interested in the question: “How is real change and success generated in the grimmest of circumstances?” I invite you to keep reading. This website will detail that process and provide information about how you can become a part of it.
Mitchell Elementary School, located in South West Philadelphia,
opened in 1918. Its students have always come from gritty backgrounds. Many can’t afford the basics necessary for students to be able learn (like breakfast, or notebooks). Over its 100 years, Mitchell Elementary has evolved into far more than a school: its staff has taken it upon themselves to provide the precious stability all require and which so many of their students can’t get at home.
Due to an unfortunate mess of conditions, South West Philadelphia is an oddly ignored bit of Philadelphia. Its population is among the poorest in the city, and its education funding is the lowest and always the first to be cut. For much of its past Mitchell, had been barely functional despite the continual and extreme dedication of its teaching staff.
In 2015 things took a dramatic turn for the better with the appointment of Principal Stephanie Andrewlevich (“Ms. A”). Ms. A has a genius for leadership and she knows exactly how to run a school. Her energy, creativity and resilience are inexhaustible. Once she has set her mind and heart to a project she will see it through. What she saw in Mitchell was not pretty: it was the ugly reality of unrealized potential. Most, after glimpsing the darker parts of bleak fate, would have walked away.
Ms. A liked the challenge. She was struck by
the dedication of the staff (many of whom have been at Mitchell for years, expending their own money, time and emotional energy on the community they love) and knew she could do good at Mitchell. So she decided to stay and do what she has been trained to: fix it.
Since her appointment, Ms. A has rescued her school from hemorrhaging. Explore this website to familiarize yourself with what she has accomplished and find out how you can help her and the rest of the Mitchell Family.
*To develop motivated, and engaged students in interactive classrooms
*To keep levels of energy and passion
*To have supportive teachers with seamless classroom routines
*To have involved parents
*To have an involved community
*To prepare students to be life-long learners
*To prepare students to be able to succeed in the 21st century
*To prepare students to be responsible citizens
Below is the email Ms. A sent out to her staff, welcoming me into their home