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Meet the 2023-24 DC Principal-in-Residence Cohort

We are excited to highlight the 2023-24 Principal-in-Residence cohort! Each of these tremendous leaders has spent many years teaching and leading students and will now participate in this program to prepare them to assume the role of school leader within the next few years.

Lauren Hilliard

Shauna Ford, Principal in ResidenceLauren joined DC in January 2023 as a Floating Administrator at Lead Academy and is excited to be joining the Lead community as an vice principal next school year. Before joining the DC team, Lauren served as Principal, Assistant Principal and Dean of Students for two charter schools in Washington, D.C., and Northern California. During her time as a school leader, she focused on building a strong, positive school culture which helped her school in California school become one of the highest performing schools in the district it serves. Lauren is from the DMV area and is happy to be back in Washington DC, the city that she calls home. Lauren began her career as a DC Teaching Fellow, serving as a member of the Early Childhood/Elementary cohort. Lauren received her undergraduate degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management & Criminal Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University and earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Educational Leadership from American University.

Raymond Crenshaw

Raymond Crenshaw , DC Principal-in-ResidenceRaymond Crenshaw is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. Raymond has had a love for education since graduating from Berea College with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 2012. Raymond is committed to being the best educator possible and expanded his knowledge by receiving a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration from American University in 2015. Currently residing in Washington, DC, Raymond is entering his 11th year at DC. Throughout his journey with DC, Raymond has served in a variety of roles. From his start as a Capital Teaching Resident, he has been a lead teacher, grade level chair, family engagement coordinator, Dean of Students, and now serves as the founding Vice-Principal at Inspire Academy. Throughout his career Raymond has stayed committed to creating a strong foundation for his students that is rooted in cultural relevance and outrageous love. Outside of his passion for education, Raymond enjoys spending time with his amazing friends, shopping, traveling, and a hot plate of soul food. Raymond is excited to embark on this new chapter as a Principal in Residence.

Darrell Brown

Darrell Brown,  DC Principal in ResidenceDarrell Brown is highly regarded for his boldness, uniqueness, and vision. He is a visionary who has been supporting students and educators for almost a decade. He uses his passion for the performing arts and his love for children to help create learning environments where students and teachers can grow and nurture their gifts and a place, they feel safe and valued. Darrell started his educational career teaching music and is now a Vice Principal at DC AIM Academy.

Darrell graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Music Education. He holds 2 Master’s Degrees: Master of Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Teaching. Besides working with students and teachers, Darrell loves Jesus, singing and candy!

 

Lakisha Robinson-Steward

Lakisha Steward,  DC Principal in ResidenceLakisha Robinson-Steward is a native Washingtonian who currently serves as a Vice Principal at DC’s newest ECE campus, Pride Academy. Lakisha started her journey as a parent volunteer at DC: Discover Academy and went on to serve as a Prekindergarten-3 assistant teacher. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Trinity Washington University, she worked as a Prekindergarten-4 lead teacher. In 2018, in her second year as a lead teacher, Lakisha was awarded Teacher of the Year in recognition of her hard work, dedication, consistency, and promotion of a positive and warm classroom culture.

In the years to come, Lakisha went on to become the Dean of Instruction at Discover Academy and earned her Master of Science in Administration from Trinity Washington University in 2021.

Lakisha describes herself as a growth-oriented, passionate, and devoted teacher and advocate of our community’s youngest students. She believes in supporting, nurturing, and prioritizing the whole child including the mind, heart, and their individual stories. Throughout her experience in Education, Lakisha has become equally passionate about supporting, coaching, and motivating teachers. She believes that the more we develop loving, intentional, knowledgeable, and consistent teachers, the greater the positive impact will be on the lives of our students and future leaders. Outside of school, Lakisha is a wife, mother, and lover of books, journaling, food, and binge-watching TV. She also enjoys spending time with her close friends and thrifting on the weekends. Lakisha is beyond thrilled to begin on her new journey as a Principal in Residence!

Shauna Ford


Lauren Hillard,  DC Principal in ResidenceShauna Ford is currently a vice principal at DC Honor Academy. She relocated from her hometown of Philadelphia, PA to Washington D.C in 2021 to join the DC family. Ms. Ford was educated in the Philadelphia Public School System. As a young adult, her family strongly suggested that she pursue a career in education because of her obvious love for learning. Before her teaching career began, she devoted nearly two decades of her life to children and families from the inner city in out-of-school time programs, early childhood development, mentorship and even juvenile corrections. She decided to obtain her teaching certification from Temple University (Philadelphia, PA).

In 2013, Ms. Ford made the decision to take her talents to Mastery Charter Schools. It was during this time that she honed her teaching craft. As a founding teacher at Thomas Elementary School, she repeatedly served as grade team lead, content lead for Writing and Literacy, served on the Teacher Leadership Council and Racial Empowerment Collaborative, piloted and subsequently taught the Second Step social-emotional curriculum, and emerged as a well-rounded leader.

After several years of service, she made the difficult, yet careful decision to expand her impact by leaving the classroom and pursuing school leadership. She became a culture leader and served as a Dean of Students, then as an Assistant Principal of School Culture. Later, her role would evolve to include school culture, instructional leadership and coaching as Assistant Principal of Instruction. In 2021, Shauna Ford joined DC because her own core values were so aligned with those of DC and it’s mission, the relocation to Washington, D.C. was a no-brainer.

Ms. Ford presently resides in Washington D.C. She is the proud mother of one daughter. When she is not at work, she can be found Geocaching, traveling, working on her novel or scribing poetry.

Learn more about school leadership roles at DC!

Posted on June 13, 2023 in Awards & Recognition

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