Announcing Our Newest Principals In Residence for Revive Prep

In 2022, Revive Prep, our newest school, will open its doors in Jackson, Mississippi. Once fully grown, Revive will serve kindergarten through eighth grade scholars. We are excited to announce that two incredible leaders, Dr. Trish Dean and Ms. Chelsea Williams, will start next year as principals in residence. Dr. Dean will be the elementary principal in residence and Ms. Williams will be the middle school principal in residence. Both women sat down with Megan Cole, our Associate Director of Marketing & Communications, to share a bit more about themselves and their visions for Revive.

Congratulations to you both! I know you both had a wide number of professional experiences before joining RePublic. What were some of those experiences?

Dr. Dean
I started out in the classroom as a fourth grade teacher and taught for four years in Jackson, Louisiana. After getting my master’s in counseling from Louisiana State University, I became a school counselor and served in that capacity for six years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  I received my doctorate from Louisiana State University in educational leadership.  For the last three years, I have been the Director of Student Supports for Smilow Prep.

Ms. Williams
After graduating from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s  in biology and psychology, I joined Teach for America, a program that aims to place teachers in low-income districts for a minimum of two years. I worked as a sixth, seventh, and eighth grade science teacher at Peeples Middle School in Jackson. I had full intentions of becoming a physician’s assistant after my Teach for America commitment, but fell in love with the education field and with Jackson. After three years in Jackson Public Schools, I served as a founding fifth grade STEM Teacher at Midtown Public Charter School while earning my master’s in public school leadership from Columbia University, Teachers College.

So knowing that you are both passionate about education and could work anywhere, what drew you to RePublic?

Ms. Williams
I was drawn into RePublic by its mission to “reimagine public education in the South.”  I was born and raised in southern Georgia and saw the inequity within the school system.  During my time in Jackson Public Schools, I realized that inequity in our school system is a direct result of system racism and oppression. It pained me to know that my scholars, who were capable of achieving excellence, were not receiving the education they deserved.  For three years, I watched my scholars work their hearts out to achieve academic excellence, only to be told by every part of society that they weren’t good enough because they were children of color. I knew I had to be a part of this team that was truly going to reimagine public education and work to dismantle the systems that hold our scholars back from realizing their full potential.

Dr. Dean
I was an educator in Louisiana for a decade, but I was looking forward to coming back home to Mississippi. I’m originally from West Point, but found a wonderful opportunity to be a part of RePublic in Jackson. Joining the Republic team made the transition smooth. Also, I appreciate RePublic’s mission of providing quality education to all students and their commitment to preparing them to go to the college of their choice. It’s been a dream come true to be part of an organization that truly puts kids and families first.

What roles have you had within RePublic?

Dr. Dean
I have been the Director of Student Supports for Smilow Prep for the last three years. I also serve on my school-based leadership team. As a Smilow leader, I’ve supported my school in meeting our literacy and student engagement goals. I also love my role in parent engagement. Parents are our biggest supporters, so I often meet with parents, listen to their concerns, and work with staff members to address their needs.

Ms. Williams
My first year with RePublic, I was a fifth grade science teacher and Grade Level Team Leader (GLTL) at Reimagine Prep. As a science teacher, I was able to double support our scholars to double their proficiency rates from the previous year and as GLTL, I led my team to continued excellence. I then moved into my role as one of the assistant principals where I coached all subjects. I utilized a data-driven approach to coaching that allowed teachers to specifically target scholars’ gaps and close them in order to ensure they were successful. I also worked to ensure that my teachers built strong relationships with one another and their scholars to make sure that we were all one the same page when it came to support our scholars with excellence.

Speaking of this new role, what are you most excited about?

Ms. Williams
As an assistant principal, I was humbled to be a part of a leadership team under Emmett Denson and Christina McDonald and to execute their vision of excellence.  As the founding principal at Revive Prep, I am excited to be able to be able to execute my own vision of excellence for scholars and to rally a team to work collectively to make that vision a reality.  At Revive, we will work tirelessly to make sure our scholars receive an excellent education driven by data and to build strong relationships with our scholars and their families to ensure that we are doing everything possible to push 100 percent of our scholars to be their best. We want our scholars to be self-confident in their ability to grow and learn, both academically and personally. We want our families to know that we encourage our scholars to be their best because we love them.

Dr. Dean
Becoming the founding principal of Revive provides me with the opportunity to continue to serve families in Mississippi. I have an unwavering belief that all kids deserve an excellent education, and they are more than capable of excellence. This role places me in the unique position to build a culture that fosters strong pride in self and the community, pursuing academic excellence, and promotes social and emotional development. The biggest difference in serving as the Founding Principal of Revive and Director of Student Supports is that I will lead the charge in creating a school that focuses on students and their families. It is my job to ensure staff, students, and familiars have a safe and positive experience at Revive.

I know you are both excited about your respective school levels. So why elementary school Dr.Dean and why middle school Ms. Williams?

Dr. Dean
My career in education started in elementary. I’ve always been drawn to K-5 because it provided fresh opportunities to teach students the basic skills of learning. I love how their minds work and how excited they get when learning new things. I know having a strong start in elementary school is important and helps prepare them for middle, high school, and beyond.

Ms. Williams
My entire education career has taken place with middle schoolers and they hold a special place in my heart. Middle school is such a pivotal time in scholars’ academic and personal lives. Academically, middle schoolers have to build upon their elementary foundation of knowledge as they explore concepts on a deeper level. In their personal lives, middle schoolers are coming into their own personality and it’s a point where they start to define their own set of core values and beliefs. Supporting scholars though these changes, both academically and personally, is vital to their success in high school, college, and beyond.

Last but not least, what is one thing you want to say to the future Revive Prep families?

Ms. Williams
Thank you for entrusting us with the most important people in your life, your children.  This is not something we take lightly. Our families are a vital part of our support system at Revive and we will work as a team to make sure your child is successful.  There may be times when we don’t see eye-to-eye, but I promise that we will always do what is best for your children and we will ensure that all of our scholars make it to the college of their choice.

Dr. Dean
The Revive family extends beyond teachers and staff. YOU make our Revive family complete. I look forward to you joining our team and making Revive a part of your scholar’s education. I’m so excited to meet you and your scholar!

en_USEnglish