End of Year Newsletter: Improving Year After Year
This will be one of the last times that I have the opportunity to write to our school community as the CEO of Foundation Academies. Normally, when a leader writes the “departure letter”, they look back and list ways the organization has progressed under his/her leadership, and how far the organization has come.
But as I think about how far we have come as an organization over the past 13 years, I truly have mixed feelings.
For starters, we are an organization with a deep commitment to improving year after year. I can say that each and every year, we got better and stronger in some way. And for that I am incredibly proud.
But thinking back also makes me sad! And not in a nostalgic way. It makes me sad because when I think about how far we have come, WE SHOULD NOT HAVE HAD TO!
We should not have had to operate in buildings with no air conditioning!
We should not have had to have physical education – and lunch, and assemblies – in the cafegymatorium!
We should not have had to scratch and save to afford the facilities that our kids deserve!
Teachers should not have had to cover lots and lots of classes due to teacher shortages and inequitable funding between traditional public schools and public charter schools!
We should not have had to advocate with political figures, just to stay open, on top of all of our other responsibilities!
We should not have had to bus our children 30 minutes away because we did not have access to a practice field.
I could go on and on…
But please don’t mistake my list above as complaining. I have a deep appreciation for every second I spent serving our amazing students.
I hope we are moving toward a future where all black and brown students don’t have to “come so far over the years.” A future where quality schools that our kids deserve are the norm and not viewed as such an exceptional accomplishment!
As I reflect on all we’ve accomplished together, I am confident that our future is bright under Mrs. McRae’s leadership. I know the senior leadership team will continue to blossom, so that in another 13 years –2035– Foundation Academies will be even better than it is today. I know that our amazing Board of Trustees will continue guiding our organization to thrive. But most of all, I have absolute faith in our alumni, to return as leaders and “be the change they want to see.”
My work at Foundation Academies has easily been the most rewarding, while also the most challenging experience of my professional career. I can only hope that my actions over the past thirteen years have demonstrated my deep love for the Trenton community and all of the students I have had the privilege and honor to serve. I hope that I have led by my actions and that my core values have been evident in the schools. I can assure you that I have always done my very best to uplift our community to ensure they got the education that they deserve.
I do believe we have made an impact on education beyond the specific students we serve daily. Our students continue to raise the bar for educational expectations in our city. We showed what all Trenton scholars can achieve if given the right supports.
It’s so rewarding to see the progress we’ve made together. Every year, we are getting a little bit better. That’s been the most fulfilling for me. And I know that’s going to continue – because that’s who we are at Foundation Academies.
Read All Our End-of-Year Newsletter Articles
Letter from the CEO: Improving Year After Year
Congratulations to Class of 22! Senior Signing Day June 8
New – but Familiar – Faces to Lead Primary School
New FA Board Members Bring Expertise
Don’t Miss FA Night at Trenton Thunder June 17
Mark your calendar for these end-of-year school events
Helpful resources for FAmilies
Check out Foundation Academies News
Graig Weiss served as the Chief Executive Officer of Foundation Academies from 2014-2022. He began 5 years before as Middle School Principal. A 2003 Teach for America corps member, Mr. Weiss taught Math and Science in the Bronx and the Dominican Republic prior to becoming an administrator and was selected as Teacher of the Year in 2007.
Prior to entering the education field, Mr. Weiss worked in the financial services sector with Cambridge Associates, LLC in Boston, MA. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Science in Teaching from Fordham University, and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from the University of Scranton.