In the early 2000s Katie Eichman, Karen Hughes, Will McKenna, Mike Morgan, and Pat Njenga began working together at Waverly Elementary School, in Baltimore City. Waverly was part of a network of struggling schools, created by Carmen Russo, the Baltimore City Public Schools CEO at the time. Russo gave special attention to these schools, providing each of them with a pathway to additional resources and the space and autonomy to work. Most of the schools in this little district were very successful. A few of them—Waverly, William Paca, Bay Brook—represent some of the best examples of school improvement in this city in the last 30 years.
The experiences Katie, Karen, Mike, Pat and Will had together at Waverly inspired them to found Afya Baltimore Inc. in 2007 and start charter schools in Baltimore. Together they opened Afya Public Charter School in 2008, Tunbridge Public Charter School in 2010, and Brehms Lane Public Charter School in 2016.
Over the years, our schools have changed in many ways. We’ve changed the curriculum. We’ve changed our names. We’ve renovated and remade our school buildings. We’ve had thousands of students develop a love of learning and move on to the high school of their choice. This group has remained constant. Each of them still works in our schools today. Each of them is still fully committed to our mission—the mission they created together back in 2007, the mission we now call The Afya Way. Our founders remain our foundation.
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