CHARLOTTE – Jamie Brooks vowed to leaders at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools that she will make Ardrey Kell High School an environment “where diversity is celebrated and not just tolerated.”
CMS appointed Brooks to Ardrey Kell’s principal vacancy after David Switzer was moved following complaints about the school’s racial climate.
“As a member of the AK community, a parent in the AK community and a leader within this community, the last several months have been extremely heavy on my heart for so many reasons,” Brooks said during the July 21 school board meeting. “It is because of that heaviness and my commitment to equity that I sought out this position. I am fully dedicated to working together with all of you to help bring this amazing community back together as one.”
Brooks said her passion for equity and inclusion have driven her work at Community House Middle. She has served as principal there since 2008.
“I want you all to know that equity to me goes so much deeper than culture days and posters on walls,” Brooks told the school board.
She described equity as engaging in difficult conversations, confronting implicit biases and understanding that everyone’s stories are valid.
It’s also about acting on what all families need to feel valued and heard, Brooks explained. She gave several examples of this, including ensuring there are higher-level class opportunities, more diverse clubs and activities, and student or parent groups that reflect the diversity of the school community.
“I will work alongside all of you to create an environment where every student that walks across the graduation stage is not only prepared for life’s next challenges but also holds his or her head up high and truly believes that it is a great day to be a knight,” Brooks said.
Superintendent Earnest Winston said Brooks built a lot of solid relationships while at Community House Middle and leaves big shoes to fill at the school.
Bio: Jamie Brooks
Before joining Community House Middle School in 2008, Jamie Brooks worked as an assistant principal at Ardrey Kell High (2007-2008), Mint Hill Middle (2003-2007) and Northeast Middle (2000-2003). She began her career with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teaching at Carmel Middle School in 1994.