Romey Pittman, M.Ed., M.A., Founding Head of School
Founding Principal Romey Pittman’s educational journey has included a broad range of experiences, working in traditional public schools, charters, and alternative learning programs. She has been involved in the founding of six schools as a school leader or as a consultant/coach. She has engaged deeply with several innovative approaches to school structure and learning, including EL Education (Expeditionary Learning), Sudbury Schools, Place-Based Education, Glasser’s Choice Theory, and Montessori, as well as community mentoring programs like Baltimore’s Thread, drawing the best practices from each approach to form a coherent vision for an innovative high school in Annapolis.
Throughout her 25-year career in education, Pittman had wrestled with the stubborn problem of how to meet the motivational challenges and educational needs of youth who do not readily buy into the unwritten contract between students and schools: “We teachers will ‘pay’ you students with good grades and a diploma, if you do your seat time in the classes we assign to you and complete the exercises we tell you to do.” Since her thesis at Brown University, "Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication Between Black Students and White Teachers," she has understood that this failed contract is inextricably connected with questions of race, equity, and social justice in schools, and is a problem that resides in schools, not in the young people they are meant to serve.
After teaching at Suitland High School (PGCPS) in the early 90s, founding a Sudbury School in Upper Marlboro, working as a School Designer with EL Education, and serving as Academic Director of Southwest Baltimore Charter School, Pittman returned to the classroom at Annapolis High School in 2019 to re-immerse herself in a conventional public-school setting, coming home to Anne Arundel County to see what she could do to contribute to the complex issues surrounding motivation and education, race, and class. Being back in the classroom for the last four years sharpened her analysis of the challenges and clarified her vision of the solutions required to meet the needs of high school students, so many of whom are uninspired or disengaged. She is thrilled to be working with a stellar founding team and visionary partner organizations to create an innovative educational endeavor that inspires young people who are disillusioned with school to take charge of their own education and future through real-world learning that is supported, accountable, and individualized.