Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Katrina Mallory.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m a simple small town country girl from a family of five that was blessed to have the best parents in the world. Education was always important in my household as a child, both of my parents graduated from high school, and I was the first in my family to attend and graduate from college. I am a native of Alachua, Florida and received my Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, my Master of Science degree in Instructional Technology from Georgia State University, and my Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. Having a strong educational foundation in both your personal and professional life is very important to me in a number of significant ways! I knew that the level of success I was seeking to achieve depended on the level of education I received and having the doctoral degree played a major role in the opportunities I’ve been afforded.
I am no stranger to the academic world and have been employed in the state of Georgia since 1992 as a Vice President of Academic Affairs, an Academic Dean, Associate Professor, Elementary Principal, Elementary Assistant Principal, 4th & 5th Grade Educator, and Education Consultant in public and higher education institutions. I currently serve as the Founder of Vision Architects Executive Consulting Firm and the Stone Preparatory Academy Charter School.
My journey began as an elementary school teacher working in an under-served Atlanta community and low performing school. Within a couple of years I became an Elementary Principal and was very successful. Both of my schools were recognized by the Georgia Department of Education and received the “Georgia Title I Distinguished School” Award and “Adequate Yearly Progress School” Award from 2000 to 2006. However, while serving as a principal, I faced a lot of obstacles trying to make sure my students were successful and became very frustrated. Unfortunately, my frustrations as a principal became my reality when I became a mother that was looking for high quality education schools in my community for my own children. Those frustrations empowered me to open my own charter school and become an education advocate. For years, I have volunteered with GeorgiaCan engaging local stakeholders—from community members to policy makers—to advocate for student success throughout the entire public education systemat the Georgia State Capitol. The ultimate goal of my efforts and passion is to make sure every family has access to a great school in their community.
My mission as an educator and consultant is 3-fold:
• To provide high quality education options characterized by high student achievementto all families regardless of where their zip code;
• To transform underserved, low-income schools and communities; and
• To promote educational equality through our schools, families and communities to work collaboratively to “Build Better Communities, Through Education”.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road to “success” has not been a smooth one and I have definitely experienced some bumps on my journey. Being agile and having the ability to adapt has to be a part of anyone’s life that is willing to grow. Planning and preparation is key and being able to adjust to those bumps have helped me grow personally and professionally. I had to remain flexible, don’t’ panic, and welcome the opportunities that led me down an “alternate route.” I also had to be fearless, willing to take big risks and get to a point in my life where I didn’t let the unknown throw me off my game. Once I was able to focus on my goal to build a career that would bring me great fulfillment, I was determined to work towards building that career and succeed!
Please tell us about Stone Preparatory Academy Charter School.
Stone Preparatory Academy Charter School is a free public charter school that will serve scholars in grades K-8th. We are proposing to open in Decatur, Georgia in August 2021 and will submit a petition to the DeKalb County School System and Georgia Charter School Commission in April 2020.
Stone Preparatory Academy Charter School’s model is founded on research-based ESTEAM (Entrepreneurship +Science + Technology +Engineering +Arts + Math) strategies that have been successful in raising student achievement nationwide. Our innovative education model fosters learning in all curricular areas, thus, preparing self-reliant scholars with academic and core artistic skills, and entrepreneurial knowledge so they can pursue their personal, social, and economic passions. Using our model, ESTEAM scholars will be equipped with math and 21st-century skills proficiency in communication, critical thinking, technology, and financial literacy. They will also develop technology skills through the use of digital tools in unique ways to extend learning and gain exposure to business opportunities and careers within the STEAM fields.
The vision for Stone Preparatory Academy is to provide the highest quality educational experience through a project-based curriculum, which prepares scholars to succeed in a global economy.
The mission of Stone Preparatory Academy is:
- To Educate and ensure excellent achievement for each child in academic and core artistic skills and entrepreneurial processes;
- To Provide a learning environment that promotes independence and fosters excitement for learning; and
- To Cultivate mental acuity and strong character so that all students are prepared for a lifetime of success beyond their scholastic endeavors.
Through established curricular pathways in Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and the Arts, the school seeks to close achievement gaps by implementing a comprehensive academic and art model that incorporates the Georgia Standards of Excellence, STEAM standards, and elements of personalized, blended, and project-based learning with entrepreneurship education.
Why Stone Prep? We are proposing to be the first school in the state of Georgia that provides this type of model to elementary students on a daily basis. The Entrepreneurship mindset incorporates many of the things STEAM education aims to teach. Without a global understanding, perseverance, knowledge of markets and audiences, much creativity and genius could be lost. Entrepreneurship is the underpinning of all STEAM education and can be seamlessly incorporated to produce a well-rounded scholar that will be ready to tackle the challenges of the real world. Even if a scholar is not interested in a direct STEAM field, he or she can be an entrepreneur and possess entrepreneurial mindsets and skills that will benefit him/her in ANY field and occupation. Stone Prep believes that early exposure to this methodology ensures that scholars are critical thinkers, innovators, and college and career ready.
The Benefits of Exposing K-5th Grade Students To STEAM and Entrepreneurship Lessons includes:
• Exposing students to the creative process
• Offering meaningful collaboration
• Increasing critical thinking
• Providing unique ways to solve problems
• Giving all students hands-on learning experiences
• Encouraging all students to explore Entrepreneurship
Principles and STEAM fields
• Showing all students different ways to value the arts
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory would be riding on the family’s horses Big Ben and Smokie with my father through the back dirt roads in my small little country hometown of Alachua, Florida on a beautiful clear day.
- Address: 4650 Flat Shoals Parkway
Decatur, Georgia 30034
- Website: www.stoneprepk8.com
- Phone: 404.244.8813
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: Stone Preparatory Academy Charter School
- Twitter: @stoneprepk8
Stone Preparatory Academy Charter School, Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy in Atlanta Public Schools, Morehouse School of Medicine, Educational Outreach and Health Careers, MSM T.A.G. Academy ESTEAM Pilot Program’s 2018 Market Day Experience, Youth Entrepreneurs Program, Reality Tech 2018 STEM Conference, Oak View Elementary School