Patrick Pope: Person of the Year
Former Hardy Middle School principal Patrick Pope last week was named "Person of the Year" by Washington Examiner columnist Jonetta Rose Barras.
"He was booted [by former chancellor Michelle Rhee] out of Hardy Middle School, which he had built into a high-performing institution. Then, he was forced to sit for months in a central-office cubicle before being shipped to what some described as Siberia: a struggling school east of the Anacostia River that had ripped through several administrative leaders," Barras wrote.
Patrick Pope was expected to quit. Instead, he has turned the tiny elementary from a troubled under-achiever to an award-winning success that was recently given a $500,000 federal grant to develop an arts program like the one Pope built at Hardy.
D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans tried to fix the DCPS blunder that amounts to a huge loss for Hardy and Georgetown. He bravely introduced legislation to reinstate Pope, but current schools chancellor Kaya Henderson adamantly refused. Barras' poignant column is the latest evidence that Evans did the right thing. As more Georgetown children graduate from respected Hyde-Addison and look for middle school options, perhaps Georgetown parents will follow the lead of longtime community leaders like ANCs Bill Starrels and Ed Solomon and push harder for Pope's return...