Faren D’Abell, an award-winning school principal from Chicago, will be the next principal for One City Elementary School in Madison.
“We brought somebody in that’s very impressive and somebody that we feel can take us to that next level quickly and will help us build out our team and create a base for scaling the model of One City going forward because we plan on helping more kids,” Kaleem Caire, founder and CEO of One City Schools, tells Madison365. “We were specifically looking for someone who could help us grow the model. We have no time to wait for our kids.”
D’Abell was a founding teacher, International Baccalaureate (IB) coordinator and principal of Frazier International Magnet School, Chicago’s first 90/90/90 school (90%+ students receiving free and reduced lunch, 90%+ being members of a minority group, and 90%+ meeting and exceeding state standards). While D’Abell was principal, Frazier International was honored with the prestigious National Blue-Ribbon Schools Award. D’Abell was also principal at National Heritage Academies in Detroit.
“His resume is impressive. When you do a 90/90/90 school in Chicago, that’s huge. He’s been a teacher, IB coordinator and then a principal in a school like that which really impressed us,” Caire says. “Then, to go to Detroit and doing something very similar there in a short period of time … that was impressive.”
D’Abell was a member of U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s bi-partisan educational advisory board and advised Congressman Danny Davis on several occasions including at the Congressional Black Caucus forum on educating Black youth, according to a press release from One City. D’Abell is a seasoned data analyst, a former research fellow at the Chicago Foundation for Education, founder of the Chicago Young Men’s Group, a winner of Midwest Magnet School Teacher of the Year, Office of New Schools Teacher of Excellence, and a speaker at local and national conferences on backward design, school improvement, International Baccalaureate, and assessment.
“We’ve got someone with a background in creating systems of success within schools and really addressing curriculum and instruction and the teaching of teachers … all in one person,” Caire says. “And he’s also a very worldly man. He wants to be a part of something that will really grow. I talked to peers of mine in the Chicagoland area and he has a great reputation.”
D’Abell’s official start date will be Monday, June 22 as he begins to work with the elementary school team, support staff and executive team on plans for the 2020-21 school year. He will succeed founding One City Principal Bryan Grau.