At Challenge Charter Schools, we have a number of staff members in support roles to help our scholars and teachers do their very best. Recently, I had the chance to learn more about K-5 Assistant Principal, Jasmine Shepherd and her unique role at Challenge Prep. Shepherd’s own growth through education and mentorship have taught her the value of hard work and perseverance, and she brings those qualities to her work each day.
Messer: In your role as Director of Curriculum and Instruction, what are some of your daily activities, and how do they benefit the school/scholars/teachers?
Shepherd: I work very closely with teachers by providing them with daily feedback on lesson plans, execution of their instruction, and by deep diving into our curriculum to ensure that teachers understand our curriculum and know the benefits of our program. In addition to coaching and developing teachers, I spend a lot of time researching best teaching practices and preparing professional development sessions to further advance our staff in their craft. The more confident our teachers feel with lesson planning, lesson executing, and understanding our curriculum the more our scholars will benefit.
Messer: Name a person who was a positive influence on your career and why/what they did to help you?
Shepherd: My mentor who is currently a principal of a middle/high school in Queens has had a positive influence on my career as he has planted strong leadership seeds in me and has supported me through some of the toughest moments in my career. Through his mentorship I've learned to persevere and to work hard for what I want. I've learned from my mentor that there is nothing too hard to achieve as long as I put my mind and heart to it I can achieve it.
Messer: What excites you most about education?
Shepherd: Being able to see my growth as an intellectual excites me most about education. I've come such a long way to where I am now, simply because I had a great education and have chosen to continue with furthering my education. Education has also allowed me to visit many places through my imagination. I am able to have intellectual conversations with my counterparts about many different topics because of the many things that education has exposed me to.
Messer: What is your favorite hobby or one thing that people might be surprised about you?
Shepherd: I enjoy going food shopping. Food shopping is therapeutic to me as I go through each aisle of my local supermarket looking for great deals on items that my family enjoys eating. I could spend two hours walking up and down the aisles of my supermarket.