Pam Duffy, School Administrator at New Branches School in Grand Rapids, MI discusses some of the many challenges the children at her school face, such as inadequate sleep, food, and care; lack of books and too much television; and a lack of prior knowledge. The first week of school all children are assessed and given a lot of one-on-one instruction as necessary. The school aims to attack problems as early as possible. Duffy also talks about collaborating with other school leaders so she is not isolated in her one school.

Ms. Duffy is the School Administrator at New Branches Public School Academy. She has been involved in education for over 25 years. Ms. Duffy holds a Master’s Degree from Western MI University in Educational Leadership and undergraduate degrees from Lake Superior State University. Prior to becoming the principal in 2005, Pam taught third grade for 15 years. Under her direction, New Branches School has been recognized as one of 50 charter schools in MI with increased MEAP scores for free/ reduced lunch students.

Quote: “We need to take children where they are and get them where they need to be. A big part of accomplishing this task is caring about each child as an individual.”