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WMST PCHS Welcomes New Head of School in Mark T. Holbrook
Kortni Stafford joins school’s leadership team as Vice Principal


Washington, D.C. (August 15, 2008) -- Washington Mathematics Science Technology Public Charter High School, a leading charter school in the Nation’s Capitol, announced today the hiring of Mark T. Holbrook as head of school, with Kortni Stafford joining the school’s leadership team as vice principal of academics.

Holbrook takes the place of Floyd Gilmore, longtime WMST PCHS principal who successfully led the school to meeting the school’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals for 2006-2008. Stafford replaces Barbara Birchette, who is retiring like Gilmore.

“We thank Floyd and Barbara for their years of dedicated services to our staff, families and students,” said James “Mitch” Mitchell, chairman of the WMST PCHS board of trustees. “They raised the standards of our school and successfully led us through the purchase of our current school property.”

A second generation Washingtonian, Mark T. Holbrook was educated through the Fairfax County Public School system. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1994 with a B.S. in Biology. He earned a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Virginia Tech in 2004.

Mark served as a biology teacher and football coach in Fairfax County. While teaching at Mt. Vernon High School, he worked with a team of teachers from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology to customize an integrated biology and English curriculum focused on a wetland theme. In 2001, he developed a successful leadership program for 9th and 10th grade African American males that focused on increasing academic achievement, raising self-esteem and improving self-confidence and self-awareness.

In 2002 Mark initiated the development of an after-school SOL review program that focused on preparing all biology students collectively for assessments. In 2005 he became an adjunct professor at George Mason University where he taught Educating Diverse Populations and developed a curriculum that introduced the foundations and developments of Multicultural Education, Special Education, English as a Second Language and Gifted and Talented programs. 

Coming full circle, subsequent to earning his Master’s degree, Holmbrook served as assistant principal at Thomas A. Edison High School in Alexandria, Va.., the same school where he began his teaching career.

Stafford grew up in Prince Georges County, Md., and she received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Maryland. She supervises a teaching staff of 35 at WMST PCHS, coming to the school after teaching Life Sciences at Oceanside Middle School in Oceanside, Calif., for three years. She also taught Biology for a year at Oceanside High School in Oceanside, Calif., and Biology for two years at Suitland High School in Suitland, Md.

As a volunteer College Bound San Diego teacher, Stafford from 2006-2008 helped develop and teach a curriculum designed to increase college readiness, awareness of black history, and financial management to African American junior high and high school students in San Diego County.