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Crystal Palmero Ward’s passion to create the schools and systems that allow all children to reach their individual excellence brings her to Transcend as a doctoral resident on the Dream & Discover team.

Crystal started her career in Washington, DC as a 6th grade science and social studies teacher. Though many kids thrived in her classroom, she witnessed students entangled in unfair disciplinary policies that negatively impacted their grades, investment and self-esteem. This drove her to leadership as the founding dean of culture of Achievement First Endeavor Elementary. Crystal’s school gained network and regional recognition for exceptional academic achievement, parent satisfaction, and high teacher retention. Due to strong results at Endeavor, Crystal was promoted to oversee strategy, vision, and implementation of culture across 32 schools and 3 states as the Director of School Culture.

Crystal holds a B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, a M.A.T. from American University, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Education Leadership Program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.