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Dr. Crystal Palmero Ward believes in the unbounded potential of all children and is dedicated to creating the schools and systems that ensure all children reach their individual excellence and fulfill their most audacious dreams. Crystal’s fire for educational justice was ignited after attending an elite private school for high school after 10 years in public schools across the country. In prep school she witnessed and experienced the life-altering differences of America’s intentionally inequitable designed school system. After college, 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 in Brooklyn, NY. Crystal’s school gained network and regional recognition for exceptional student achievement, parent satisfaction, and high teacher retention. Due to strong results, Crystal was promoted to oversee strategy, vision, and implementation of culture across 32 schools and 3 states as the Director of School Culture. Currently, Crystal is a School Design Partner at Transcend.

Crystal holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from American University, and a Doctorate in Education Leadership from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.