Blog and News

October 7, 2020

KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools Leadership Announcement

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Dear KIPP Friends,

Kinnari Patel-Smyth

I will begin this note with gratitude. 2020 has been an unprecedented year, unlike any in my 21 years in education. Our team has come together in new and different ways, we’ve launched virtual school, supported our community, and navigated the world amidst two pandemicsCOVID-19 and systemic racism which has plagued our country since its inception. I am incredibly honored to lead such a tremendous organization and am so proud of our team and family. I feel a range of emotions as I share with you all that this will be my last year at KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools. I plan to remain through the end of this school year and will be transitioning to the KIPP Foundation as President. In this role, I will support Executive Directors across the country and lead the national K-16 team. I’m excited to share all of the wonderful work that is taking place here at KIPP Metro Atlanta, as well as lift up the strengths from our KIPP cousins across the country, and help radiate them from coast to coast. Together, I know we will go further, faster. You can read more about this announcement and other KIPP Foundation updates here

Mini’imah Shaheed

I am overjoyed to share that Mini’imah Shaheed will be stepping into the role of Chief Executive Officer at KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools in the spring of 2021. She completed an interview process, where she shared her five-year vision and 90-day plan, with our governing board and the KIPP Foundation last week. For the remainder of this year, she will complete a CEO Residency, working side-by-side with me, and learning from other regional leaders, to ensure a smooth and seamless transition. Mini’imah has the leadership experience, energy, commitment, and creativity to lead our region through this next phase. As a Black woman, mother, and lifelong educator she brings equity, wisdom, and love to every decision. In 2012, Mini’imah founded KIPP STRIVE Primary School, our region’s first elementary school and led there as principal for five years before expanding her impact as our Chief Schools Officer. As an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Agnes Scott College, and Howard University’s Urban Superintendents Academy – now in her 19th year as an educator, she is right and so ready for this role. I am proud Mini’imah will be our first Black CEO and one of eight Black women CEOs across the KIPP network. She is exactly what we need as we create and implement our 2025 strategic plan. 

I look forward to closing out my last year strong, keeping the promises we have made to over 5,000 families this school year. I have always said that KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools is the best place to work because of our team and family, which includes each and every one of our partners in this work. I know we will help fulfill our mission with your support. Together with families and communities, we will create joyful, academically excellent schools that prepare students with the skills and confidence to pursue the paths they choose – college, career, and beyond – so they can lead fulfilling lives and build a more just world. I’m excited to stay within the KIPP community and I’m grateful knowing you will be in excellent hands with Mini’imah and our team.


With Gratitude,

Kinnari Patel-Smyth