Brian King, Liberation Academy

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

This interview is a part of TARA's Visionary School Founder Series where we highlight the vision, innovation & strides that school founders have made in education. Do you know a school founder who deserves a shout-out? Email to nominate!

Founding Principal: Brian King

School: Liberation Academy

Location: Atlanta, GA

Brian King was born and raised in the metropolitan area of Detroit, MI. He attended Eastern Michigan University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Language, Literature and Writing. Mr. King also attended the University of Michigan and completed his Masters of Arts in Secondary Education. Brian began his career as an English teacher. He would later move into school leadership. As a leader, Mr. King held roles as an Instructional Coach, Principal-In-Residence, Dean of Students, and Assistant Principal.

Brian was raised to believe that education changes lives. Life and career have also taught him that a quality education can provide generational change for a student and their family.

Liberation Academy is a free public charter school that focuses on creating unique experiences for students in grades 5-8 that empower them to think critically about the world and themselves. LA will welcome students for the first time in the fall of 2022. Learn more about enrolling your student at Liberation Academy!

What is your unique approach to K-12 education? What makes your school different in terms of method?

“Our school prioritizes rigor, relevance, and exposure. Our model focuses on a Problem-Based Learning approach to learning. Students learn critical thinking skills by resolving real-world issues in their core classes. We will also offer computer science as a core class to all students. Additionally, woven through all of this is the focus on putting student culture at the center of all that we do.”

What lesson(s) have you learned from the founding process? Looking back, is there anything you would've done differently?

“I have learned a lot about myself throughout this process. One of the most important lessons is that you have to be yourself in every room you enter. It is too hard to be something, and someone, you are not. Good, or bad, people will always have an opinion on what you should do in this process. This process will make you doubt yourself a lot. My moments of affirmation came when I stopped trying to give the answers people wanted and spoke my truth.

I don't know if I would do anything differently. This process has taught me so much and I am grateful for all of the experiences I have had.”

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Why would a teacher want to work at your charter school vs others? What types of support will you provide teachers to cultivate a position culture?

“The culture. I have had the best experiences when teaching and leading in places that created space for everyone in the building. Having space for everyone means that you are allowed to bring the best parts of you to work/class every day. Our culture will be emblematic of a family or community.

Professionally, I want to help people thrive in their roles. Teachers enter the building with different career goals. My job is to help them become the best instructor possible while exposing them to other opportunities. I think people grow best through targeted feedback and coaching. Creating a culture where feedback and coaching are not negative terms comes from creating a culture of trust.”

What is your / your school's biggest need today?

“Our school's biggest need is volunteers. If something that we do resonates with you, please reach out. We would love to have you be part of what we are doing.”

Interested in joining this talented team of educators? Learn more & apply for a position today!

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