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Co-op Special Education Advocate Spotlight: Raymond Weeden

300 300 DC Special Education Cooperative
Why did you accept the role to serve on our board?
Early in my career, it was evident that as a community: students, families, and school teams were often on different pages when it came to working with students with disabilities. While we care deeply about our students’ educators, we have struggled to find the right mix of support that each student needs while simultaneously keeping an eye on compliance. The Co-op has been a valuable resource as a school leader to align their priorities to meet our community’s needs. As both a training provider and advocacy partner, the Co-op has worked side by side with school leaders to map out the path for each school and student. Joining the board was an easy decision as it provides me a way to give back to an organization that has served the District’s children and educators well.
 
What are some accomplishments throughout your career that you are most proud of?
It is odd to think that I have been an educator for 20 years. In every role, I have found opportunities to learn more about the craft, which helps more students and their families. Seeing my first group of students in the District come back to our community is the most important “accomplishment” that I can think of. While improving test scores or shifting the climate and culture of a school is important, being at an age where I can see the outcomes of my peers’ work, and I have done is incredibly gratifying.
 
What is your current role/title?
I am proud to be the executive director of Thurgood Marshall Academy. Our high school students are challenging me to be a better leader and educator every day. Each is a leader in our community right now!