The New Learning Paradigm Charter School
Successful Entrepreneur and Charter School Leader
Donnie McQueen to Address Community Planning Meeting ForProposed New Charter
On Tuesday, May 23at 6 p.m., a local community group will conduct a community meeting at the Merriweather Library, 1324 Jefferson Avenue. The meeting will feature Donnie McQueen, Executive Director of Torchlight Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina. Under McQueen’s leadership Torchlight is a grade K-8 charter school that achieved the highest student academic growth of all public charter schools and was in the top onepercent of all public schools in North Carolina for student academic growth for the 2015-2016 school year. Torchlight Academy serves a student population that is 100% minority (65% Black and 35% Hispanic), with 98% of students living below the federal poverty level (eligible for free or reduced price lunch). McQueen has over 15 years of experience as a charter school leader meeting the needs of at-risk student populations.
Hehas been working with a local community planning group to organize the proposedNew Learning Paradigm Charter School in Buffalo. The New Learning Paradigm Charter is planning to open in the 2018-2019 school year and will initially serve students in grades K-4. The planning group is seeking community input on the School Design Plan, recruiting prospective board members, and seeking parent and community involvement in the planning process.
Over 25 Buffalo District schools are currently in receivership due to low academic performance. Current conditions for certain sections of the Buffalo community is suffering a crisis in educational opportunity and school choice. Amidst this crisis, local parents reached out to Mr. McQueen and his wife, Dr. Cynthia McQueen for guidance in improving the educational futures of children in Buffalo. The McQueen’s have been supporting the local effort over the past year. Dr. Cynthia McQueen is the current Principal of Torchlight. She servesas an Advisory Board Member for the North Carolina Public Charter School Alliance. She has served as an Adjunct Professor at St. Augustine College and also has over 15 years of leadership experience in charter school administration. The McQueens are natives of Buffalo.
Mr. McQueen’s visit is designed to get the community involved in improving the educational opportunities for children in Buffalo. The agenda will include a presentation by Mr. McQueen, followed by a discussion regarding issues such as: School Discipline; Teacher Quality; Reading, Math and Science Programming; Academic Testing; Student Transportation; Student Nutrition; and other topics related to planning a new school. Parents and community leaders are invited to attend.