Presenting the New Tier 1 School: Friendship Woodridge

Story by Udonneum Igwe. Photo courtesy of Christian Taylor.

DECEMBER 8, 2014: Drum roll please! 5-4-3-2-1, cheers shout loud from the crowd on this chilly morning in Northeast Washington, DC. On November 19th, temperatures were a record low of 26 degrees, yet the whole school gathered in front to see the new banner unveiled. There was music blasting from the speakers to the dance moves of our Woodridge dancers, and loud amplified cheers roaring from our dynamic cheerleaders.

Amongst the crowd were parents from both the elementary and middle school academy on their phones videotaping and clapping as they celebrated this exciting event. As late parents tried to drop their kids off to school, many couldn’t help but to stop and join in on the celebration. Moments later, Donald Hense, CEO of Friendship Public Charter Schools, arrived and gave a heartfelt speech telling us to keep up the good work and to continue to the best of our abilities. Mr. Rictor Craig, principal of Woodridge, stood in the freezing cold proud to step up to the mike to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of his staff, students, and parents. Mrs. Clara Canty, Chief Academic Officer was present, along with several 


others from our district office, James Waller, and Mrs. Marian Dunnock, who served in the role of principal of Woodridge several years ago. Everyone was excited to see the school progress this far. For those who have attended the school since elementary like myself, this is really where we should be and what we are accustoming to being on top.

Yes, its official, Woodridge is now Tier 1! What does this all mean? We are considered a high performing school. Becoming a high-performing school takes many years of hard work. There is no silver lining written anywhere as to what a school can do to ensure high student performance, but at Woodridge, teachers and staff believe that all students can learn and meet high standards. 

Our hard work, being data driven, and working together to grow young minds into well rounded, ethical citizens who will get to and through college has paid off. The moment had finally come to celebrate the fruits of our labor. Staff members stood proudly showing off their brand new blue and gold Tier 1 Soaring Eagles t-shirts. Smiling faces and words of encouragement filled the air…this is just the beginning, like the song goes “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now, Woodridge is on the Move!”

Udonneum Igwe and Christian Taylor are 7th grade scholars at Friendship Woodridge Academy.