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Jarell Lee

Jarell is the Founding School Leader of KIPP Academy Primary in Chicago, a school built on the values of love, joy, and community. Prior to moving to Chicago, Jarell served as the School Leader of KIPP NJ Life Academy and as an Assistant School Leader at KIPP NJ Seek Academy. Prior to joining the KIPP team, Jarell taught second grade at Uncommon Schools: Excellence Boys Elementary Academy as a Teach For America Corps Member. He also led the third grade team, developed a character education system, and led school-wide joy initiatives to invest students in school culture systems. Jarell also served as the Founding Dean of School Culture at Achievement First Aspire Elementary School, where he created systems and rituals to invest students in their school experience and to support struggling students. Additionally, Jarell coached teachers as the First Grade Academic Dean.

Jarell received a BA in Sociology & African-American Studies from Harvard University, a MS in Elementary Education from Teacher U at Hunter College, and a Master’s in Supervision and Administration from the University of Houston. Outside of school, Jarell loves to play with his son and puppy, go to the gym, watch NBA games, and wear fanny packs.

Why I Joined…

“As someone who lived in homeless shelters as a child with my mother and sisters, I know firsthand how a high-quality program, supportive environment, and caring staff can transform the life experiences of moms and their children. When I see the New Moms families, I see my family. Thus, I joined the Board in 2019 to use my skills and strengths to support New Moms’ mission and vision for years to come.”

Favorite Quote…

“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” –James Baldwin

“This is one of my favorite quotes because it truly captures the essence of the work I do every day – trying to improve the life experiences of little boys and girls who grew up like I did.”