Steven Ward

Steven Ward

Job Title
Aspire Public Schools (Memphis)
Virginia State University
Trinity Washington University
Corps Year: 
Corps Region: 
D.C. Region
Alumni Region: 

Steven Ward taught for five years before deciding to join the TFA corps. A successful science teacher who was a valued faculty member of two Virginia schools, he was troubled by the fact that he was one of very few black male teachers, and that the diversity of the students in these more affluent communities did not represent the diversity of the nation as a whole. He joined TFA so that he could serve as a role model to students in a community more like his own.

In 2016, Steven joined the Ryan Fellowship program to continue building brighter futures for kids in low-income communities as a transformational school leader. Today, he is the principal of Aspire Hanley Middle School, part of the Aspire Public Schools network.

Read more about Steven.

Career Path

Biology Teacher, Prince William County Schools
Steven increased the passage rate from 90% to 93% on the VA End-of-Course Biology Exam and served as the leader for the Biology Professional Learning Community.
Teach For America: D.C. Corps
Steven received the Edith Tatel Education Award for Excellence in Teaching and was chosen to participate in the KIPP DC Teach Learn Lead Fellowship.
Science Teacher, Prince George County Schools
In addition to teaching three daily science classes, Steven drafted the school’s new vision and mission statement as a member of the Transformation Team, and mentored new teachers.
Dir. of School Culture, William E. Doar Jr. School
Steven worked with the school community to support students’ social-emotional learning and created programs that promote a positive school climate, high attendance, and a culture of achievement.
Ryan Fellow, Accelerate Institute
The Ryan Fellowship is the country’s foremost principal fellowship that prepares aspiring school leaders through a rigorous three-year program.

Q & A

You were already a teacher before joining the corps. What made you decide to join TFA?

For five years I taught in schools in affluent areas where I was one of very few black male teachers within sizeable faculties. I was troubled by the fact that my classroom didn’t reflect our nation’s greater diversity, and I wanted to serve students and communities more like my hometown of Washington D.C. That’s when I decided to join TFA.

What was most rewarding about your corps experience?

One hundred percent of my biology students passed the end of course assessment, but my students taught me so much more. My students and I had conversations about race and class in America that shattered what I thought I knew about growing up in a supposedly post-racial society. These are lessons that I still draw upon today.

What advice would you give to someone considering TFA?

I was called to a career of service, and my path to service came through education. If you feel similarly called to serve, I encourage you to live your life in a way that enables as many people to have access to the same opportunities that you have had. Teaching is one way to do this. You will make a difference every single day.

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