Porter-Leath recently welcomed Rafel Hart as the Vice President of its Teacher Excellence Program, located at the new Early Childhood Academy opening in 2017. The Academy is a state-of-the-art preschool that will provide comprehensive early childhood education and support services for 224 students in 16 classrooms. The Teacher Excellence Program is an early childhood teacher training program that provides professional development for Preschool teachers in partnership with Shelby County Schools. The Program teaches valuable skills that enhance teacher effectiveness, increase student achievement, and maximize classroom and family engagement.
As Vice President, Rafel will supervise the design, implementation and evaluation of the Academy’s Teacher Excellence Program. In the 6 months ahead of the Academy’s Grand Opening, he will be planning class curriculum, staffing the program’s leadership and support positions and developing evaluation criteria. Before joining Porter-Leath, Rafel worked as the School Director of Educare New Orleans in partnership with Kingsley House, Inc. where he helped co-develop of the Gulf Coast Teacher Training Academy, a training and professional development program for early childhood education teachers in the Southern Louisiana. Rafel also worked with the of Educare New Orleans’ Local Evaluation & Assessment Team to lead the collaborative Research Program Partnership to improve learning and development outcomes for the children, goal development and self-sufficiency strategies for the families and workplace conditions for program staff. Rafel has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Southern University and A&M College and a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from the Erikson Institute.
"Rafel’s extensive experience and proven performance in early childhood education will serve as a tremendous asset in preparing Porter-Leath Preschool children and their families for school and life success,” said Sean Lee, President of Porter-Leath. “We look forward to promoting, defining and achieving excellence at the Academy together."
Porter-Leath provides a high quality education for 6,000 low income children in Shelby County preschools, free of charge. The organization's early childhood goal is to prepare children for long-term learning success through high quality teachers, effective teaching practices and safe learning environments. In addition to supporting children’s developmental growth, Porter-Leath provides health screenings, nutritious meals, disability services, parenting training and mental health support to build their school readiness.