Title and Organization:
Jamar McKneely is the chief executive officer of InspireNOLA Charter Schools, a charter management organization that educates 4,500 students in six New Orleans schools: Alice Harte, Edna Karr High School, Eleanor McMain Secondary School, Andrew Wilson, 42, Dwight Eisenhower, and McDonogh 35 Senior High School. In 2013, Jamar co-founded InspireNOLA Charter Schools to transform an educational movement in New Orleans. InspireNOLA is the highest performing open-admission charter network in New Orleans. One of the pillar attributes of InspireNOLA Charter Schools is the focus on community outreach programs to encourage students socially and emotionally to reach their full potential. Jamar was principal of Alice Harte (K through eight) after serving for seven years as a teacher and assistant principal at Edna Karr (nine through 12). Prior to becoming an educator, he worked as a budget analyst for two nonprofit organizations. Jamar's educational philosophy is derived from Marian Wright Edelman's significant quote: "The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child; it is whether we can afford not to." In 2013, Jamar founded the Alliance for Diversity & Excellence, a nonprofit with the mission of building a pipeline of leaders of color in education. Currently, he serves as executive director of the 140-member group. Jamar is also a Pahara Institute NextGen Fall 2015 Fellow. Jamar earned both a bachelor's degree in finance and a master's degree in educational administration from Southern University in Baton Rouge. He is a Fellow of the 24th class of the Pahara - Aspen Education Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.