President & CEO
Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School
Location: St. Louis, MO
Tamiko Armstead worked nearly 20 years in the business world before following her heart and taking the opportunity to lead Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School as its president and CEO.
“I followed that dream that was buried deep inside,” she said. “I made the decision to accept the offer to lead my alma mater, Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School. I knew it was more than a high school; it was and is a force in the St. Louis community that impacts and changes lives. I was comfortable where I was. My plan was to spend my career at the same great company and retire there one day. When the opportunity presented itself, my mother reminded me that when I was in college, I said one day I wanted to lead a school. I said it and then buried it in my heart and mind until it came to the forefront 20 years later.”
Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School was founded in 1979 as the first African-American co-educational Catholic college prep high school in the country. In 2014, Armstead left Edward Jones and stepped in to lead the institution, where she has spearheaded capital improvements to the 17-acre campus, advancing science, technology, arts, and health and wellness programming for students.
Under Armstead’s leadership, the school has doubled enrollment and outperforms its peers nationally in college persistence rates of 82% vs. 73%. Most recently, Armstead spearheaded a $3.5 million capital campaign to revitalize athletics facilities at the school, installing a new football field, track, scoreboard and weight room.
In 2022, Armstead led a strategic communications campaign to increase visibility of Cardinal Ritter’s mission, highlighting the importance of Black male educators in students’ lives. About 40% of CRCP’s faculty and staff are Black men, compared to 2% nationally.
Armstead serves as commissioner for the St. Louis County Housing Resources Commission, the city-wide plan for education, and is on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Saint Louis University School of Education. She recently served on the advisory group for the St. Louis 2030 Jobs Plan and the St. Louis Business and Community DEI Task Force. She is a recipient of the Washington University Emerging Leaders Award, the YWCA Women in Leadership award and the Urban League Salute to Women in Leadership award.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Wilberforce University and earned her MBA from Washington University. She and her husband, William Armstead, reside in Florissant and are proud parents of five sons.
“Successful leaders put people and mission first,” Armstead said. “The question I get most about our students and our results is, ‘What is the secret to what you do?’ I state, ‘It’s simply our mission.’ Our mission of faith development, academic excellence and leadership has carried us through our history and will continue to drive everything we do at Cardinal Ritter.”
Tamiko was recently featured on NBC National News, speaking about Cardinal Ritter as a national model for Black male representation in the classroom. You can view the story here! How one St. Louis school is leading the charge in diversifying the education field (nbcnews.com)