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Mini'imah Shaheed Kipp Metro Atlanta Schools

Mini’imah Shaheed

Chief Executive Officer

KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools

Location: Atlanta

Founded: 2003

Industry: Education [K-12]

Mini’imah Shaheed is described by her staff as a community leader who has expanded her impact over time beginning as an Atlanta public school teacher in 2001 to founding Atlanta’s first KIPP elementary school in the heart of the historic West End community. The 112 founding kindergarten students who walked through those doors at KIPP STRIVE Primary School are now eleventh graders in high school.

“Mini’imah’s leadership and influence are exceptional as she is directly nurturing and educating Atlanta’s future leaders,” said her staff. “She extends her leadership and influence both locally and nationally.”

KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools is a network of tuition-free, public charter schools that educates more than 5,600 students in grades K-12. KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools is part of KIPP Public Schools, a national network of college-preparatory, public charter schools that has a 27-year track record of preparing students for success in college and life. The organization has a mission that together with families and communities, they create joyful, academically excellent schools that prepare students with the skills and confidence to pursue the paths they choose so they can lead fulfilling lives and build a more just world.

Being a steward of public funds is one of Shaheed’s greatest responsibilities and achievements, she said. “KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools believes in sound, prudent financial decisions that make the ‘here and now’ as beautiful as possible for our scholars, families and staff while also ensuring that our promises to our communities are built to last for generations,” said Shaheed.

Under Shaheed’s leadership, the organization has grown to a nearly $125 million dollar budget, prompting her to demonstrate a critical commitment to ensuring that the financial model is appropriately aligned to the organization’s multiyear strategic plan. “I am proud to be a thought-leader in the national education industry,” said Shaheed.

In 2020, Shaheed co-authored an Op-Ed for the Atlanta Journal Constitution which inspired a close look and collective response to saving youth from gun violence. She also earned a Pahara Fellowship to strengthen and sustain a diverse community of outstanding, values-driven leaders who are transforming public education. In addition, Shaheed has been recognized as an executive leader by Leadership Atlanta and named as one of Atlanta Magazine’s list of Women Making a Mark, principal of the year and “best of the best” in Metro Atlanta education.

“Civil leadership is a journey driven by love at every step and begins directly with the heart,” said Shaheed. “Schools are the lifeblood of our society, nurturing and preparing our future civic leaders.”

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Did you know?

My superpower is love. I leverage love to power and guide my leadership. bell hooks educates us, writing that “the moment we choose to love, we begin to move against oppression. The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others. That action is the testimony of love as the practice of freedom.” In 2012, I founded KIPP STRIVE Primary School with love as our central value. I strongly believe that in all facets, how we accomplish our what matters as we strive to lead identity-affirming schools designed to enliven our students’ lifelong love for learning. Moreover, quantitative data supports the qualitative improvements we have realized by taking on this approach, including improvements relative to leader and teacher retention, leader effectiveness, employee engagement, as well as student enrollment and satisfaction.

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