Amistad Academy Middle, the Achievement First flagship, opened in New Haven in 1999 and celebrated its 10th year of operation in 2009. The school was profiled in the PBS documentary “Closing the Achievement Gap” (2004) and was named Connecticut’s 2006 Title I Distinguished School after having the greatest performance gains of any middle school in the state. The school gathers every week for Morning Circle, where students are recognized by teachers and peers for academic achievement and strong character skills. Town Meetings take place every six weeks and build school spirit with music, skits, cheers and awards. Amistad Academy Middle’s robust after-school enrichment program, Encore!, offers students daily expert instruction in theater, karate, dance, orchestra, volleyball, step team, graphic design and other arts and athletic activities.
Katie Poynter is the principal of Amistad Academy Middle. In the fall of 2004, Katie became a founding teacher at Elm City College Preparatory Elementary, the second school in the Achievement First network, where she taught math and later became the dean of school culture. After attending law school at Columbia University, the lure of working directly with students and teachers to close the achievement gap brought her back to Achievement First as the director of Achievement First’s Principal-in-Residence program from 2010-13. Katie is thrilled to lead Amistad Academy Middle into its 15th successful year and beyond.
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