All about Mr. Grant
I am honored to be serving in my eighth year as the principal of Washington GT Magnet Elementary School where I taught and both of my sons attended. I have been an educator for over 30 years and my goal is to engage and challenge every child in a thriving learning community. I believe a strong, healthy school is one where a passionate and skilled staff works in collaboration with actively involved parents and our broader community to prepare our students to be well-rounded leaders in the 21st century. I am proud to be part of such a strong and diverse community of learners.
I have a B.A in political science with a minor in economics from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. After briefly interning on Capitol Hill, I taught elementary school in an inner city Catholic school in Washington, DC. I earned a master's degree in elementary education at Syracuse University. In the early 1990s I moved to Raleigh where I taught at Durant Road Year Round Elementary School for 5 years and Washington GT Magnet Elementary for 10 years. During that time I was a mentor teacher and became a National Board Certified teacher. After 19 years in the classroom, I earned a master's degree in administration from NC State through the Wake County Leadership Cohort. I served as the assistant principal at Briarcliff Elementary in Cary for three years and in 2010 was the named the Assistant Principal of the Year for Wake County. Prior to serving as Washington's principal, I was the principal of Lacy Elementary school for 3 years.
As a result of the amazing teaching, learning, and parent and community engagement at Washington in 2019 I was named Wake County's Magnet Principal of the Year. In both 2019 and 2020 I was a finalist for Wake County's Principal of the Year. I am deeply humbled to be the representative for the achievements of our outstanding community.
My wife, Emily, recently retired as the Youth Programs Coordinator at the NC Museum of History, is an active volunteer in our church and community. We have two sons. Ben, a graduate of UNC Wilmington, is the assistant director of the Zebulon Boys and Girls Club. Wyatt, a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, is earning his masters degree at Rutgers University in the department of Urban Planning and Policy Development. Our family loves traveling, laughing, and trying new foods. I look forward to getting to know you and your family.
Mr. Grant, Principal
All about Ms. Ratley
I am excited to be the Assistant Principal at Washington GT Magnet Elementary School! I am passionate about students being supported by staff who care. When I visited Washington it was clear this is a learning community where students are excited to learn and the staff is committed to student success through strong personal connections.
My early education years taught me tough lessons and helped to build character. Teachers and students at times teased without knowing the result. Later I had several teachers who demonstrated the importance of respecting others and their backgrounds. This informed my desire to be an educator who advocates for all students.
I began my professional career in banking but felt called, after a broad range of experiences working with youth, to enter the teaching profession. I joined the newly opened Green Hope High School in Cary and taught in a self-contained classroom for students with special needs for nineteen years. Last year, I left the classroom to pursue a Masters in School Administration. During that time, I interned as an Assistant Principal at Carpenter Elementary. I was able to learn and grow in a school that presented challenges and resulting opportunities to work collaboratively to provide beneficial supports. I know this experience has prepared me for my Assistant Principal position. I feel strongly about young students being nurtured, cared for and challenged to reach their full potential.
When I’m at home, I love to read and journal. I enjoy traveling (Disney World), cruising and spending time with family and friends. I have one daughter, Yrome, who lives in Charlotte. I also have a dog, Lizzie, who is a Schnauzer/poodle mix.
I look forward to partnering with you and the Washington staff as we continue to create relationships that foster student success!Ms. Ratley, Assistant Principal