All about Mr. Grant
I am honored to be serving in my seventh 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 working to create affordable housing opportuntiesfor residents of the Pittsburgh area. 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 PrincipalAll about Ms. Morton
I am excited and honored to join the Washington GT Magnet Family as the Principal Intern for the 2020-2021 year. I am joining the Washington community through the North Carolina Principal Fellows Program and North Carolina State University. I previously taught 7th-grade science at Leesville Road Middle School and worked with the Before/After Care program at Leesville Road Elementary School. In addition to being the science department chair at my previous school, I also served on my school improvement team, school leadership team, school positivity/PBIS team, LRMS’s digital portfolio team, and as the school’s chemical hygiene officer. Also, I had the privilege of leading different professional development workshops, supporting two student clubs, and hosting several NC State education students in my classroom.
I was born in Kahuku, Hawaii but left my dad’s family to move to North Carolina to be closer to my mom’s family in Robbinsville, NC after my mother’s father passed and my mom needed to care for her mom. From a young age, I knew my path and passion would lead me to be an educator. So after high school, I decided to pursue a degree in education. I graduated as an NC Teaching Fellow Recipient with honors from North Carolina State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Middle Grades Science Education. I decided to leave the classroom last year to pursue my Master’s in School Administration (K-12) and plan to graduate in May of 2021 as a North Carolina Principal Fellow.
Washington GT Magnet Elementary School is a place where aWESome things happen and I am grateful for the opportunity to develop my leadership and administrative capacity by creating a space where all students’ gifts and talents are nurtured, celebrated, and recognized. As an advocate for continuous learning, I hope to help every student develop essential skills and prepare students to become life-long learners. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, traveling, cooking, going to the beach, and spending quality time with family and friends. I currently reside in Cary, NC with my ever-supportive husband, who is a WCPSS high school math teacher, and our three dogs.
I am thrilled to join Mr. Grant and Ms. Ratley on the administrative team at Washington GT Magnet Elementary School to support and build relationships with ALL of the amazing members of the WashinGTon community. I am honored to have the opportunity to continue my professional growth in education with the supportive community here at WashinGTon. I look forward to getting to know and serve the wonderful families, students, and staff of WashinGTon this year as we learn and grow together as a family.