Saturday, May 26 , 2018, 8:45 am | Fair 61º


Peabody Charter School Principal Kate Ford Stepping Down

She accepts a position with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle but plans to keep a local home base

After five years, Peabody Charter School Executive Director and Principal Kate Ford announced Tuesday afternoon that she will resign from her position, effective July 1.

In an email sent to the Peabody community Tuesday, Ford said she has been offered a position as a senior program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, where she will join a team in charge of “making and overseeing huge grants to innovative programs around the country in the field of secondary education.”

“As I enter this last phase of my career, I have one goal, one vision: to make it possible for millions of kids to have the kind of education they deserve, a Peabody education if you will, without regard to where they live, their ethnicity or how much money their parents make,” Ford wrote. “I believe that I will have that chance with the resources of the Gates Foundation, which gives away $8 million per day to valiant causes in education, world health and combating hunger. And so, I will accept the Gates Foundation offer.”

Ford told Noozhawk on Tuesday that she considers it to be the final stage in her career and wants to leave a lasting footprint on education.

She wants to bring Gates’ philanthropy to places that need the help, are ready for the help and willing to work for it — all over the world, she said. It’s a new venture, though she has experience in secondary schools as a teacher and principal, and she can’t help but smile when she talks about it.

“I feel like Peabody will take care of itself,” Ford told Noozhawk.

She said the accomplishments and achievements of Peabody are a cause for celebration and pride. She said hopes to help the school in the selection process, as well as after her transition. Although she will be spending a good amount of time on the road and in Seattle, Ford said she would keep her home base here in the area.

“My heart is here,” Ford wrote in her email. “I sincerely hope to find a way to stay involved.”

She added: “The joy of this offer from the Gates Foundation is strongly tinged with sadness to be leaving, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities and challenges afforded me at Peabody; they truly paved the way for this new path. My friendships and alliances with you, though, have meant more than anything; and that will always be where my deepest gratitude lies. My heart is overflowing with many emotions, but more than anything, I must say, ‘Thank you.’”

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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