Choosing to Include:
Why I’m Honored to be Recognized by the National Down Syndrome Congress

Meria Carstarphen

It is my great pleasure to be honored by the National Down Syndrome Congress at its Soiree of Stars Virtual Gala.  To be recognized as an individual who has made an impact in the Down’s community is humbling and a lifelong journey of learning. I’m certainly blessed because my experience and personal story started as…

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The New Reconstruction:
Transforming Education for the 21st Century

Meria Carstarphen speech for African American Heritage House in Chautauqua

I was recently honored to be invited as a speaker for the African American Heritage House (AAHH) 2020 Speaker Series. The members of AAHH invite scholars and notable public figures from around the country to discuss the lived experiences of African Americans over the last 400 years. It is an organization, informed by the African…

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Remembering Congressman John Lewis:
Be bold. Be courageous. Be John.

“Every generation leaves behind a legacy. What that legacy will be is determined by the people of that generation. What legacy do you want to leave behind?” – John Lewis For me, Congressman John Lewis’ legacy will be his passion and fight for civil and human rights. He believed that access to a quality education and access…

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My APS (Best) Life: Six Years of Schools, Staff, Sports, Selfies & Students First!

Meria Carstarphen My APS (Best) Life

During my final few weeks and days leading Atlanta Public Schools, the rigors of educating children amid a global pandemic and civic unrest hasn’t afforded me too many opportunities to simply sit and reflect upon the last six years. But upon reflection, I believe that my APS (best) life is the jam, and the source…

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Taking a Day for Freedom: Juneteenth Highlights Opportunity for Teaching, Learning, Understanding, and Action

Friday, June 19, should be a day of celebration. Yet, 155 years later, we still struggle. It’s an open and raw struggle for our nation about race, systemic racism, and the treatment of Black people in America. Protests fill our streets. Disagreements divide the nation. A global pandemic keeps us apart, at the very moment when we…

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A Shared Struggle in the Crisis – Standing Up for Racial Justice and Equity

Statement from Dr. Meria CarstarphenSuperintendent of Atlanta Public Schools All of us in Atlanta Public Schools have been left saddened and heartbroken with the civil unrest and challenging times we are facing in our community and across this nation. Amid our efforts to cope with a global pandemic, we now must confront the hurt, pain,…

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In Times of Civil Unrest, Lead by Example, Honor the Legacy of Nonviolence

To my beloved APS students, families and colleagues, I’m heartbroken, as are you, during these challenging times. This message is especially for our students: We have supported you in silent and peaceful demonstrations against gun violence and climate change during this administration. Our district has stood with you and embraced your leadership and growth in civic…

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My Deepest Thanks to APS Colleagues Before a Much Deserved Summer Break!

Dear Beloved Colleagues, We made it! Today, Wednesday, May 27, marks the official end of the 2019-2020 school year and the end of one of the most challenging semesters we have ever faced in our careers in education. For many of us, this moment could not have come any sooner as the past few months…

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Congratulations, Grad Nation APS Class of 2020! #WorthTheWait

As I reflect on the current — albeit unofficial count — of the 2,582 graduates of the Atlanta Public Schools’ Class of 2020 walking across the virtual stage, I cannot stop thinking about the fact that their final year wasn’t supposed to end like this. Without a prom. Without final senior year activities. Without all of the pomp and circumstance. Even though we…

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