Ashé Preparatory Academy Opens Doors to Students BACK TO PRESS RELEASES

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For Immediate Release | Wednesday, August 28, 2019

CONTACT | Maggie Meyers, or 724.263.9826

Kent, WA—On Monday, August 26, 2019, Ashé Preparatory Academy, opened its doors for the very first time to its founding students and families. Approved in 2018 by the Washington State Charter School Commission to serve grades K-8, Ashé Prep is serving 140 students in grades K,1, 2, and 6 in its first year. Over the next four years, the school will expand its grade level offerings and grow to serve 450 students across the K-8 grade-level continuum.


Ashé Prep’s founding staff prepares to welcome students.

Ashé (ah-SHAY) is a philosophical concept from the Yoruba of Nigeria, West Africa that affirms the power to make things happen and produce change. Ashé Prep’s model is based on three major design elements that will produce change: civic and community-focused projects at every grade level, culturally-responsive teaching methods, and a focus on student leadership development.

The school’s first operating year will be spent in a temporary facility in Kent at 19300 108th Ave SE, in Kent, while the board of directors secures a long-term facility in the greater Skyway/West Hill area for future years.

On this milestone, the school’s founder and Executive Director Dr. Debra Sullivan—who previously served as dean for the Praxis Institute, a culturally responsive teacher professional development organization, and author of the book Cultivating the Genius of Black Children: Strategies to Close the Achievement Gap in the Early Years (Redleaf Press, 2016)—remarked:

“As a fifth grader in West Seattle, I began to dream about how school could be different for students of color like me. Fifty years later, I’m overjoyed to see this dream become a reality. I am grateful to the students, parents, and community members, whose visions, along with my own, have helped shape our school’s mission and model. Today we begin the journey of cultivating the genius of our students, so that they can be leaders in and for their communities, and take action to change their communities and the world.”

“We have been waiting for this moment since 2015, when our partnership with Ashé Prep began,” said WA Charters CEO Patrick D’Amelio. “We have utmost confidence in Ashé’s rigorous, responsive, and wholly student-focused and community-driven model for families in need of high-quality educational options, and believe that Ashé will create leaders who will be change-makers in their communities.”

Dr. Sullivan is available for interview on request; media tours will be scheduled later this fall. To arrange an interview, please email:

About WA Charters

The Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters) is a statewide nonprofit organization that advocates for and supports high-quality charter public schools that meet the needs of systemically underserved students. To learn more, visit