As principal at Alice Deal, Melissa Kim runs the the most coveted public middle school in the city. The Tenleytown campus is packed beyond capacity and looking — just a year after a $70 million renovation--to expand into additional space.
But Kim announced today that she is leaving in December to join New Schools Venture Fund, the San Francisco-based philanthropic non-profit that invests in and supports public charter schools--and that is looking to raise its profile in the District.
Kim, who said she was not available to talk until Friday, announced her departure in a statement posted on the Deal Web site today:
“I write to share with you that I have made the very difficult choice to leave Alice Deal. I am joining the national education organization New Schools Venture Fund, where I will have the opportunity to work with schools throughout DC. My commitment to the students and families of Washington, DC, remains ever strong. I will remain at Deal as advisor and coach until December to ensure a smooth transition for our students and staff.”
Kim, who has headed Deal for seven years, said her reasons are both personal and professional, including an interest in taking what she’s learned at Deal to other schools and to spend more time with a new child. James Albright, assistant principal and IB coordinator, will be interim principal, Kim said.
New Schools Venture Fund did not return a call Thursday seeking comment on Kim’s role. The fund’s site lists several D.C. public charter schools as among its investments, including Achievement Prep, Appletree, D.C. Prep, E.L. Haynes, Friendship and KIPP. It has also established funds targeted to foster charter school growth and improvement in specific cities, including D.C., Boston and Newark.