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Tom Willis in conversation with Dr. Andrae Townsel

Dr. Andrae Townsel

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Dr. Andraé Townsel is a graduate of Detroit Public Schools (Cass Tech High School). He attended Howard University as a student athlete (football scholarship) in 2002. Dr. Townsel earned his bachelors, masters, and doctorate degree from Howard University. He began working in public education, in the District of Columbia, from 2008 until 2016.

In 2016, Dr. Townsel was appointed to turnaround one of the lowest performing high schools in the state of Massachusetts by the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education. The district suffered from the lack of stable leadership, diversity, and racial tension. He became the 1st African-American high school principal in the history of the Town of Southbridge. Dr. Townsel reduced arrests, suspensions, and discipline and increased their academic performance at an admirable growth and proficiency rate.

Dr. Townsel's work was highlighted by former United States Secretary of Education Dr. John King in a speech titled "Lead with your legacy in mind."

In March of 2018, Dr. Townsel returned to his home state of Michigan. He served as the Assistant Superintendent of Wayne-Westland Community Schools.He oversaw and supported over 10,000 students in 20 schools across the district.

In February 2020, Dr. Townsel began serving as the Superintendent of Benton Harbor Area Schools. Benton Harbor Area Schools, originally founded in 1872, is a PreK-12 public school district in Benton Harbor, Michigan, with approximately 2,000 students in 6 schools.

Howard University has made him a highly effective educational leader who can successfully navigate the political landscape in a time where race is at the forefront of discussion in our country. Dr. Townsel is a 3 time Howard University graduate (B.S. 07, M. Ed 09, Ed. D 15)

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