Seth Andrew started his career as a public school teacher in South Korea and South Africa. Seth set out to build a college preparatory school focused on civic education that served all students, including those with special needs. He wanted the school to become a proof-point for what was possible for urban students, standing in stark opposition to both the doubts about his students’ capacity and the critiques of public charter schools in general.
In 2005, Democracy Prep Public Schools was born with the goal of ensuring that every single student would “Work Hard, Go to College, and Change the World!” Under Seth’s leadership as founding Head of School, Democracy Prep became the number one middle school in the city of New York.
“We founded Democracy Prep because we knew we could do better and that our students could do better, and now after just a few years we’ve become a proof point for the country that students can achieve at remarkable levels if we give them what they need.” -Seth Andrew
Katie joined Democracy Prep in the network’s first year. In 2011, Katie led New York State’s first successful public charter school turnaround as executive director of Harlem Prep, which grew from the third percentile citywide to the 96th percentile in just one academic year.
As CEO of Democracy Prep, she oversaw the growth and management of the network from one to 17 campuses, from a staff of 10 to 700, and from 125 scholars to more than 5,000.
“Rather than being an up and out model where scholars succeed by going to college but then leave their communities and their neighborhoods, we want success to resonate with our scholars returning to their communities and making their world a better place.” -Katie Duffy