Dr. Wayman Franklin Graham II is the Principal at Long Branch Elementary School and was selected for the John Delaney Fellowship for Family and Community Engagement of the JPEF School Leadership Initiative
Principal Graham has been an educator for 12 years and has taught all subjects in 4th and 5th grade. He joined the education field to make a real difference.
“I want to serve the most marginalized communities,” he said. “I want to break the cycle of poverty that creates hopelessness in so many.”
He began his teaching career at Rutledge H. Person Elementary School. After five years of teaching, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Principal at Annie R. Morgan Elementary School. From there, he took on the role of Assistant Principal at Ramona Elementary School for one year before being promoted to Principal of Long Branch Elementary School.
As Principal, Dr. Graham knows the importance of building relationships with families and the community. Last year, he organized a “Donuts for Dads and Muffins for Moms” event. He saw success, but he wanted to deepen the support for Long Branch Elementary School from business and community leaders. He knew that in doing so, he would be able to engage families and staff in more innovative family engagement activities.
Through the JPEF School Leadership Initiative and John Delaney Fellowship, he did just that.
Now, Principal Graham is developing partnerships in the community and strengthening relationships between parents, teachers, and staff to further support student learning.
We caught up with Principal Graham recently to learn more about his work.
Why did you select the John Delaney Fellowship to support your school?
I chose the John Delaney Fellowship because it takes a village and I want JPEF and other fellows to be part of the village. Additionally, the best ideas are borrowed, and it is best practice to glean knowledge from others so we can gleam together.
How has your experience with JPEF impacted your school improvement work?
My experience with JPEF has been invaluable. Long Branch is doing significantly better this year than in previous years, and I believe a large part of this is due to support from stakeholders such as JPEF.
How do you measure the success of your project/How do you know that your project is making an impact?
We measure the impact of our project based on the engagement from the community. Based on the commitment from Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars, we are definitely making progress. We know that the project is making an impact.
My Cause My Cleats 2021
NFL players don cleats that support causes they care about through the My Cause My Cleats initiative. Jaguars’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence chose to support Long Branch Elementary School as his cause, giving students the opportunity to design the very shoes he will lace up before hitting the turf.
Can you tell me what you have planned next?
We have a professional development training with Dr. Jamison planned for the faculty and staff on cultural awareness and sensitivities. Furthermore, we will be hosting a community and family engagement event at the Cummer Museum in the coming future.