• Leonard Webb

Ethnic Gem: Jabari Peddie

Updated: Sep 9, 2019

School: Match Community Day Charter Public School

Hyde Park, Massachusetts 

By Takiya Green, Sr Contributor Writer

Do you have what it takes to protect, defend, and preserve our children? Jabari Peddie does not hesitate when he is called to action!

Jabari’s teaching career was inspired through life experiences, particularly high school, where he learned the detrimental effects of poor teaching and resource deficits. These situations immediately motivated Jabari to be a part of the resistance and become a change agent for academic equity. Originally from the Bronx, NY and a current resident of Massachusetts, Jabari attended Morehouse College, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in English.

After graduation, Jabari taught 6th through 8th grade, and he is currently a school principal. As a teacher, his preferred grade to teach was 6th grade because he felt a connection with his 6th-grade students. Also, while teaching 6th grade, Jabari discovered his love for writing.

According to Jabari, throughout his years of being an educator, he has learned a lot about humility. He stated that his students are “insightful, full of wisdom, and from them, he has learned many life-defining lessons.”

Recalling his favorite memories, during his first year of teaching, he met a student named Garrison who was an overaged 6th grader, with a 1st-grade reading level. Despite Garrison’s academic challenges, he was one of the wittiest, intuitive, and sharpest individuals Jabari had ever encountered. Garrison was also hyperaware of his abilities and the inequitable conditions that led to his academic disadvantages.

Jabari will never forget when Garrison confided in him that he believed his inability to read was due to racism, and he felt let down by his former teachers. Ironically, the definition of “Garrison” is to protect, defend, and preserve. Understanding this, Jabari vowed to be the Garrison for all the students he served, taught, and led.

Jabari’s love for children and his commitment to equity motivates him to continue teaching. Jabari’s wish for his students is that they have a life filled with choice and college readiness. He believes that with the proper tools, his students will be sufficiently equipped to excel in any space and sector. Jabari is confident his students have the potential to become the next generation of community activators, organizers, and leaders.

In addition to his teaching career, Jabari has served as a member of the KIPP Emerging Leaders Cohort Program, he is a current Lynch Leadership fellow, and alongside Devin Morris, another Ethnic Gem, he is the co-founder of The Teachers’ Lounge, a nonprofit organization that organizes a series of professional development and engagement opportunities for educators of color across the greater Boston area.

Jabari’s empathy and passion for helping his students is a trait all teachers should have, and we are ecstatic to acknowledge him as an Ethnic GEM!

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