KIPP Durham cuts the ribbon on new school

Excitement filled the air as students Kayla Mejia and Montreal Robinson cut the ribbon dedicating Kipp Durham College Prep last Friday, Sept. 16. From left to right around the students, Minnie Forte-Brown, Tammi Sutton, Dan Levine, Phail Wynn, Curtis Wynn, Cora Cole-McFadden, and Johnson Akinleye. (Staff photo by Dillon Deaton)


 

Friday was a day of celebration, a ribbon-cutting ceremony inaugurated KIPP Durham College Prep’s new home at 1107 Holloway Street.  School leaders and members of the community spoke about the great promise and potential the public school brings to Durham.

The ceremony began with the KIPP Pride High School Marching Band performing. The budding musicians were proud to play publicly for family and friends.

Kayla Meija, age 11, holds up her report card as she speaks to attendees at the KIPP Durham ribbon-cutting ceremony with her mother Cynthia Vargas on Friday, September 16, 2016. Mejia received all A's on her report card last year at the end of 5th grade.

Kayla Meija, age 11, holds up her report card as she speaks to attendees at the KIPP Durham ribbon-cutting ceremony as her mother, Cynthia Vargas, looks proudly on. Mejia received all A’s on her report card last year at the end of 5th grade. (Staff photo by Dillon Deaton)

“It’s a dream come true to the families and staff,” said Principal Anders Campbell. “It’s a beautiful facility.” He started as principal last year. “We have double the staff and student enrollment in the last year and were fortunate enough to be in the new facility.”

Interim Chancellor of NCCU,  Johnson Akinleye, talked about summer programs N.C. Central University will offer to  KIPP students.

To add more good things to KIPP’s agenda, Duke University Vice President for Durham and Regional Affairs Phail Wynn, spoke about band scholarships that will be offered to select KIPP band members.

The two gestures from NCCU and Duke are important, because they will give KIPP students an opportunity to grow and excel and show off their true talents.

Somer Harris dances with classmates along with the school band during the KIPP Durham College Prep Public School ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, September 16, 2016.

Somer Harris dances with classmates along with the school band during the KIPP Durham College Prep Public School ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Sept. 16. (Staff photo by Dillon Deaton)

Dan Levine, project manager for Self Help, described the renovations that took place to the new KIPP Durham school facility.

Vice Chair of KIPP ENC Board of Directors and DPS board member Minnie Forte-Brown and Founder and Executive Director of KIPP ENC Tammi Sutton, both spoke enthusiastically about KIPP and its programs to keep their students in school, on a path to college, to graduate from college and succeed in life.

Chair of KIPP ENC Board of Directors Curtis Wynn told the guests that KIPP is a school that takes the initiative to get their students prepared for college and succeeding at fulfilling their dreams.

The privilege of cutting the ribbon to their newly renovated school went to KIPP Durham sixth graders Kayla Mejia and Montreal Robinson. After the ceremony, students led visitors on tours of the new school.

KIPP Durham College Prep’s mission is to empower students with the knowledge, skills and character necessary to succeed at the colleges of their choice, strengthen their communities, and fight for social justice.

Jayla Nelson speaks to attendee Steffanie Kahn while giving a tour of the new KIPP Durham College Prep Public School during the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, September 16, 2016.

Jayla Nelson speaks to attendee Steffanie Kahn while giving a tour of the new KIPP Durham College Prep Public School during the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Sept. 16. (Staff photo by Dillon Deaton)

 

Attendees take a tour of the new KIPP Durham College Prep Public School during the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, September 16, 2016.

Attendees take a tour of the new KIPP Durham College Prep Public School during the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Sept. 16. (Staff photo by Dillon Deaton)

Homer Fennell of Raleigh is a journalism student at NCCU and a staff writer-photographer for the Durham VOICE.


Dillon Deaton is a UNC-CH photojournalism major from Mint Hill serving on the VOICE as a UNC co-editor.