Kim Bondy has seen it all in her time at National Heritage Academies (NHA) – as a teacher and administrator, at various schools, and even under its former name.
Bondy never had the goal of becoming an administrator, but the opportunity to expand her reach from a single classroom to multiple schools was too appealing to pass up.
“I was doing the math the other day thinking, ‘Man, in a DSQ role there’s 4,500 to 5,000 kids that you’re serving every day. It’s just really mind blowing to think about it in that sense,” she said.
After a few years at Vanguard, Bondy served as a science specialist at several schools on the east side of Michigan and a middle school teacher at South Arbor before becoming an administrator. She earned her master’s degree in science as a way to further her education in the field, but she realized that she enjoyed helping connect teachers with resources, which led her to becoming a dean, principal, and eventually a DSQ.
In her time at South Arbor, which her three children all attended while she was there, Bondy helped the school celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2019 and was ranked second for best charter middle school in Michigan and third for charter elementary schools in the state by U.S. News & World Report in its 2022 rankings. Bondy also is proud of the work her team did during the COVID-19 pandemic, as teachers made sure they connected with scholars every day and adjusted to a new learning system.
“We supported our students and families in a way higher level than what our kids would have received if they would have been going someplace else,” she said. “I’m very proud of our team for everything that they did to reach out to connect and to make sure that learning was taking place every day during that time.”
In her first few months as a DSQ, Bondy has enjoyed seeing each school’s unique approach to transforming students’ lives. Each Friday she meets with her team to share the good things that are happening at each school.
“Everybody has their own little spin on so many different things and it's nice to see that,” she said. “I think that’s really important as part of the community building, and if we can share good things with our staff, and if we can share good things with our families, it makes it more likely that students will stick around for that whole K through 12 experience.”
About National Heritage Academies:
National Heritage Academies (NHA) is a network of over 95 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 60,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.