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Kemp Keeps Parents in the Loop and Students Safe at Warrendale

Deborah Kemp first experienced National Heritage Academies (NHA) schools as a parent and has gotten more ingrained long after her children have moved on.

Kemp’s son attended Detroit Merit Charter Academy, and they both enjoyed the curriculum and communications efforts from the school. When her son’s sixth-grade teacher went to Warrendale Charter Academy to become the principal, there was an opening for a substitute secretary that Kemp filled. She became a permanent fixture later in the school year and now is in her 11th year at Warrendale, which has outperformed the local district for 10 years.

Kemp in school hallway.
Office Administrator Deborah Kemp is in her 11th year at Warrendale Charter Academy.
As an office administrator, one of her responsibilities is to keep other parents informed of school events. Having a parent’s perspective has kept her in tune with what information other moms and dads want from the school.

“That’s what I try to put forward now, not only as an employee but as a former parent,” she said.

Kemp also has been Warrendale’s safety specialist since its inception. She is responsible for staff safety training, sending out safety reminders, recording fire drills in LogicManager, making sure all classroom and external doors are closed and locked, and recording new employees who are given cards or keys.

The work Kemp and the staff at Warrendale put into keeping students safe is evident, as the school won the Safety Award this past year as part of NHA’s annual Eagle Awards, which recognize outstanding schools for their hard work.

Kemp with "We are Safety Smart" poster.
Deborah Kemp helped Warrendale Charter Academy win the Safety Award as part of NHA’s Eagle Awards.

“When they told me that, it brought tears to my eyes,” she said. “We did that as a team.”

Kemp enjoys working with and supporting her Warrendale colleagues. Whether it’s the teamwork they display on a daily basis, or family events such as reading nights or resource nights for parents, giving out coats, backpacks, and books, there isn’t a day in which they are supporting each other in some way. Even a small interaction in passing goes a long way to making each day feel worthwhile.

“It’s always the little things that I appreciate the most,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be monetary. Just someone saying, ‘Hey, how ya doing today?’ That’s what makes my day. That’s not only my team members but the kids as well.”

Keep up the excellent work, Ms. Kemp!
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About Warrendale Charter Academy
Warrendale Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Detroit, Michigan, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

Visit Warrendale Charter Academy's blog to read more stories like this.