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Date: 2019-05-01

Meet Ian Bravo, KIPP Liberty Academy’s Founding School Leader!

KIPP Liberty Academy will open in August 2019 to educate fifth and sixth grade students in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood. The school’s founding school leader, Ian Bravo, sat down with KIPP Miami’s Director of Enrollment and Community Engagement Tshaka Ismael to talk about his background in education, and what parents can expect from day one at KIPP Liberty Academy.


My name is Tshaka Ismael and I’m the Director of Enrollment and Community Engagement at KIPP Miami.

I’m here with Mr. Bravo, one of the newest principals in Miami. Let them know who you are!

My name is Ian Bravo and I came from about 13 years working in New York City, in the Bronx, Harlem and Washington Heights, building mostly KIPP schools as an assistant principal and teacher. I now have students up there who are in high school, college, and even graduate school as medical students. I’m excited to be here in the Miami Liberty City community to help build out incredible schools for families and kids here.

What will KIPP Liberty Academy bring to the community?

I would answer that by thinking about what we’ve heard from families. Mostly, folks are excited by the opportunity to have a school that provides a pathway not just to college, but through college. KIPP Through College will help kids find the right match and support them through their college experience. Parents are also excited to have a school that doesn’t just focus on test scores, but character and teaching the whole child, too. We want to build a school where kids are happy and where they have support in finding own purpose in their life. We’re not just thinking about college, we’re thinking about how  we support them in building their own identity so they can lead choice-filled lives past college. We want to help them find themselves.

If I was a family member or someone in the community walking a kid to the front door on the first day, what’s my experience? What am I going to see?

You’re going to see a lot of love, a lot of smiles. You’ll see a lot of relationships that have already been built before, through previous events and the welcome visits we do at each family’s house. We already have a sense of who these students are, who their families are, and where they’re coming in at in math and reading, so we can be prepared to support them, whatever their level.

You’ll see a lot of love and lot of smiles celebration that first day of school and you’ll see us working to make sure kids feel comfortable. For most of them, this is their first day in a middle school setting. We want them to have a great first day as they get to know their peers and teachers.

Welcome to Miami!

Know a family with a rising fifth or sixth grade student who could benefit from our unique educational model? Encourage them to apply here.

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