An urban educator

11 Apr


Of all the reasons Rohini Ramnath loves living in Washington, D.C. – the museums, the monuments, the food, the culture, her job – one thing stands out: the metro.

“I don’t drive a car,” she says. “I take the metro everywhere. It’s a great train and bus system. You can get anywhere in the city. I love taking the metro. It appeals to my Midwestern sensibilities.”

Rohini grew up in Clinton, Iowa. Both of her parents are Indian; her father grew up in India; her mother in Malaysia. She came to Iowa State as a George Washington Carver Scholar and took advantage of everything the university had to offer. As a triple major in political science, international studies, and Spanish, Rohini got involved in Government of the Student Body, the Committee on Lectures, the Honors Program, and in other groups across campus. She studied abroad in Spain and backpacked across Europe. She was named a Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior.

Following graduation in 2007, Rohini was selected as a Rotary Ambassadoral Scholar to Ghana, an experience she calls “life changing.” She received a master’s degree in international economics at the University of Ghana.

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Five years ago, she moved to Washington, D.C., as a member of the Teach for America corps.

“I fell in love with urban education,” she says. “I found my life path here.”

Rohini taught children at the Howard Road Academy and now works as a full-time data manager for CentroNia’s DC Bilingual Public Charter School. Her job involves working as an instructional coach with teachers and principals.

“I’m hyper-focused on what’s going to be best for student achievement,” she says.

Rohini recently bought a condo in the Georgia Avenue/Petworth neighborhood of D.C., which she describes as “the most grown-up thing I’ve ever done.” It’s one metro stop, or a 20-minute walk, away from her school.

“I look around this city, with the capitol and all the monuments,” she says, “and I’m still like, ‘I can’t believe I’m here.’”

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