by Lee Landenberger
After an extensive national search, Duke J. Bradley III has been named the new principal at Wesley International Academy.
Wesley International Academy, an Atlanta Public Schools charter school in its sixth year, serves students kindergarten through eighth grade in a single-gender setting. The school, located in Southeast Atlanta's Custer/McDonough/Guice community, follows guidelines set by the International Baccalaureate Organization’s Primary Years and Middle Years programs. It also has an extensive Mandarin Chinese program.
Nearly 150 applicants for the principal position were interviewed over four months. The search committee consisted of three board members, three parents and five staff members.
“When I introduced him to my children after our PTA meeting earlier in May, he greeted them in Chinese. They were impressed by his perfect tone and pronunciation,” said Erica Jong, an East Atlanta resident and mother of two Wesley International students. “His leadership will ensure our continued success in being an exceptional international school for our diverse community of students and I am excited about Wesley's future.”
Bradley most recently held the position of the director at Chattahoochee Hills Charter School in Chattahoochee Hills.
In 2007, he was accepted into the highly selective New Leaders for New Schools leadership development program, which attracts, prepares and supports talented individuals to become outstanding principals in the nation’s public schools.
Bradley comes from the charter school reform movement in New Orleans, making him uniquely qualified to lead Wesley International Academy into the future. He is founder and executive director of the Benjamin E. Mays Preparatory School New Orleans, one of Louisiana’s first open-enrollment transformation charter schools.
Bradley began his career as a high school English teacher with DeKalb County Schools. Following a stint with the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education, he spent four years with the expansive education reform initiatives under way in New Orleans, serving as Resident Principal of Joseph A. Craig School in partial fulfillment of his fellowship with the highly selective New Leaders for New School’s Principal Training Program.
Afterwards, he founded and led Benjamin E. Mays Preparatory School one of the state of Louisiana’s first four TYPE 5 transformation charter schools.
Bradley is a native of Columbus, GA, and graduated from Morehouse College, where he was president of the Benjamin E. Mays Scholars Program. Since completing graduate school at Brown University, he has enjoyed a rich and diverse professional career – he worked as a Congressional Intern for both Congressman John Lewis (D-
GA), and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX).
A 2003 graduate of John Marshall Law School and former president of its Black Law Students Association and a Moot Court Honor Board Member, Bradley is currently nearing the end of his doctoral studies, reaching the “all but dissertation” distinction in May 2011.
“Mr. Bradley is an academic star who will provide not only excellent educational leadership, but desperately needed stability to Southeast Atlanta students," said Ormewood Park resident and WIA Board Chairman Kamau Bobb.