CMS High Impact Schools


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Meet Your Colleagues


Geeta Peter

Math Cochrane Collegiate Academy

Geeta Peter joined Cochrane Collegiate after working as an educator for more than two decades in India, New Zealand, and most recently Greenville.

What makes your school a special place to work?

Cochrane is a place that gives students multiple opportunities to excel and shine. The blended learning environment makes learning very realistic for students and prepares them for college and careers in the 21st century. Students here show a keenness to achieve, and that’s very encouraging. Beyond that, I like the atmosphere at Cochrane. The faculty and administrators are very supportive, and the technology and the support we receive in that area are awesome. This is a place where everyone is willing to do a little bit extra to support each other and give our students the best.

What brought you to Cochrane Collegiate?

The city of Charlotte has always enticed me. After a Skype interview and meeting all the staff at Cochrane, I knew I wanted to stay. I have a couple of years’ experience teaching in a Title I school as well, so that was another reason. Teaching is my dream job. I love making an impact on young minds. At a High Impact school, you have to be strong and passionate. You have to love what you teach. I love math.

How has your principal or school supported your growth as a teacher?

Principal Corn has given me all the support I need for my math classroom. From helping me access people in the district to other colleagues in the school who can be resources—she has made those connections for me. The best part is that she frequently drops in on my classroom to observe. It inspires me to do better.


"At a High Impact school, you have to be strong and passionate. You have to love what you teach."

Teacher Leaders

Richard Shepard

Dean of Students Harding University High School

As Dean of Students, Richard Shepard serves as a mentor and leader, while also supporting math instruction in Harding’s alternative program for at-risk students. Through the Beacon Initiative, Harding offers educators the opportunity to be collaborative leaders in a rigorous turnaround process supported by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the University of Virginia.

What does your role as Dean of Students entail?

I have a unique opportunity at Harding’s RAM Academy (named for our school mascot, the ram). This is an alternative program within the school for students who are off track in terms of credits toward graduation, and who struggle in the regular high school setting. These are kids who are at risk of falling through the cracks, and we’re giving them a path to earn their high school diplomas. We use a blended learning approach—they have their classes online and we support them with the content. We set a goal for them to complete a course per month, so they’ll earn the credits needed to graduate this year. My job is to manage discipline, and since I used to be a math teacher, I also support their math instruction. I love it.

What brought you to CMS’ High Impact schools?

I have the opportunity to be a role model and a leader here. Coming through school, there were male teachers and leaders, but really no black males. It’s my duty to ensure that I am being a positive role model for our young adults, especially those who look like me. I feel like I’m needed here, and I enjoy it.

Harding is an amazing place to work simply because of the people. We have a content specialist for every subject area so teachers get the support they need. We have the International Baccalaureate program, and we are getting a new magnet program next year. There’s never a dull moment. Not to mention the band is the best!

What’s the best part of working in a High Impact school?

Seeing the faces of parents at graduations. The parents are yelling as if they have won the lottery. It’s amazing to see that, and to know that I had a little piece in helping a kid get that credit they needed to graduate.

"It’s my duty to ensure that I am being a positive role model for our young adults, especially those who look like me."

DaQuita Pounds

Math Multi-Classroom Leader West Mecklenburg High School

As a Multi-Classroom Leader, DaQuita Pounds has the chance to expand her impact by serving as an instructional leader to a team of teachers, while also working with students across multiple classrooms. Multi-Classroom Leader roles are available at Opportunity Culture schools.

What brought you to CMS’ High Impact schools?

I came here for the opportunity to reach more students in a different way than I've had the chance to do before. I moved into a position that allows me to work with both students and staff to help reach our school's Annual Measurable Objectives. I believe I have a lot to offer to staff and students, and CMS’ High Impact schools provided me with the opportunity to expand my influence.

What does your role as Multi-Classroom Leader entail?

In this role, I work with a team of teachers and lead them in instructional practices, understanding and developing curriculum, and using data-driven instruction. I’m able to work in small groups with students and I also coach teachers and serve as the liaison between the teacher team and the administration.

How have you grown as an educator through this role?

I’ve grown tremendously as a leader, and in my ability to use data to drive instruction. I have the opportunity to spend more time examining data and talking through that data with a team of educators, leading them to make better instructional decisions for almost every student in the freshman class. Additionally, I have the opportunity to cultivate cohesiveness and camaraderie among veteran teachers, which is very rewarding. 

"I came here for the opportunity to reach more students in a different way than I've had the chance to do before."