Rocketship Infinity Prep Honors Educator and Community Activist Romaine Thomas
by Candice Bobo, Rocketship DC Executive Director
On November 18th, we had the opportunity to dedicate the Rocketship Infinity Community Prep campus in honor of local educator and activist Romaine Thomas. Mrs. Thomas is an institution in our community and a true caretaker of children. As an educator, Mrs. Thomas knew that students needed to connect with their own history in order to see a future for themselves. At Rocketship D.C., we know that our students need to connect to their history and cultural heritage in order to fully form their own identity and vision for the future. That is why we decided to name this campus after a strong, local community leader and how we chose Mrs. Romaine Thomas as our namesake.
Founding Principal Angel McNeil put it best when she said, “The community prep that is at the end of our name and our fifth core value of integrity were intentional. Both symbolize the people who make up our community who aim to work together with the core principle in mind that each and every Rocketeer whoever walks through our doors has the educational experience that they deserve. From our enrichment program, to high-quality instruction, talented staff, dedicated families, and social emotional learning, we strive to always make sure that we are laying the foundation for the success that Rocketeers will have at college and beyond so that they can go out and positively impact the communities in which they lead, live, and serve.”
Early in her career, Mrs. Thomas worked as a teacher and principal at LaSalle Backus Elementary in Ward 5, not far from the new Rocketship campus. Racial integration was occurring at the time and social conditions profoundly impacted education, especially for students of color. Mrs. Thomas focused on developing community partnerships to create more resources for students and families, and specifically to give her students access to programming that highlighted black history.
Mrs. Thomas later received the National Distinguished Principal Award by the U.S. Secretary of Education while leading John Henry Ketcham Elementary School. She has also served as a leader in local civic organizations, advocating for Ward 5, children, seniors and people with disabilities. Through her commitment to community service, Mrs. Thomas helped further the work of organizations such as the Woodridge Civic Association, the District of Columbia’s Federation of Civic Associations, the D.C. chapter of AARP, and the D.C. Commission on Aging.
Thank you to our board members and supporters who came out to honor Mrs. Thomas, and to the Rocketship Infinity Community Prep staff who serve our students with excellence everyday!
Published on November 29, 2021