NashvilleBusiness.Net 100 Leading African Americans 2018 Recipient: Lagra Newman

Click Here To Listen Nashville Business 100 Leading African Americans Lagra Newman

Lagra Newman is the Founder and Head of School of Purpose Preparatory Academy, a high performing elementary school in Nashville, TN. Purpose Prep, a public, non-selective charter school, educates children predominately within the North Nashville community and focuses on strong literacy acquisition. In 2017, Purpose Prep earned Reward status for being among the top 5% of schools in the state of Tennessee for academic performance.

A staunch advocate for undeserved communities, Ms. Newman is deeply committed to ensuring that all children have access to quality education. Lagra began her career as an inner-city teacher for Teach for America where she taught fifth grade at 109th Street Elementary School in the Watts community of Los Angeles, California. She then recruited teachers for Teach For America in Atlanta, GA and then served as an instructional coach at an elementary school in Washington, DC.
Undergoing a competitive fellowship with Boston-based nonprofit Building Excellent Schools in 2011 led Lagra back to Nashville to take on the challenge of opening Purpose Prep, which is her brainchild, as she designed, developed, and currently leads the high performing model. In her current work as the Head of School for Purpose Prep, Ms. Newman oversees the instructional, operational, and financial aspects of the school, bringing strong leadership to the educational reform movement in Tennessee.

In her personal time, Lagra loves to travel and create meaningful experiences with loved ones. Within the past few years, she has traveled to Israel, South Africa, Morocco, Cuba, France, Egypt, Ghana, Spain, and the UAE. Lagra earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Spanish at Vanderbilt University, a Masters in Teaching at Loyola Marymount University, and a Masters in Education Leadership from Teachers College of Columbia University.

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