How School Leader Garry Cameron Breaks Down Barriers for Students

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Garry Cameron, Charter School Leader Making Black History in the Moment

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools sat down with Garry Cameron, academy director at Friendship Southeast Elementary and Middle, to celebrate his impact inside his school and learn more about his role. 

The Friendship Public School community serves grades PreK3-12, across 16 campuses. The network is rooted in core values of integrity, responsibility, confidence, care, commitment, patience, persistence, and respect—and its teachers focus on educating, uplifting, and helping students build character. 

Garry joined the Friendship family back in 2011 where he taught summer school. He held various roles, including teaching 8th-grade math. To date, Garry has earned the following accolades during his tenure:  

  • Friendship Public Charter School Teacher of the Year, 2022 
  • Friendship Blow Pierce Teacher of the Year, 2022 
  • Washington Post Teacher of the Year finalist, 2021 
  • Friendship Tech Prep Teacher of the Year, 2013 

Before Garry transitioned into a school leadership role, Garry gained leadership experience through various programs at Friendship—something he will always remember. 

“I'm forever grateful and thankful to Friendship Public Charter School for investing in teachers. They invest in teachers to make sure that students can get everything they can possibly get.” - Garry Cameron, academy director at Friendship Southeast Elementary and Middle School  

Three things I learned from Garry in the interview include: the importance of treating students with a fresh start each day to reinforce a warm and safe school space, taking the time to reflect about each school day to continue to make improvements, and serving as a connector for students to reach their ultimate dreams.  

 “I stepped into this role this year to make sure that I was able to inspire the next generation and keep more Black males within the field so that they could do great things like I'm doing within the organization. I want to pick up the baton and keep going.  I want to be able to knock down walls. I want us to be able to be seen in every single room. That is my life's dream is to be a connector.” - Garry Cameron, academy director at Friendship Southeast Elementary and Middle School  

Not only is Garry a school leader at a charter school, he’s also a charter school parent. His son attends a different charter school in Washington, D.C.  

Garry is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc. and the National Association of Black Male Educators.


Brittnee Baker is the manager of communications and marketing at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. This blog was posted as part of the National Alliance's celebration of Black History Month 2023. 


Hear from Garry directly in our live interview with him below!

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