Friendship Public Charter School Welcomes New CEO Patricia A. Brantley

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A noted education reformer, Brantley takes helm of FPCS, one of nation's largest and highest-performing charter networks headquartered in Washington, D.C.

FPCS CEO Patricia A. Brantley reads to Armstrong Elementary students

"Only by reflecting the needs and aspirations of the communities we serve can Friendship continue to strengthen its delivery of a world-class education," FPCS CEO Patricia A. Brantley

Friendship Public Charter School (FPCS) is proud to announce that today Patricia A. Brantley will begin her tenure as the charter network’s chief executive officer.

A longtime FPCS senior official, Ms. Brantley has served as the network’s chief operating officer since 2003. In September, the FPCS Board of Trustees unanimously selected Ms. Brantley to succeed Friendship schools Founder and Board Chair Donald L. Hense, who retired as chief executive this week.

“Patricia Brantley is the person to lead Friendship into its next chapter of exemplary achievement,” said Donald L. Hense. “She occupies that rare space of both education reformer and brilliant organizational strategist. Most importantly, she is driven by a deeply-rooted belief in the possibilities that lie within every child. As CEO, she will continue to grow our schools and work tirelessly to create learning opportunities that transform lives.”

For 13 years, Ms. Brantley’s leadership has been integral to making FPCS one of the largest and highest-performing charter networks in the country. As COO, she engineered the acquisition and development of six schools in Washington, D.C., four partner schools in Baltimore, Maryland, and a new charter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She oversaw all school operations, secured more than $96 million in public and private funding, instituted management policies that aligned the network’s campuses, and established the Friendship Teaching Institute as a model of professional development. Ms. Brantley also launched the independent Friendship Education Foundation to take the charter network's academic model across the nation. And she led the development of FPCS’ high school model, which yields one of the District’s highest graduation and college acceptance rates, a record that outpaces the national average and continues to grow.

FPCS Board Member Gregory Prince credits Ms. Brantley as key to the network’s expansion and groundbreaking impact. “The Board was unanimous in its selection because of the amazing job Ms. Brantley has done positioning Friendship as a premier school system, locally and nationally. She offers many strengths, but all can be traced to her leadership, vast knowledge and passion for the children of Friendship.”

Ms. Brantley’s first year as CEO will focus on a combination of new initiatives and a sustained investment in existing achievements. “Friendship is known for turning around failing schools and elevating student performance despite the direst circumstances. Our work, which has annually produced graduation rates above 90 percent with all graduates accepted to college, will continue,” said Brantley. “Yet we have only begun to scratch the surface. Next year, we will bolster classroom rigor with Friendship’s new curriculum; saturate schools with an intensive reading program; expand arts and character education starting in the primary grades; and lay the foundation for a college-preparatory school for young men in grades four to eight.”

In the months following Brantley’s CEO appointment, she embarked on a Listen and Learn campaign that engaged FPCS students, staff, parents and alumni in candid conversations about how to make their schools stronger. This campaign will continue throughout the summer and inform Brantley’s first 100-day plan for the 2016-17 school year. “Only by reflecting the needs and aspirations of the communities we serve can Friendship continue to strengthen its delivery of a world-class education.”

The greater Friendship community is excited and optimistic about Brantley’s new role. “As an educator and Friendship parent, I’m excited about Ms. Brantley’s transition to CEO. She is intelligent, kind and has a keen eye for strategies that move Friendship forward. Our schools and students are in very capable hands. I look forward to working with her for years to come,” said Anise Walker, parent.

Prior to joining FPCS, Patricia Brantley served in corporate and nonprofit leadership positions, including founder of the Partnership for Academic Achievement; chief development officer and senior advisor to civil rights icon Dr. Dorothy Irene Height at the National Council of Negro Women; executive director of the Dance Institute of Washington; and national director for the Black Family Reunion Celebration. Ms. Brantley is a graduate of Princeton University and noted as one of the top 20 African American women in education.


Since its founding in 1997 by nationally renowned educator and social advocate Donald L. Hense, Friendship Public Charter School (FPCS) has enabled thousands of students in underserved communities to become achievers. One of the nation’s largest and highest-performing public charter school networks, FPCS operates nine Washington-area schools serving more than 4,000 students in preschool through grade 12. All nine campuses are among the city’s top performing. They include an International Baccalaureate elementary and middle school, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) emersion high school, Early College preparatory high school and Reggio Emilia arts-education elementary school. For more information about FPCS and its campuses, visit


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Candice Tolliver Burns
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