Friday, December 16, 2011


Portfolio has finished and students, teachers and staff are off to begin their Winter Break. Before we leave we want to congratulate TMA senior Shamir Fauntleroy on a very exciting accomplishment. Shamir has been accepted to be a Posse Scholar at Pepperdine University. Through the Posse Foundation, Shamir's four years of tuition will be covered and he will receive support a college mentor through the Posse Foundation. Congratulations Shamir!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Law Firm Tutoring Spotlight: Williams & Connolly

Elcid Johnson works on AP US History.

The LFT group that heads to Williams & Connolly each week comes prepared to work hard and have fun! Although Law Firm Tutoring partner Williams & Connolly hosts one of the largest LFT groups in this year's program, the firm's sessions run smoothly under the guidance of Linda Dunbar, the LFT coordinator, and the tutors from the firm.

Renita Robinson and her tutor work together on an assignment.

As is the case with several other LFT partner firms, Williams & Connolly matches each TMA student with a tutor or two for the entire year, and students and tutors get to know each other well during the LFT sessions. At the final LFT session before the break, students and their tutors buckled down to work on everything from US History essay prompts and outlines to Algebra assignments on perfect squares.

Malachi McCaskill and his tutor tackle perfect squares!

Throughout the hour of tutoring, students and tutors worked together on homework, but also took time to catch up with each other and to learn more about each other’s lives and goals for the future, exemplifying one of the many extra-curricular benefits of LFT for students.

Rachelle Turner gets input from her tutor.

Marion Washington and her tutor work on a History prompt.

As students packed up to head down to the bus, we discovered that some students were still hard at work with their tutors, and didn’t want to leave LFT!

Lexus Harkum and her tutor discuss an assignment.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Warriors in High Spirits for Homecoming

Students from all grades donned their class colors and kicked their TMA spirit into high gear for Friday’s pep rally, which culminated Homecoming week. Following a week of spirit days including Mismatch day, Twin day, and Decade day, students proudly displayed their class colors for last Friday afternoon’s event in the gym. Ms. Bobo led the students through a series of competitions including a three-legged race, free throw competition and a tug of war. In the free throw shootout, the freshman team of Edwin Louallen, Donte Hatcher, Kiana Ingraham, and Kaprise James outscored the sophomores, and then defeated the senior team in a one point victory. Also debuting at the pep rally was TMA’s very own Go-Go group led by music teacher Mr. Van Siclen.

Although both the boys and girls basketball teams spent the weekend playing games on the road, the Mighty Warriors will be back in action tomorrow at home with a double header tomorrow versus Booker T. Washington Charter School. Lady Warriors play at 6, and the boys’ game will follow at 7:30. GOOOOO Warriors!

Sekerhi Anderson (right) in the free throw contest.

TMA's Go-Go group led by Mr. Van Siclen (center) on saxophone.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Law Firm Tutoring: Spotlight on Morgan Lewis

Each Tuesday, a group of twelve juniors heads over to Morgan Lewis for the Law Firm Tutoring Program. After a quick bus trip downtown, students arrive at the firm and are greeted by Lisa Thompson, one of the LFT coordinators at Morgan Lewis.

Students and Ms. Thompson eat dinner together, often discussing current events or life skills for the first few minutes of the evening. The group also uses their time to catch up about the week and discuss students’ upcoming assignments and projects.

After dinner, students head over to the study area and begin working on homework with tutors, who help with anything from AP US History notes to Pre-Calculus projects!

Morgan Lewis has been a LFT partner since the program’s beginning in 2001, and it’s easy to see how committed everyone at the firm is to helping students succeed and stay on track with their classes. Whether it’s motivational discussions with the students or one-on-one check-ins, students and tutors work together each session to make the most of their shared experience.

As Lisa notes: "I remember when I received an email from our former Chair, Tom O’Brien, about the upcoming training meeting that would take place for those who were interested in tutoring students from Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School.  I was so excited because this was the perfect opportunity for me to give back to the community and also never leave my building.  What started out as just a passion to give back, has blossomed into me co-chairing the program with Michael Berenson, Senior Counsel, here at our office.  


"Each Tuesday, I look forward to seeing the students come to our dining center so that we can talk, find out how they are doing with their studies and also give them some practical life-skills help when necessary.  I have also kept in touch with many of the students who have now graduated from TMA and gone on to college.  I love working with the TMA Law Firm Tutoring program."

As the evening of tutoring wraps up, students and their tutors talk as they head toward the elevators, with pairs at times continuing the conversations right up to the time students board the bus!

Law Firm Tutoring Spotlight: Vinson & Elkins

Whether in rain, shine, or freezing cold, fifteen TMA students board a bus after school on Tuesdays that winds its way through the National Mall and monuments to the law firm of Vinson & Elkins, a long-time LFT partner.

Japaira Ellison and Kennika Massie working with a tutor.
The Chemistry group gets ready to talk about elements!

Once at the firm, students quickly get down to business, pulling out assignments and letting the LFT coordinator know what they need to work on for the session. Although some students work individually with tutors on assignments, there are also students who work collaboratively on assignments for classes they have in common.

Delante Fludd and Destiny Long think intently about a problem.

While Seren Snow and his tutor discussed the necessary edits for an AP Government paper, the group in one corner of the table was having a heated argument about ionic elements. One tutor noted, "I never knew Chemistry could be so exciting!"

Japaira Ellison works on History.

Students and tutors in the midst of great discussions!

At the end of the session, students reluctantly packed up, some even continuing their discussions with their tutors as they walked out to the elevators!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Homework Help's Holiday Meal

Cornbread prepared by Programs Staff.
Last Monday TMA students gathered in the cafeteria to celebrate an early Thanksgiving. About 30 students feasted on green beans, sweet potatoes, corn, and cornbread, all washed down with some delicious apple juice. The dinner was a huge hit, with several students coming back for second helpings! Many thanks to the Kids Café program of the Capital Area Food Bank for donating the components of our Holiday Meal!

Allente Clark poses with his food.

Students waiting in line for portions of food...
Isaiah Anderson and Treasure Shields dig into their dinner!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The TMA Brief Hits Newstands

The wait is over.

After months of hype, the first issue of this year’s TMA Brief is out on campus. With 12 pages of news, entertainment, photography, art and creative writing, this issue covers the creative energy of TMA and its students.

On the front page, Carlos McKnight reports on the results of the 2011 Student Government Association elections. Bryn Baffer writes in smart, funny prose about her experiences living on both sides of the country. Keneon Williams sits down with Ms. Shabazz to get the inside scoop on life, art and the influence of Picasso. Rounding out the reportage, Stewart Gray narrates the play-by-play of the year’s first Mentor Day in stunning detail.

Want more? Kimon Mickens dishes on the new Beyonce video alongside poetry by Anthonya James and Keneon Williams and photographs by Sydni Foshee and Jasmine Williams.

And, of course, don’t hold back on tackling The CoCoRon Puzzler. The first student or staff/faculty member to turn in a completed puzzle to Mr. Corcoran in Room 006 wins a prize!

Kicking yourself for not contributing to the issue? Don’t worry. The TMA Brief is looking for writers, artists, business-types and student leaders. See Mr. Bein in Room 210 or Mr. Corcoran in Room 006 for more information.

The TMA Brief is now published worldwide. A pdf version is available on the TMA web site. Click the link below.

Friday, November 18, 2011

National Treasure: TMA Edition

While many students spent last Friday’s day off from school sleeping in late, twenty of Ms. Enrich’s chemistry students scurried across DC in a city-wide treasure hunt. The treasure hunts demanded problem solving, critical thinking, persistence, and cooperation. The hunt led students to sites including Lafayette Park, the Martin Luther King library, and the National Portrait Gallery.

Treasure Hunts began as a brainstorm three years between Ms. Enrich and her former colleague from Cesar Chavez, and this year students from both schools participated. All students persevered to finish the hunt this year, but coming in first place was the dynamic trio of Malachi McCaskill, Telvin Walker, and Chris Ridout. Organizer Ms. Enrich commented, “Treasure Hunts pushes students to think extremely hard while also having fun exploring the sights in their own city.”

Winners Telvin Walker, Malachi McCaskill, and Chris Ridout

Want to be involved in a future treasure hunt? There will be another opportunity to participate in a second treasure hunt at the end of fourth quarter. It’s open to teachers as well, so start forming your teams now! Talk to Ms. Enrich for more information.

Award-Winning Photojournalist Talks Travel, Careers and Storytelling

Take risks and follow your creative passions—that was the advice award-winning photographer Andre Lambertson offered a group of about 15 students after school on Tuesday, November 8.

Lambertson told the group, which included members of the HERO Club, Art Club and Media Club, that when he was young he knew only that wanted to tell stories. After a stint in college as an apprentice for a news photographer in New York City, Lambertson decided to devote himself to visual media. You might not make money starting out, Lambertson told students, but if you are passionate about the daily grind then you will find a way to make it work.

Lambertson showed a series of photographs from his travels to impoverished regions of Liberia and Haiti. Speaking at length about the relationships he built with the people he met, Lamberston explained the stories behind each photograph. Students learned about child soldiers in Liberia and about Haitians surviving after the devastating earthquake that took place there in 2010. Lambertson explained that he develops personal relationships with his subjects and in doing so can often tell their stories in a more truthful way than what is portrayed in typical media reporting.

He advised students to travel widely as a means of broadening their perspectives.

“Traveling changes you,” Lamberston said.

Lambertson has published photographs in many publications, including Time, The New York Times Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, and National Geographic. Currently, he is working on a documentary film about marching bands that work to reduce street violence in New Orleans.

Lambertson’s visit to TMA was arranged in cooperation with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a DC-based non-profit that funds international journalism projects.

Students interested in photography, journalism, media or related career tracks should see Mr. Bein about contributing to TMA student media. Sophomores should also speak with Mr. Bein about developing potential placements for Job Shadow Day in the spring.