Aimee Harmon-Darrow (Board President, Founder, Parent/Legal guardian/Family member of a current student) Aimee is a founding parent of Creative City, and she served on the Board prior to the school’s opening and has served as chair or co-chair of the Facilities Committee since before the school received its charter. Her fifth grader has attended the school since it opened, and her younger child is a kindergartner. Aimee has worked to establish relationships with various Park Heights organizations, including Park Heights Renaissance and the Park Heights Community Health Association. She is skilled in outreach and organizing and is keenly interested in ensuring our school’s success through our current contract and into our next renewal. She is also interested in continuing to work on our eventual expansion to the middle grades. Aimee works as a Financial Analyst with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and she has served on various nonprofit boards in the past. As a member of the Board at Creative City, Aimee intends to continue to serve on the Facilities Committee as well as participate in the Outreach Committee.
Toni Woodlon (Consultant): Toni Woodlon is the Founder and CEO of EdAlly Consulting, where she leads training and workshops that build capacity for sustainable positive change in schools, government agencies, and organizations all over the world. A trained facilitator and champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), Toni facilitates learning around a range of education and DEI topics such as culturally responsive teaching, implicit bias and microaggressions, navigating workplace culture, minimizing the creating inclusive spaces in which people thrive, and strategies for showing up to advocate for yourself and others. A dynamic and empowering leader, Toni has co-facilitated affinity spaces for youth and adults, creating spaces where others feel seen, known, and loved. In her transformational work, Toni utilizes a framework that involves high levels of engagement, collaboration, and storytelling. These components, she believes, allow people to lean in and to recognize their common humanity, even while having difficult conversations and doing the hard work.
Prior to launching her consulting business, Toni spent 14 years in public and private schools in Baltimore, MD as assistant principal, teacher, instructional coach, curriculum writer, and mentor. She was most recently the Middle School Assistant Principal for School Culture and Community Life at Friends School of Baltimore. Toni spent 60 hours being trained as a Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) facilitator, and has led shared learning experiences for cohorts of adult learners on a wide range of topics such as identity, systems of oppression, power and privilege, and more. Toni continues to be a sought-after presenter at local and national conferences, speaking with audiences about a range of topics from leadership, curriculum development, and ways to help ensure educational equity for all students by using brain-based and research-informed strategies for identifying and removing individual and structural barriers to student success.
Toni is passionate about using her voice to empower others to walk in their full purpose and passion. She recently launched a podcast and affinity space to center and amplify the voices of womxn of color, both called Brown Girl Sound Off (BGSO). Toni holds a Master of Education degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, and is a Doctor of Education candidate with a concentration in Educational Administration and Leadership.
Bathelemew (Barth) Pobee (Founder, Board Financial Committee Chair) is a Certified Fraud Examiner and a senior auditor with the Department of Defense – Defense Contract Audit Agency. He has a BS in accounting from Morgan State University and currently taking classes for his master’s degree in Forensic Accounting at Stevenson University. Barth is experienced at identifying risk, instituting appropriate, financial controls and ensuring adherence to GAAP and other applicable regulations. Barth is also a notary public, and serves as Director of Budget for the American Diocese of the Celestial Church of Christ.
Julie S. (Board Secretary, Parent/Legal guardian/Family member of a current student)
Julie is the parent of third graders who have been attending Creative City since kindergarten. During that time, she has been part of the School Village Association and has volunteered in her sons’ classrooms and at other school-related events, including serving as a Den Leader for Boy Scouts. Julie appreciates the school’s sense of community and is interested in joining the Board to help the school continue its mission. She has a background in writing and substantive editing, development, and communications, and she is familiar with grant-writing and has helped implement fundraising campaigns. Julie has experience in both print and electronic publications, and has worked on social media plans and content for nonprofits. As a Board member, Julie anticipates being most closely involved with the Finance Committee.
Marisa Canino (Executive Director, Parent/Legal Guardian/Family Member of Current Student) has a passion for service, a commitment to seeing Baltimore City and its residents thrive, and a demonstrated track record in fundraising and nonprofit management. She has shown her commitment to the Baltimore community for 15 years through her professional and volunteer work with nonprofits serving Baltimore families. In her 11 years at Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, she progressively served as Development Director, Deputy Director, and Chief Operation Officer, garnering resources of up to $12 million annually, and managing programs that enabled more than 100 low-income families to purchase safe, decent, affordable homes of their own.
Her volunteer experience, most notably, includes her oversight of the community effort to rebuild the playground at Stadium Place from the ground up with hundreds of volunteers after an act of arson in 2008.
Marisa holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Franklin & Marshall College, and a certificate in fundraising management from Indiana University.
A mother of three, Marisa is also passionate about education and the opportunity for parents to be able to choose the school that is best for their child. She was a parent-founder at Creative City for two years before a broad search led to her being hired in the role of Executive Director.
Traci Johnson Mathena (Principal) joined Creative City as its Principal on July 20th, 2015. Prior to joining our school, she served as an assistant principal at Towson Law and Public Policy High School in Baltimore County (2009-2015). During her tenure, she supervised various academic departments as well as the school’s Student Support services, Special Education Department, Student Activities programs and the Testing Program. She also developed the Academic Commitment Creates Empowered Successful Students (ACCESS) Program, an after-school academic intervention where teachers, peer tutors and university students worked with struggling learners.
Traci has been an urban educator for over 20 years. She started as a teacher in 1994 after working as a metropolitan reporter for the Baltimore Sun for six years. In Baltimore City, she worked at her alma mater Western High School (Class of ‘88) and Canton Middle School. She was a teacher and Language Arts Department Chairman at Dumbarton Middle School in Baltimore County for eight years before joining the Towson High School administrative team. Her appointment to Creative City returns Traci to the Park Heights area where she was raised.
Since 1995, Traci has written curriculum for both Baltimore City and Baltimore County public school systems, mentored teachers, led professional development seminars about Differentiated Instruction, and taught graduate courses in education for Towson University and, most recently, the Johns Hopkins School of Education.
Traci is a National Board Certified Teacher of English Language Arts/Early Adolescence and earned her master’s degree in Leadership in Teaching from Notre Dame University of Maryland. She is the proud alumna of University of Maryland College Park and the even more proud parent of a current Terrapin, a Linguistics and Psychology major who will graduate in 2017.
LaQuisha Hall: LaQuisha Hall has dedicated 18 years to the Baltimore City Public Schools System. A literacy educator and now coach, she holds an English Bachelor’s degree from Elizabeth City State University and a Secondary Education Master’s degree from Morgan State University. LaQuisha mentors via Queendom T.E.A. (The Etiquette Academy), a program she founded to empower young ladies. An award-winning, best-selling author of multiple books, LaQuisha has published more than 100 scholars in anthologies including One Nation, One Heart—winner of the national Indie Authors Legacy Award for Youth Authors of the Year. LaQuisha also won Baltimore City Teacher of the Year in 2018 and was a finalist at the state level. She encourages educators to practice self-care because they cannot pour into scholars from an empty cup. Follow her journey on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @mrshallscholars.
Amber Barnes: (Parent of current student, Entrepreneur) I volunteer as needed. I also became a staff briefly in 2019-2020., helping assist in classrooms and even hosting/teaching afterschool programs. I have been deeply involved with creative city because of the tight knit Community influence they have shown since it was started in the Park Heights. When taking on my role as board member , I have to learn how to wear several hats at once(which gets a lil tricky) . Creative City always choose to give students, staff, visitors a home away from home. I love this the most! I love how we get to build together in our board meetings and bring solution to better all students. There are so many great things I would love to say but I rather express it by staying involved.
I am a mother, educator, entrepreneur, daughter, friend, healer and builder for my community . I own 3 small businesses, “BOLD, Beadiebeadz18, and Sparkle Exposure.” I am Omega Co-Chair of the Education Department at a DKS program. I am a YEP Director for Excellence and Ambition. There's really nothing that I don’t do. I attended Baltimore City Charter School, KIPP Ujima Village Academy, West Nottingham Academy, and Baltimore City Community College. I am a Baltimore Native and am proud to say it! I am continuing to build and grow throughout my community!
Bryan Appel: (Faculty Representive/Parent of Current Student)
Barry Norman Jr (Faculty Representative) is part of our REST team here at Creative City. This is Mr.Barry’s second year with Creative City.Mr.Barry was the former Unit Director at the Boys and Girls Club location in Towanda Recreation Center.. He is interested in contributing to the growth of Creative City and the Park Heights Community. He is the owner and operator of Charm City School of Self-Defense, a community based martial arts program that holds class at Creative City.