Mohannad “Mo” Jishi, Executive Vice President at M&T Bank, first became involved with Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) as a neighbor of Hampstead Hill Academy (HHA). He began volunteering in 2013 through Business Volunteers Maryland’s PENCIL Affiliate Program, helping Principal Matt Hornbeck develop a decisioning tool to help align investments with HHA’s goal of graduating distinguished eighth graders. In 2015, he was invited to serve on the BCP Board. 

We spoke to Mo about his unique beginning with BCP and the impact he and his fellow Board members are having on Baltimore. 

What does it mean to serve on the BCP Board? 

Board service with BCP means engaging with a team whose mission orients entirely around supporting member charter schools in their activities to enrich the children and families they serve by providing a high quality, safe and comfortable learning environment. I believe that when you agree to serve on this, in fact any, board, you are committing. Once you’ve made that commitment, it’s an obligation. As a board volunteer, helping the organization to realize its full potential is an important part of my own aspirations for the year, quarter, and day. Being on the board is providing governance, oversight, advocacy, and education, helping share the narrative. BCP is a little bit different from other boards that I’ve been on – many are larger organizations with larger boards. There are more voices on those boards. When you are on a bigger board, it’s more challenging to engage the entire room in interactive dialogue.

The BCP Board is smaller, more intimate. Every voice needs to be – and is – heard. I believe that if you are on a board, you need to be present, you need to be engaged, you need to be familiar. Laura [Doherty, BCP President and CEO] and the team are fantastic operators, and the impact that they make on the schools that they serve and the communities that those schools serve is huge. When you volunteer as a Board member for an organization with that level of leadership competence in addition to governance, board members are able to observe where leadership is trying to bring the organization, look for obstacles, and help the leadership team remove or mitigate those obstacles. We help enable BCP to deliver on their mission.

How is your BCP service different from your other community leadership? 

It’s different in its intimacy. The other boards I’ve served have been for much larger organizations like the Y in Central Maryland, National Aquarium or Visit Baltimore, which is a new organization for me as a board member. I’ve been on the board of the National Aquarium for 19 years. It services a million-plus guests a year, so it’s different from BCP. The board of the Y in Central Maryland, which I chaired for three years, has more similarity to BCP. It’s a much larger board, about 40 members, but it’s very much ingrained in its mission to serve and enrich our communities. In fact, BCP and the Y share many common aspects of mission and communities served. 

As a BCP Board member, I feel I can get my hands as deep into the work as I want. [With larger boards] you can sometimes do that best as a member of the executive committee. Those groups tend to be smaller groups that better understand the inner workings of the organizations and come together synergistically to form one group. The full BCP Board has the feel of an Executive Committee.

BCP and its role in the charter schools and neighborhoods it supports is just phenomenal. The schools are in various stages of their development, but there is an upward crescendo. BCP has some of the best schools in the City as part of this family. 

How did you learn about BCP?

When I was single, I lived in Canton. Kelly Hodge Williams, the CEO of Business Volunteers Limited [now Business Volunteers Maryland], was advocating for the PENCIL project in Baltimore. With PENCIL, volunteers engaged in various ways with school leadership, with teachers, and with the PTO. 

I told Kelly that I wanted to engage with HHA, my neighborhood zoned school. She set up a meeting with Matt [Hornbeck, HHA Principal] and me. Through my volunteer work with Matt, I created a flowchart for him to prioritize ideas and potential programs. I just listened to him and wrote down what was in his head. That’s how I got involved. I became visible to members of the BCP board from my work with HHA and ultimately was invited to join the board. My eldest daughter also went to HHA from Pre-K through 3rd grade and loved it. We moved to Anne Arundel County when we had our second child. 

Through any condition – increased violence in the city, the pandemic – BCP remains dogged in its mission to enable and empower its six schools to make the impact they need to make on their communities, students, and families. There is plenty of opportunity to be distracted and take your eye off that ball. But every day BCP is achieving for the mission and for the communities it serves, which I think is phenomenal.

About Mo


  • M&T Bank, Executive Vice President, Director of Strategy and Transformation; active member of the bank leadership team, serving on the Operating Committee and various corporate steering/advisory committees
  • Nearly 30 years of experience in the financial services industry
  • Immediate past Chair of the Association Board and Executive Committees of the Y in Central Maryland
  • Serves on the Board and Finance Committees at the National Aquarium; past board member, St. Agnes Hospital
  • Newly appointed to serve on the Board and Finance Committee of Visit Baltimore

About the Baltimore Curriculum Project

Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) is the largest operator of local neighborhood, public charter schools in Maryland. We create safe, supportive learning environments for children PK-8 by providing innovative, research-based educational strategies, intensive teacher training and extensive support for administration and staff. We support our local neighborhood needs by tailoring our resources and support through community partnerships.

As one of the longest-running charter operators in Maryland, our schools are regularly recognized as some of the most highly acclaimed neighborhood charter schools in the state. 

Pimlico Elementary / Middle School

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2707 E. Fayette Street
Baltimore, MD 21224
Fax: 410-675-7030

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