Memoriam: Board Member David Holder
Sunday, September 12, 2008 BCP Board Member
David Holder passed away after a 14 month
struggle with Lymphoma.
Monday, September 15th, more than seven hundred
people gathered to celebrate David Holder’s
life and legacy. The following remarks are
from BCP Board Chairman George Hess:
name is George Hess. I have known David as
a baby, a boy, an adolescent, a man, a surrogate
son, my boss, and as a very close friend.
bright and quick to learn things, David rarely
made the same mistake twice because he retained
every detail of his past experiences.
his creative thinking, he was a tower of
strength for any organization in which he
few years ago I was meeting with him about
something to do with his business and told
him about a new Board I was forming for an
organization called the Baltimore Curriculum
mission of the organization was and is to
take failing public schools after they have
been converted to Charter Schools and make
them into good schools.He
told me about his experience with the KIPP
school in D.C. and immediately said he wanted
told him the Board would meet 4 times a year
in Baltimore plus committee meetings that
would likely be in Baltimore as well. In
his wonderful, direct, enthusiastic way,
he said driving didn’t bother him;
he knew and cared about Baltimore and he
wanted to be involved. He
loved helping disadvantaged people because
he believed that if they had a fair chance,
they could improve their lot.
among other things in the little more than
two years that he was actively involved,
the Baltimore Curriculum Project got him
to head our Finance Committee, our Strategic
Planning Committee, and to be the Treasurer
of the organization. He
was fabulous, and the other Board members
and paid staff loved him. The abounding energy
that he showed was one of his trademarks.
was his respect for people as individuals
for what they could contribute to the cause.
You never felt old, young, female, black,
or white when you worked with David. You
were a person who was respected for what
you were contributing honestly to the cause.
you weren’t straight and honest,
you were soon off his team whether it was
business, lacrosse, basketball, going fishing,
or dealing with life’s prosaic problems.
Once he respected you and believed in you,
he was loyal to a fault.
With all these great attributes he also had
a great sense of humor and laughed a lot.
remember when Prime Shot, the photography company
he and Mike Niccolini created, rented a 10,700
square foot space on Vermont Avenue in downtown
Washington. The place had small offices strewn
around the perimeter and a huge open space
in the middle.
was the curmudgeon CFO of the organization.
He had seen the space first and knew I questioned
whether we needed so many square feet.
I saw it, I asked him what we were going
to do with all this open space. So he opened
a big bag he had brought with him, pulled
out a football, and said, “We can have
some great touch football games.”
I could talk for hours about David, I’ll
tell you only one other story about him. Last
January after the tumors had returned to his
gut and he was involved in his second regiment
of chemotherapy, Mike Niccolini needed help
with some aspects of their business.
Sislen, Lara George, and I had volunteered
and were asked to meet with Mike. As the
three of us were waiting for Mike, we reflected
on why we wanted to be involved.
said it better than Dave and I when she said: “David
Holder is the personification of ‘good,’ and
you have to want to help his company at a
time like this.”
Will be Missed
Holder joined BCP’s Board of
Directors in February of 2006. One of several
new Board members that joined the Board that
year, David brought with him the passion,
enthusiasm and intelligence that he brought
to all his endeavors.
met and got to know David through his service
to the BCP Board. Immediately upon meeting
him I was struck by the spark of inner light
and curiosity that was a signature of David’s
personality. David did nothing half heartedly
and the BCP Board was no exception.
was immediately energized by the critical
mission of BCP and the potential to improve
the lives of so many students. Possibilities
were always limitless as far as David was
concerned and he applied his capacity for
strategic planning, analytical mind, and
financial and business expertise to the many
challenges and issues presented to the Board.
engagement and leadership on the Board was
extensive. He proved a strong and thoughtful
Chair of the Finance Committee. He spearheaded
and was largely responsible for the development
of a five year strategic plan for the organization
and ensured its careful and thorough implementation.
We deeply benefited from his insights and
thoughtful contributions to the organization
and his impacts remain clear today and will
for some time to come.
guess I somewhat assumed that the level of
devotion and passion that David offered to
BCP must surely have been a unique gift.
However, at David’s
memorial service, I was struck by how consistent
and far reaching his impact on the world
was. Every one of the many people who spoke
that day and with whom I spoke during the
service attended by over seven hundred mourners,
all described David in the exact same way
I knew him.
all highlighted his kindness, positive outlook,
enthusiasm and unwavering belief in the goodness
of those around him. They also described
his deep belief in the possibility and responsibility
to improve the world around us.
imagine I assumed I would hear about different
aspects of David’s life or personality
from those who had the privilege of knowing
him longer. Not so. David was David all the
time with everyone he knew and it was this
capacity to be true to himself that made
him a wonderful and impassioned servant to
the world and those around him.
will miss him and be ever grateful for the
lasting light he shined on our schools, our
staff as well as for the impression he made
upon me. Our heartfelt thoughts go out to
his wife Liza and his young sons Eli and
Reed as well as our thanks to them for sharing
their wonderful husband and father with us
Summer Training Institute
summer BCP offers two weeks of intensive
training for new teachers and teachers changing
programs. The BCP Summer Training Institute
was founded by BCP Director of Training Tara
Anderson in 2003 as a way to provide BCP
teachers with training that is specifically
relevant to BCP programs.
2003, 2004, and 2005 Ms. Anderson ran the
training institute alone. During the last
two summers she was joined by other staff
with expertise in research-based instructional
summer over 30 teachers participated in ten
full-day sessions covering reading, math,
science, history, language arts, vocabulary,
and behavior management. Each year the training
is refined based on program changes and improvement
in the Direct Instruction curriculum.
actively pursue their own professional development
and use this to improve the summer training
sessions. Training groups are divided into
three main areas: elementary grades, middle
grades, and resource, which includes music,
art, Spanish, and computers.
Elementary & Middle
Ms. Anderson and BCP Academic Coach
Marvelyn Johnson provided the Direct Instruction
training for elementary grades teachers. Training
groups were organized according to the lessons
the teachers would begin with once school starts.
Training focused on mastering effective instructional
Director of Academics Don Crawford and Director
of Middle School Services Jeff Krick offered
training geared toward middle grades teachers.
They focused on science, language arts, and
history. These teachers learned how to format
their lessons to include effective instructional
techniques such as Big Ideas and Brief Constructed
During week one, Ms. Anderson worked
with resource teachers to develop lesson plans
that are aligned with Maryland’s Voluntary
State Curriculum. She also worked with the
Spanish and Computer Science teachers to
apply direct instruction techniques to their
new Spanish teacher at Collington Square
School will use direct instruction-based
lessons that were created last year in collaboration
with the former Spanish teacher.
week two, resource teachers participated
in reading program training in order to see
how the direct instruction techniques come
alive and are effective in the classroom.
BCP Academic Coach Brenda Kahn presented
a two day session on vocabulary instruction.
“Children come to school with different
levels of vocabulary, and there are huge
gaps between the children from professional
families, working class families, and low-income
families,” says Ms. Kahn.
fourth grade, the vocabulary level of the
student becomes the predictor of their success
on standardized tests. Without intensive
instruction, this gap continues to grow.
Explicit vocabulary instruction is critical
to closing the achievement gap in our schools.”
Twelve morning sessions were devoted to training
teachers in CHAMPS, a research-based approach
to behavior management. CHAMPS helps classroom
teachers design a proactive and positive
classroom management plan that will overtly
teach students how to behave responsibly.
“BCP’s ability to offer this
unique and focused training opportunity to
our teachers gives us valuable time before
school starts to meet the needs of our staff,” says
“I especially appreciate the opportunity
to spend several days with our middle grades
teachers focusing on our curriculum and proven
strategies to help our students master the
necessary skills.” from low-income families the
opportunity to read and own their first new
Harvest Fest 2008
Harvest Fest featured a student art
gallery, which included this drawing
by Collington Square Pre-K student
300 children, staff, friends, and family
members attended the first BCP Harvest Fest
on October 25, 2008 at the Patterson Park
Recreation Center. Dance, music, and drama
groups from our 5 charter schools performed.
members enjoyed performances by:
- Wolfe Street Academy Steppers
Springs School Eagle Band
- Dr. Rayner
Browne Academy Dance Team
- Hampstead Hill
- Collington Square School Theater
- City Springs School Drug-Free
- Collington Square School
- And a guest performance by the Coppin
House donated over $3800 worth of children’s
Toys donated ten door prizes;
free snacks; Starbucks donated
coffee for the volunteers; and Wal-Mart provided
a gift card for supplies.
Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, and the Baltimore
Office offered free resources.
you to all of the volunteers and special
thanks to Kelia Murray, O’bette Jamison,
Connie Phelps, Alicia Thomas, Irona Pope,
Geri Swann, and Joan Parker for organizing the
Fest 2008 Sponsors:
Ravens Plan in Motion Grants
Baltimore Ravens All Community Team Foundation (RACTF)
has awarded City Springs School and Collington
Square School grants of $5,000 each to promote
grants will support the after-school Karate
program at City Springs and volleyball, basketball,
and soccer at Collington Square
year the Ravens’ Plan in Motion
project has provided nearly $100,000 in grants
to 23 nonprofit organizations in the Baltimore
is dedicated to improving and facilitating
the healthy development of youth in Baltimore
and throughout the state of Maryland. For
more information visit www.baltimoreravens.com/community
Classrooms Partners with BCP
Classrooms Foundation has partnered with
BCP and six local elementary and middle schools
including City Springs School and Wolfe Street
Academy as part of its Eastside Target Investment
10-year effort will improve the education,
career prospects, and self-sufficiency of
Eastside children and adults in order to help
break a cycle of poverty and revitalize the
Living Classrooms recently awarded
City Springs School a $25,000 grant to fund
participation in the Baltimore Urban Debate
League and to create an after-school math tutoring
program for struggling 6th graders.
also awarded Wolfe Street Academy a $25,000
grant to fund its summer school program.
These funds are part of a $1 million grant
that Living Classrooms received from The
Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.
Springs Athletic Field
Living Classrooms has participated
in the planning and fundraising for a new athletic
field at City Springs School since January
Horne, Living Classrooms Director of Community
Development, has been an active member of
the planning team.
City Springs will be the first school
to take part in a Science, Technology, Engineering
and Mathematics after-school program funded
by a National Science Foundation grant awarded
to Living Classrooms. Thirty five students
will participate in the six-week program at
the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime
Park starting in January.
During the 2007/2008 school year students
from City Springs School and their mentors
from Colliers Pinkard visited Living Classrooms
Foundation once a month to build two “peace
canoes”. The project culminated with
a parade from Living Classrooms to City Springs
School on June 4th.
would like to thank Living Classrooms for
their ongoing support and for their committment
to revitalizing East Baltimore.