Happy Women’s History Month From BCP!

Govans Principal Kwaw with StudentTo celebrate Women’s History Month, the Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) is showcasing a few of its female leaders. These women—and the many female teachers, counselors, community liaisons, and staff at BCP’s six schools—are making a difference in helping to transform Baltimore’s public school educational landscape with neighborhood conversion charter schools.

Bernarda Kwaw


How has your leadership style evolved over your career? I am becoming more assertive and confident.

As a female leader, what are the most important qualities to model? For my female students, confidence. For my male students, respect. For my teachers and staff, I model flexibility.

Best leadership advice? Know your staff.

Inspirational female mentor? Anayezuka Ahidiana, BCP teacher coach and former City Schools teacher, continues to help me develop as a leader. She is a great listener and helps me to consider every aspect of a problem. She helps me use the skills and knowledge that I have to problem solve. Ms. Ahidiana is a great thought-partner.

Principal Kwaw has served in Baltimore City Schools for nearly three decades, beginning as a teacher at Collington Square Elementary. She was Govans Elementary School’s assistant principal for three years before becoming principal in 2018. BCP converted Govans to a neighborhood charter school in 2015, working in partnership with City Schools. She has a B.A. in education at Cheyney University and a M.Ed. from Morgan State University in Baltimore.

Laura Doherty


How has your leadership style evolved over your career? I’d like to think I listen more.

As a female leader, what are the most important qualities to model? Enthusiasm for learning and trying, kindness, and confidence, respectively.

Best leadership advice? Develop a team of really good people who share the same goal, then treat them in a way that makes them want to stay.

Inspirational female mentor? Dr. Muriel Berkely, founder of BCP, remains an inspiration to me. She came to understand the power of Direct Instruction through months of research and due diligence and then devoted the rest of her life to helping schools use this tool. On top of that, she earned the respect and trust of everyone by being honest, fair, and kind.

Laura Doherty has served as BCP President and CEO since 2012. Prior to that, she worked for 15 years for the National Institute for Direct Instruction as a Project Director.  She holds a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University and attended graduate school at the University of Oregon.

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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