As the social media manager for DC Public Schools, Le keeps parents posted on Twitter, snaps pictures of students and documents on-the-ground stories of school reform in the District.
What was your own K-12 experience like? I went to school in Fairfax County, and my public school experience was great. Really normal -- I went to school and I went home and I did homework and went back to school. My wife is a teacher, and when she was working out in West Oakland, Calif., which is a high-poverty, high-crime area, I was so impressed by the kids and how they were able to overcome so much. And here, the District is really the epicenter [of urban school reform].
So what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
My job is to make students feel proud of their schools. It's kind of a wishy-washy goal, but if you're proud of your school, you're going to go every day, and that's a good thing. So one thing I did is we went to H.D. Woodson Senior High School, and I tweeted a simple picture with a little story about how our students are honing their reading and writing skills through a summer music-production class. A radio station called us up and said they wanted to talk to the kids. When we can be a microphone for our students and shine a better light on them, that's awesome.
You interact so much with kids in the District. Any lessons you've learned from them?
You know what opened my eyes? I read people's tweets, and one of the things I noticed when I first started working here was how negative our students were about DCPS as a whole [because of negative news stories], but then they loved their local school. ... It's important for them to know there are really talented and really smart students across the city just as passionate as they are.
- Lisa Gartner?