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School Colors Bonus: “Ms. Mitchell’s Pandemic Diary”

Cassandra Giraldo

“I know this work can take you under if you let it, so I try not to let it take me.”

Pat Mitchell wouldn’t recommend her job to anyone she loves. She’s the longtime principal of P.S. 48 – an elementary school in Jamaica, Queens. And while she cares deeply about her students and her work, she has struggled with the growing challenges faced by her school community. The students she serves are mostly Black and Brown, and many have to deal with the ongoing stresses of poverty, mental illness and transient housing. While school was often a place of stability for her students and their families, COVID changed everything.

In this bonus episode of School Colors, we look at the pandemic through the eyes of one elementary school principal, and how Covid-19 rocked education in the district – especially on the Southside.

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Felecia Phillips Ollie DD (h.c.) is the inspiring leader and founder of The Equality Network LLC (TEN). With a background in coaching, travel, and a career in news, Felecia brings a unique perspective to promoting diversity and inclusion. Holding a Bachelor's Degree in English/Communications, she is passionate about creating a more inclusive future. From graduating from Mississippi Valley State University to leading initiatives like the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Equal Employment Opportunity Program, Felecia is dedicated to making a positive impact. Join her journey on our blog as she shares insights and leads the charge for equity through The Equality Network.

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