Ray Ankrum firmly believes that education can be the catalyst to eradicating generational poverty. As a first-generation college student, he utilized education to escape the school-to-prison pipeline. Ray graduated from Stony Brook with a Bachelor of Arts in African-American Studies and a Master’s Degree in Professional Studies. In 2002, Ray decided that he wanted to become a classroom teacher and attended Morgan State University to obtain his Master of Arts in Social Studies Education. Ray taught US History, World History, Global History, and American Government for four years in the Baltimore City Public School System. While in BCPSS, Ray served as a building representative for the Baltimore City Teachers Union.
In 2007, Ray got his first experience in charter schools, accepting a Dean of Students position at Democracy Prep Public Charter School. After a year at DP, he brought his talents to Harlem Village Academies. In 2010, Ray earned his Ed.M from Teachers College, Columbia University, and shortly after, he was named principal at HVA. In 2012, he accepted the role of Executive Director of Riverhead Charter School, and after a successful school turnaround campaign, was named Superintendent in 2017.
Ray is an advanced doctoral candidate whose research focuses on Parent Engagement In Urban Charter Schools Through The Lens of Black Male Principals.