Matthew Rankin teaches 7th and 8th grade social studies and AVID at Ashley Park PreK-8 School in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ashley Park is a part of Charlotte’s innovative Project LIFT Zone, a unique public and private philanthropic partnership that aims t create equal educational opportunities for students in the West Charlotte corridor. The school has made a major turnaround over the past three years and was featured in Education Week and the Charlotte Observer for its use of the family model, which uses targeted, flexible grouping to maximize student achievement. Matthew recently completed the Emerging Leaders program with New Leaders for New Schools, where he led a project that reduced the number of referrals for chronically misbehaving students by over 40%. He’s also chaired the school leadership team, mentored new teachers, and chaired the social studies department. Matthew runs the AVID program for Ashley Park and was featured in the Charlotte Observer for the innovative instruction aimed at college success. He would like to stay in public education as an urban principal and lead a turnaround effort to create a school with 90% minority enrollment, 90% of students in poverty, and 90% achieving on or above grade-level.