Ben Carson to chair board of East Baltimore Community School

World-renowned physician, surgeon assumed role effective Dec. 1

Benjamin Carson, an internationally renowned physician and director of pediatric neurosurgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, has been appointed president of the board of the East Baltimore Community School Inc., effective Dec. 1. The board manages the operation of the Elmer A. Henderson School: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School—formerly known as the East Baltimore Community School.

Ben Carson

Image caption: Benjamin Carson

Carson replaces David Nichols, former vice dean for education at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who recently became president and chief executive officer of the American Board of Pediatrics. Nichols left a strong foundation on which Carson will build, said Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels.

"Dr. Carson has served the children of East Baltimore for many years," Daniels said. "We are incredibly fortunate that he has now agreed to lend his time, expertise, and energy to the students, parents, and educators of the Henderson-Hopkins school. His talents will be a boon to the school, which itself is a keystone to the success of East Baltimore Development Inc."

Henderson-Hopkins, which operates under a contract with Baltimore City Public Schools, is a K-8 school currently serving 260 students in temporary facilities at 1101 N. Wolfe Street. Next fall, the program will relocate to a new $42 million, 90,000-square-foot facility on a 7-acre campus within the East Baltimore Development Inc. redevelopment area, north of the university's East Baltimore campus. Henderson-Hopkins will share that site with the $10 million, 28,000-square-foot Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Center. The capacity of the EBCS and ECC will be approximately 540 and 180, respectively. Priority enrollment will be given to children whose families live within the East Baltimore Development Inc. redevelopment district and those that work in the institutions and businesses nearby. With Henderson-Hopkins as its keystone, EBDI is a 20-year, $1.8 billion mixed-use revitalization project on 88 acres in East Baltimore.

"I am excited to be a part of an endeavor like Henderson-Hopkins that can provide not only an example, but also a how-to manual for inner city schools, universities, and corporate entities that want to work together to strengthen the fabric of our society," Carson said. "The education of our children is not only the responsibility of teachers, but rather, of everyone who is impacted by stellar education or the lack thereof. That, of course, is all of us."

Overcoming the childhood challenges of poverty, poor grades and a bad temper, Carson was recognized by Time Magazine and CNN as one of the nation's 20 foremost physicians in 2001 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008 by President Bush. Carson credits his mother with her emphasis on excellence, the importance of getting a good education, and hard work for his motivation to succeed.

Last year, the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, in partnership with Morgan State University's School of Education and Urban Studies, took over the day-to-day operation of the school, informally known as Henderson-Hopkins. This unique partnership is working to create a high-performing school that serves a diverse mixed-income community in East Baltimore.

"We are honored to have Dr. Carson lead our efforts to provide a quality education to the students of East Baltimore," said David Andrews, dean of the School of Education. "An inspiration to all who know him, Dr. Carson will help us reach our goal of making this one of the top schools of learning in Baltimore and serve as a model nationwide."