E.L. Haynes’ Future

Our Next Chapter: 2020-2025

“Never in our history—locally, nationally, globally—has the education of young people been more critical. I am so proud to lead E.L. Haynes through this crucial period in our history, developing and improving upon 15 amazing years, to prepare our students for the world that they will enter when they graduate, whatever path they choose.”

Hilary Darilek, Chief Executive Officer

When we opened our doors in 2004 to our first 139 students, we had a vision for a school that did more—that served all students, no matter their backgrounds, and prepared them to succeed in college. Since those first days, we have served thousands more students and families, and we could not be more proud of the work we have accomplished.

E.L. Haynes Chief Executive Officer, Hilary Darilek, celebrates alongside Ben Byrd, our elementary school music teacher, and members of the cast of Lion King, Jr. after they performed for a standing-room only crowd at our annual fundraiser, Toast to Transformation. The arts are a critical component of our new strategic plan, and will be a pillar of the student experiences we develop and align across our PK-12th grade community.

Our Next Chapter: 2020-2025

A hallmark of the E.L. Haynes culture is our constant strive for excellence and improvement. Beginning in March 2019, we started a comprehensive strategic planning process, engaging nearly 400 members of our community—including students, families, staff, and trustees—to help us reinvigorate and refine who we are as an institution and the impact we hope to have on our students. Together, we refined our mission, crafted a new set of core values, created the E.L. Haynes Graduate Profile, and established a road map for the shifts we will make over the next five years to our academic, talent, and organizational development strategy. 

As we launch our first week of the 2020-2021 school year, we reflect on where we’ve been and where we are going. In an unprecedented start to learning this school year, we remain excited about our future and to share our plan and aspirations with you.

As we enter this next chapter, we continue to reflect on our lessons learned so we  build on our strengths and make the necessary shifts to fully realize our mission for DC students and families.

Our New Mission Statement
We are a learning community where every student—of every race, socioeconomic status, home language, and ability—prepares to thrive in college, career, and life. Together, we create a more just and kind world.

The E.L. Haynes Graduate Profile

As part of our strategic planning, we started by defining the characteristics we hoped an E.L. Haynes graduate would possess by the time they finished their E.L. Haynes journey. We listened to students, families, and staff as they told us their aspirations for our graduates and what is most important in our ever-changing world and  economy. Our conversations centered on three key attributes—Community Member, Learner, and Leader. Our new graduate profile will drive the decisions we make across our Pre-K through 12th grade curriculum and the defining learning experiences and opportunities every student will have as an E.L. Haynes mountain lion.

Community Member


Shows empathy and regularly helps others without expecting anything in return.

Social intelligence.

Builds positive relationships and navigates group settings.

Intercultural competence.

Communicates and engages effectively with people from other cultures.


Applied learning.

Masters the foundational concepts in all core content areas and applies that knowledge to creatively solve real-world problems and challenges.


Explores new ideas, activities, and experiences, and strives to increase their own personal knowledge.


Works hard and finishes what is started, despite barriers and obstacles that arise.



Clarifies one’s intentions and goals, identifies necessary actions to achieve those goals, and leverages resources to accomplish stated goals.

Historical perspective.

Understands the social, cultural, intellectual, and emotional settings that shaped people’s lives and actions.

Social-Justice Orientation.

Promotes justice and equity.

To read our roadmap for the next five years, including our theory of change and our academic, talent, and organizational development strategic initiatives, click the booklet below. We are inspired by our next chapter and will share our ongoing successes with you. Thank you, as always, for the role you play in our community—for the last 15 years and the next 15 years, our community enables our progress. You are E.L. Haynes.

Story Index


Jennifer C. Niles

Our Founder

Read the story of Jennifer C. Niles

Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes

Our Namesake

Read the story of Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes

The Arts

Our Creative Experience

Read the story of The Arts


Our Wrap-Around Services

Read the story of Wellness

Brittany Wagner-Friel

Our Elementary School Principal

Read the story of Brittany Wagner-Friel

Civil Rights Tour of the South

Our Commitment to Social Justice

Read the story of Civil Rights Tour of the South

Robotics and Extracurricular Activities

Our Signature Experiences

Read the story of Robotics and Extracurricular Activities

The College Office

Our College-Bound Culture

Read the story of The College Office

Marisol Castillo

Our Commitment to Academic Rigor

Read the story of Marisol Castillo

Marcus Peterson

Our Commitment to Excellence

Read the story of Marcus Peterson

Ty’ease SetepenRa

Our Commitment to Starting Strong

Read the story of Ty’ease SetepenRa

Rick Kenner

Our Commitment to Leadership Development

Read the story of Rick Kenner

Reynaldo Paniagua (Mr. P)

Our Founding Families

Read the story of Reynaldo Paniagua (Mr. P)

E.L. Haynes Graduates

Our Alumni Thrive in College, Career, and Life

Read the story of E.L. Haynes Graduates

E.L. Haynes’ Future

Our Next Chapter: 2020-2025

Read the story of E.L. Haynes’ Future

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