Jennifer C. Niles

Our Founder

Jennie Niles Portrait

In 2004, Jennifer Niles founded E.L. Haynes Public Charter School with the vision to build a school that was rigorous and intentionally diverse. At the core of the academic program was the unwavering belief that every child is capable of reaching high levels of academic performance.

Jennie’s vision for E.L. Haynes stems from her experience in the education sector. Following six years of teaching and the completion of her degree from the Yale School of Management, the Connecticut State Department of Education tapped Jennie to head the Charter School Office where she oversaw all aspects of the charter school program and led a multi-disciplinary team to create their accountability system.

At the core of the E.L. Haynes academic program was the unwavering belief that every child is capable of reaching high levels of academic performance.

Jennie went on to become the Director of Education Initiatives at The Ball Foundation of Glen Ellyn, IL, an operating foundation that partners with school districts to increase student achievement through systemic reform. From 2002-2003, she was a fellow with New Leaders, a prestigious urban principal training program, and in 2003-2004, New American Schools supported her development of the charter for E.L. Haynes. 

Jennie named E.L. Haynes for Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes, the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate in mathematics, a teacher in the Washington, DC school system for 47 years, and the first woman to serve as the President of the DC Board of Education.

Over the years, E.L. Haynes has become nationally recognized and is the recipient of numerous awards, accolades, and visits from state and foreign dignitaries.

In December 2014, Jennie stepped down from her role at E.L. Haynes after Mayor Muriel Bowser nominated her to serve as the Deputy Mayor for Education in Washington, DC, which she held until February 2018. 

Now, Jennie is an entrepreneur-in-residence at CityBridge Education. Her project is CityWorks DC – a new non-profit venture that identifies, designs, and scales solutions to the jobs/skills mismatch faced by students in the local economy.

Story Index


Jennifer C. Niles

Our Founder

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Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes

Our Namesake

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The Arts

Our Creative Experience

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Our Wrap-Around Services

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Brittany Wagner-Friel

Our Elementary School Principal

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Civil Rights Tour of the South

Our Commitment to Social Justice

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Robotics and Extracurricular Activities

Our Signature Experiences

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The College Office

Our College-Bound Culture

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Marisol Castillo

Our Commitment to Academic Rigor

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Marcus Peterson

Our Commitment to Excellence

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Ty’ease SetepenRa

Our Commitment to Starting Strong

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Rick Kenner

Our Commitment to Leadership Development

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Reynaldo Paniagua (Mr. P)

Our Founding Families

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E.L. Haynes Graduates

Our Alumni Thrive in College, Career, and Life

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E.L. Haynes’ Future

Our Next Chapter: 2020-2025

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