If These Halls Could Talk: Jennifer Bado-Aleman Joins Administration, Hopes to Increase Equity for Students

Jennifer Bado-Aleman is the newest addition to the RHS administrative team; she previously worked with Principal Rhoshanda Pyles at Watkins Mill HS. She is excited to expand college and career opportunities for students and engage the student and parent community at RHS. 

Bado-Aleman attended the University of Maryland, where she double-majored in British and American Literature and secondary education. However, she originally entered university as a journalism major. Her family background largely influenced her career aspirations. As a first-generation American, a college education and literacy skills were emphasized as pathways to opportunities. 

As the eldest granddaughter, she spent time tutoring her siblings and cousins and discovered her passion for teaching. This inspired her to study secondary education and return to UMD for her M.A. with a concentration in rhetoric and composition, 

“I enjoy being able to help other students access the same opportunities through their education,” Bado-Aleman said. 

While working as an English resource teacher, Bado-Aleman was one of twelve educators nationwide selected to serve as a fellow for the U.S. Department of Education. During her fellowship, she traveled the country learning about various opportunity and achievement gaps. She worked with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, collaborating with an advisor who focused on college access for students. 

After Bado-Aleman returned, she decided to expand on what she’d experienced while working in the Office of the Secretary as she became an administrator. 

“I wanted to make an impact on a larger scale, sort of working with the whole population,” Bado-Aleman said. “I wanted to be able to really work on things like college access for students, equity kinds of issues for students, and working with the parent community as well.”

According to a US News demographic report, Rockville HS has a 71.9 percent minority population, 41.6 percent being of Hispanic or Latino background. Ms. Bado-Aleman will be the second Latina administrator representing the Hispanic community at Rockville. 

“Representation is super important in our schools. Having relatability and familiarity opens room for productive development,” senior Jocelyn Caceres said. “Representation to me means a display, or showcase of all types of ethnicities, races, genders, and identities to enable communication among everyone.”

Bado-Aleman echoes Caceres’ points: “I think the representation matters for students to see themselves reflected in the population. There’s an old saying like ‘it’s hard to be what you can’t see,’ and so when we see teachers from various cultures, various backgrounds, it allows us as students to see the opportunity that’s there too,” Bado-Aleman said. 

In addition to advocating for representation, Bado-Aleman will collaborate with the English, English language development–formerly known as ESOL, social studies, and world language departments. Furthermore, she plans to work with the International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) coordinators to develop more opportunities for students. 

Juniors and a few senior students in the last part of the alphabet will be assigned to Bado-Aleman. An RHS student may see her in their classrooms, visiting extracurricular activities like clubs and athletics, or in the hallways as she begins to foster relationships with her students. 

Bado-Aleman encourages students to introduce themselves to have organic conversations about their goals, how we can help as a school, and how she can help.   

Bado-Aleman expressed her appreciation for the warm welcome she’s felt at RHS thus far. 

“I have to say, Rockville has been very welcoming. The students have been very kind too, which I’ve appreciated,” said Bado-Aleman.

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