Muna Olaniyi’s family immigrated to the United States when she was young, and, through their education, she and her siblings found opportunities to dream big. However, she knows that in many of our schools, students still do not have access to opportunities and resources that inspire and provide them with the “why” of school. In founding a school within the Memphis community, Muna seeks to empower students and families by providing students with opportunities to learn about careers and courses that will help with making realistic decisions about their futures based on their interests and talents.
Throughout her varied experiences, Muna’s passion has always revolved around ensuring that students understood that education is a vehicle that will get them to and through the life that they choose. Through the Build Track of the BES Fellowship, Muna will propose a school that supports students to gain exposure at a young age to a variety of career opportunities and begin thinking about the necessary skills they will need to achieve their goals. Even early in elementary school, students will have the opportunity to take classes that are connected to STEM careers and classes that are connected to careers in Arts and Humanities.
As an educator for almost 20 years, Muna brings skills in leadership and innovation to diagnose and analyze challenges, then develop systems and structures that support effective solutions. Through her leadership experience in education, she is well-versed in best practices that support adult learners on her team, as well as instructional strategies to support students with varying needs. She has worked for District of Columbia Public Schools, Capstone Education Charter Schools, and most recently KIPP Schools as the chief academic officer for KIPP Memphis Charter Schools.
She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Maryland, and holds a master’s in curriculum and instruction from McDaniel College.