Author Biography

Marcus McDonald recently became Asst. Principal of PKY. He believes his greatest accomplishments are the relationships he has established with his students. He values the ability to reach students to provide guidance and serve as a mentor.

John Bell has worked with elementary school students in roles ranging from teacher aide, classroom teacher, to behavioral dean. He enjoys helping children grow as students and as people.


As two Black male teachers, we knew the risks for our Black male students in our culture and the importance of keeping them safe and attending school. Keeping our students involved in our school community took on a new urgency when the pandemic hit and the country struggled with racial issues after the shooting of unarmed Black men and women. We adapted our after-school mentoring and leadership programs (that had been f2f) for young Black males and transformed them to after-school remote platforms. Secondary students participated in a remote football practice and training program. They were able to socialize with friends, receive support from their coaches, and retain academic eligibility. Elementary students enrolled in a leadership group were able to maintain connections with peers and mentors in one-on-one or small-group sessions. Our remote adaptations enabled our Black male students to connect with our school community during national crises that significantly impacted the Black community.