Diemecha Harris of Newark to Lead M.E.T.S. Charter School of Newark
Newark Campus Expands Network Daring Students to be “Extraordinary”
M.E.T.S. Charter School cut the ribbon on its first school in Newark, NJ, on Monday, August 28th. The Newark campus represents the first expansion of the M.E.T.S. Network and will follow the philosophy, curriculum and expertise of the original school in Jersey City. The Newark campus will open with about 250 ninth to twelfth graders. The founding Instructional Leader of the new school will be Mrs. Diemecha Harris, originally of Newark, NJ.
M.E.T.S. of Jersey City is a college preparatory Middle and High School established in 2011. M.E.T.S. is committed to early college graduation for all students by allowing and encouraging them to complete up to 60 college credits before graduation. Ian Fallstich, Lead Administrator and CEO of the M.E.T.S. Charter School network, is proud of the M.E.T.S. model. “We havea 100% high school graduation rate and 97% four-year college acceptance rate,” he says. He attributes this success to students’ completion of “rigorous and engaging college coursework” while still in high school.
M.E.T.S. currently partners with Essex County College, Hudson County Community College, New Jersey City University, Rutgers University, and the University of Texas as well as Liberty Science Center and the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning (NJCTL). According to research findings published by Jobs for the Future Early College Dual Enrichment program “enabling more students, particularly low-income and minority students, to experience rigorous high school and college coursework that leads to improved outcomes,” and is based on the early college high school strategy supported by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and Jobs for the Future.
Mrs. Diemecha Harris was born and raised in Newark, graduated as salutatorian of Science High School and earning her Bachelor of Science in Economics at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. After a career in banking she decided to transition to a career that better utilized her math skills and made a difference in the lives of urban youth. She completed teacher training in conjunction with AmeriCorps, and began teaching middle school math at First Avenue Elementary School. Harris soon realized that she could make a much larger impact at the high school level by serving as a role model to spark interest in STEM careers.
While teaching at Elizabeth High School, she served on school leadership committees and pursed an Educational Leadership Master’s Degree at Cappella University. She received her first STEM Vice Principal assignment during the 2016–2017 school year at M.E.T.S. Charter School in Jersey City and will begin as Instructional Leader of the M.E.T.S. Newark Campus immediately.
Harris is looking forward to helping students and their families in her hometown. “Growing up in Newark was not easy, but I had exceptional teachers who mentored me and emphasized that the key to a better life was through education,” she said. “I took their advice, studied hard, and became the first person in my family to graduate from college.”
Harris urges students to think big and reach for the stars, as she did, and take charge of their own education so that they can accomplish great things.