Bedford Academy High School in Brooklyn enjoys a prominence for its exceptional student accomplishments and its strict educational curriculum. From having mandatory tutoring sessions to educationally and culturally empowering the African-American and Latino populations, Bedford Academy has a lasting positive effect on all of its students. This school serves more than 350 students and is ranked the 72nd best public high school in New York.
From hugging students in the lobby, to knowing every student’s name and parents, to going on school trips, to helping organize the 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday Regent study days, to offering parents special treats such as defensive driving classes or other adult events, Pamela Tate-McMullen is a constant presence in the school. She is the parent coordinator of Bedford Academy and has been working with the school since 2003.
Parents sometimes fail to realize how much effort the staff must extend to educate their children and prepare them for college and adulthood. “Not every student who is enrolled into Bedford Academy is academically and mentally strong” said Tate-McMullen. “But as staff members, we are willing to push them to be the best they can be!”
She is a Brooklyn native and is a graduate of Fordham High School. Her son is a recent graduate of Mercy College with a concentration of media studies.
When her son was in grade school, she would attend the parents’ meetings. But she failed to understand why parents were not as involved with their children’s education. “I believe it’s important because it gives children the motivation to do well while they are attending school,” she explained. “Every child is different, and some may need more inspiration then others.”
Tate-McMullen told the AmNews, “As a parent coordinator, I want to make sure all parents of our students are involved with their education. A lot of our parents come out to help us with our 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. tutoring sessions. And it’s heartwarming to see it. It feels like we are one big happy family!”
Tate-McMullen said she enjoys working with the students of Bedford Academy because of what they become after they graduate. “I’ve seen a lot of graduates becoming successful, raising their own families and attending college,” she said. “Students have come back and shared to the staff and our current students how Bedford Academy prepared them for the real world.”
Tate-McMullen is a board member of the Adelaide L. Sanford Institute. The ASI is a nonprofit organization that seeks to educate parents about involvement in their children’s education. They believe this involvement will bring Black and Hispanic neighborhoods a step closer to having much stronger and united communities. This organization is directed to students who are enrolled in middle and high school. The ASI was founded in 2006 by the former superintendent of Community School District 13, Dr. Lester W. Young. For more information about this organization, please go to http://www.sanfordinstitute.org.
Tate-McMullen is also a member of Invest In You Inc., founded by Darlene Walker-Mungin in 2012. This organization works to empower women to achieve their goals. In April, Invest In You Inc.had their annual Relax, Relate and Release Women’s Retreat at the Woodloch Resort in the Poconos. “We are living in a time where Black women need to come together and motivate each other,” Tate-McMullen told the AmNews. “This year was my first time coming to the Women’s Retreat and I had a great time with the women I met. Not only was I inspired by these other women but I was relaxed. I recommend this vacation to anyone.”