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Startup Grind Presents: Mariama Shaheed (CEO & Head of School Global Preparatory Academy @ Riverside 44)

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Mariama Shaheed the founder and principal of Global Preparatory Academy, Indiana’s first Spanish immersion charter school which opened in August of 2016. Shaheed, who is bilingual, holds a Bachelors in Elementary Education and two masters degrees in both Educational Leadership and Business.

During her more than 20 year career as a teacher and administrator Shaheed has received numerous honors. She received the prestigious Milken National Educator Award, valued at $25,000 and known as the “Oscars” of teaching. She has since been named a Champion of Diversity (Minority Business Journal), Transformational Educator by Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI), and has received the Minority Achievement Award in Education from the Center for Leadership Development and was named a Trailblazing Woman by the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Shaheed has committed herself to urban education and has spent her entire career working in public schools with students who have historically been underserved. Shaheed believes that all children deserve to be educated in a high quality school that enables them to compete on a global stage and the educators in front of students play a pivotal role in their success. Her deep beliefs about the power of education drove her to create a language immersion school that would serve historically marginalized students. Global Preparatory Academy is the school that she wanted for her daughter that before now did not exist.

When Mariama is not in school, she enjoys traveling, hiking, outdoors sports and activities with her husband Tariq, dogs and her 7th grade daughter, Salimah.