The Columns

W&L's Sanders Leads New Elementary Program in South Carolina

— by on May 11th, 2010

W. Ansel Sanders, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2004, is embarking on another fascinating chapter in his work as a young leader in public education. Ansel is program director for the A. J. Whittenberg Elementary School in Engineering, which will open this coming fall in Greenville, S.C.

After graduating from W&L, Ansel joined Teach for America and spent two years teaching at a Roland Park Middle School in Baltimore. He also co-founded Baltimore’s Athletes and Authors Summer Academy, which aims to teach the positive values shared by academics and athletics. You can read about that program and some of the other experiences Ansel had in Baltimore on the Teach for American alumni site.

After leaving Baltimore, Ansel became an assistant principal at Mauldin Middle School but has been working to develop the program at the A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School, which is the first elementary school in South Carolina with a school-wide engineering curriculum. A.J. Whittenberg will initially serve up to 300 children in 4K through second grade.  A grade level will be added each year through fifth grade. The instructional program is centered on engineering processes, real-world skills and technology, and various engineering fields of study. The building itself, on the Reedy River in downtown Greenville, will serve as a lab by virtue of its “green” roof and solar energy panels.

An English major at W&L, Ansel was the ODAC Player of the Year and Scholar Athlete of the Year in lacrosse as a senior. He also won the Frank J. Gilliam Award for his contribution to student affairs. In 2009, he received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award.