#LEADStaffSpotlight: Willa Bakkar, LEAD Cameron
When staff think about someone who goes “above and beyond” for students at LEAD Cameron, Willa Bakarr is always a name that comes to mind.
“I choose a career in education for the incredible opportunity to model to young students the amazing opportunities and experiences available within education, within our community, and within ourselves,” said Bakarr.
A faculty member at LEAD Public Schools since 2019, Bakarr serves as a lead paraprofessional and trainer for LEAD Cameron’s Alternate Instructional Model (AIM) program. Her role is focused on maintaining a meaningful and purposeful day for her students, while always keeping in mind their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals and growth.
As a paraprofessional, Bakarr has set a personal intention of getting to know each student in a special and significant way.
“I purposely speak to every student,” said Bakarr. “I try to make connections and opportunities for our diverse population to teach me. I keep my classroom and my personal time open as possible to support students before and after school in clubs. [I want to be] a welcoming and friendly face.”
Passionate about her students, Bakarr is always willing to do whatever is needed to support them. When an AIM classroom was without a teacher in 2021-22, Bakarr stepped up and took the lead as teacher and all of her students surpassed their Independent Growth Goals (IGG) goals. She is a trained administrator for the Boss Girls Club and graduated a group of 12 LEAD Cameron students from the program. She also currently leads an after school Life Skills program for a group of 12 students. Her commitment to her students and her team led to her being honored with Panther Prowess two semesters in a row–an accolade that recognizes staff members who represent LEAD’s ethos.
“My hope for my students is that they learn to dream bigger and learn pathways to get there no matter what,” said Bakarr. “LEAD is the most incredible place to educate!”