2019 Heart of the School Award Winner

Francesca Gamber

Bard High School Early College

Take one visit to Bard High School and Principal Francesca Gamber’s commitment to her students and to elevating their voices becomes clear. Bard’s atmosphere of acceptance and student autonomy starts with Principal Gamber’s encouragement of self-expression and her passion for letting students have a say in how their education takes shape – from selecting courses to weighing in on teacher hires – and her students clearly appreciate her trust in them. As one of nine Bard High Schools in the country offering students the opportunity to obtain an Associate’s Degree while in high school, Baltimore’s Bard High School Early College is currently the only one without academic entrance criteria. This expands student access to college level education, which is a philosophy Principal Gamber wholeheartedly embraces.