Several years ago, a small group of St Luke’s parishioners became concerned with the growing number of children coming through Crossroads Community Ministries with their parents who were seeking homeless services. In response, we began a one morning per week Parent’s Morning Out Program (Crossroads Kids). The goal of Crossroads Kids was to offer reliable childcare to the families of Crossroads, giving them one morning per week to go to the DMV or schedule a job interview without having to worry about who would care for their children.
To much dismay, most of the children who came to the one day per week, morning program were school-aged. As the group began to look deeper into this situation, they found that many parents who are dealing with the trauma of homelessness find getting their children into school an overwhelming task. Dealing with paperwork and documentation and moving from school to school causes some parents to settle for having their children simply take a break from formal education while they get their situation more stable. In the process, these children fall further and further behind. After researching the feasibility of this project, in 2016, the small group began the bold task of creating a tuition free privately funded school for children who have experienced homelessness.
The Boyce L. Ansley School opened its doors August 1 of 2018 on the ground floor of St Luke’s Episcopal Church located in the heart of Atlanta with one pre-k class of 11 children. The students are thriving, and their parents are so thankful for the opportunity given to their children. The school plans to add one grade per year in a bold effort to help these children live beyond their circumstance and write a story of success!
Boyce Ansley always understood that an education interrupted by homelessness need not mean a future without hope.
About Boyce L. Ansley
WE REMAIN INSPIRED BY HER LEADERSHIP AND HER FAITH IN THIS SCHOOL.
The Boyce L. Ansley School is named in memory of Boyce Lineberger Ansley who was a highly respected and beloved member and leader of St Luke’s Episcopal Church, as well as many nonprofit Boards including the Atlanta Opera (Chair), the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association (Regent), the Georgia Advisory Council of the Trust for Public Land (founding member), the Atlanta Preservation Center, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and the Frazer Center.
Her tremendous heart, witty personality, and tireless dedication to philanthropy made her an inspiration to all she encountered. When Boyce learned of the bold idea to open a school for children experiencing homelessness in Atlanta, she immediately jumped on board and pushed the committee to make the dream a reality. She had ideas, plans, and an excitement for the mission of educating our most vulnerable children that propelled the group to move forward with their dream. Boyce believed in the school before anyone else.
When Boyce passed away in 2016, the founding committee had just begun feasibility studies. Since their first cheerleader could not be with them in person, the group decided to name this school in her memory. Her name and legacy continue to push us all beyond circumstance.
Boyce Ansley’s Philanthropic Footprint
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
Mount Vernon Ladies' Association (Regent)
Atlanta Opera (Chair)
Georgia Advisory Council of the Trust for Public Land (founding member)
Atlanta Preservation Center
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta Girls’ School (Board Member)
Washington National Cathedral
Center for Puppetry Arts
Board of Directors
Kate Kennedy (Chair/Executive Director)
Julia Levy (Vice Chair), Retired, Global Village Project
Reynolds DeLisle, CPA (Treasurer)
Ann Kimsey (Secretary), Retired, SunTrust Bank
Karen Kelly (Asst. Secretary), The Children’s Museum of Atlanta
Chad Costley, MD, Ponce Primary Care
Anna Ansley Davis
Stacey French-Lee, PhD, Georgia State University
Esmael Hill, The Net Lease Group
The Reverend Canon Lauren Holder, The Cathedral of St Philip
Neil Schemm, Esq.
Julie Washington, PhD, Georgia State University
The Right Reverend Robert Wright, The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta
Allen Yee, Esq., The Coca-Cola Company
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/Board Chair
Kate began her professional career as a Writer/Producer for Turner Network Television before transitioning into a career in service and ministry. After leaving Turner, Kate served as Director of Youth Ministries at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church and as Chaplain at Wesley Woods Rehabilitation Center while pursuing a Masters of Divinity degree at Candler School of Theology. Kate earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Wake Forest University. Over the years, she has held many community leadership positions including President of the Parent Teacher Organization at St Thomas More Catholic School, Senior Warden of St Luke’s Episcopal Church and most recently, Board Chair of Crossroads Community Ministries, Inc. where she has become passionate about the issue of homelessness. Kate sees The Boyce L. Ansley School as a major step in breaking the cycle of homelessness.
Early Childhood Education Director
Nathan Thompson has over 20 years of experience working with young children. He has been a teacher, administrator, presenter/trainer, and state assessor/evaluator. He has a passion for providing high quality educational environments for children and families in all walks of life. Nathan is a native of the Atlanta area, and has spent time working with non-profit organizations in the city. In his twenties, he chartered an outreach to homeless individuals in Atlanta, distributing food and clothing and making connections with local shelters. He has volunteered with after school and camp programs for children of imprisoned mothers and worked as a tutor and mentor for students in the juvenile court system. While in college, he spent a summer working with youth in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has graduated from Clayton State University and Georgia State University, and he is currently working on his master’s degree in Educational Leadership of Urban Schools at Kennesaw State University. Nathan’s motto for work and life comes from the animated film, Robots (2005): “See a need, fill a need!”
Muminah Rashid-Bilal ("Mrs. B")
We knew almost immediately that Muminah was a perfect fit for our school. Her passion, energy, positive attitude and depth of experience will be integral to the success of our first class of students. Muminah began her professional life as an architect but soon realized that her real passion was teaching children and began her journey into education. Muminah holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching and Education from the University of Southern California. She taught at the Clara Muhammad School in Brooklyn, NY for 8 years before coming to Atlanta and teaching at The Clifton School. As a teacher, Muminah noticed that many parents did not know how to help their children succeed in school, so she has begun a program called SHAPE (Student Help and Parent Education) to support parents in their efforts to support their children. When reading about the school, she felt a connection to Boyce and knew The Boyce L. Ansley School was a special place. "This school, in my humble opinion, is the product of what our true essence as human beings can produce when we reach inside our nature. I am grateful to be part of this mission."
Crystal Crawford, MSW
Case Manager/Family Liaison
Crystal is a Social Worker with a strong commitment to serving the needs of families. She earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from Savannah State University and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Tuskegee University. Crystal is a former Parent Liaison with Clayton County Public Schools, where her mission was to empower parents to become active participants in the education of their children. She also educated parents on Title I guidelines by implementing policies and coordinating programs to build capacity for parent involvement. Before beginning her journey in education, Crystal worked as a Case Manager for Chatham County Department of Family and Children Services. Crystal is honored to join the team of The Boyce L Ansley School as she is committed to working collaboratively with community partners to ensure every student of the school is academically successful.
Assistant Pre-K Teacher
Staci McElroy is a compassionate individual, dedicated to educating children. Staci has recently relocated to Atlanta, GA from Buffalo, NY to expand her professional career. Staci graduated from Buffalo State College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in social welfare. Previously, Staci was a Kindergarten Assistant teacher at Elmwood Village Charter School where she discovered her passion to provide children with positive learning opportunities. She also has experience working as a toddler teacher at the Buffalo State child care center. She hopes to gain experience before pursuing a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Staci is honored for the opportunity to be a member of the Boyce L. Ansley School and is devoted to help the children reach their highest potential. We are so glad to have her on our team!
Administrative Assistant/ After School Coordinator
Assata Hatch is a recent graduate of Georgia State University, earning a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. During her time in school, she worked as a Student Assistant with Pre-kindergarten children at the Lanette L. Suttles Child Development Center. This is where Assata found her passion for education. She enjoys creating new activities for the classroom and is committed to helping students succeed. Assata lives by the words "give and give generously" and implements this phrase into her everyday life. She is excited to join The Boyce L. Ansley School and looks forward to a wonderful year!