As a Cleveland Metropolitan Schools (CMSD) graduate, the mother of a current CMSD student and a longtime Student and Family Recruiter for the CMSD portfolio of schools, some might consider Khadijah Fair an expert in Cleveland public schools. 

In fact, you might even call her a “cheerleader” for Cleveland’s public schools. Fair spent four years on the Glenville high school cheer squad, and began her college career at Bowling Green State University. She graduated from Notre Dame College, where she studied communications and continued her passion for cheerleading, going on to become a professional cheer coach for several Northeast Ohio schools.

What better person, then, to enthusiastically advance Cleveland Transformation Alliance’s mission and vision to ensure a high-quality, equitable education for all students and families in Cleveland? 

As a Family Engagement Manager with Cleveland Transformation Alliance (CTA) Fair will be well positioned to expand on the relationships and community engagement that were central to her previous role with CMSD. As a recruitment specialist, she often connected with families transitioning from Pre-K to kindergarten and 8th graders who were going into high school throughout the enrollment process during key turning points in the student’s educational journey. 

Fair’s services were especially critical during COVID-19, when many families moved into the city of Cleveland or changed schools. When asked about finding the “right fit” school for each child, Fair is excited to share all of the options, and she always starts with the question “What is your child interested in?” Once a child’s interests are determined, Fair notes that transportation is often the next issue, noting that she can usually identify a program nearby to meet a student’s academic and extra-curricular needs.

Building relationships with Cleveland families is the part of her work that comes most naturally to Ms. Fair, who loves to connect one-to-one and help resolve family concerns. She recognizes the potential, however, in her new role, for a larger impact on the community she loves. “I want to have more of an impact in education, in economic development, networking, meeting new people, talking about my experiences living in Cleveland and working in Cleveland.” 

Meghann Marnecheck, CTA executive director, explains that the board and staff are “excited to have Khadijah with us for her passion, talent and the wealth of information she brings with her from her prior experience at the school district.”

Together, the women also recognized that Fair will be joining a “team of moms” alongside Marnecheck and the group of School Quality Navigators she will oversee, expecting that when they all work together “we will be a powerful force on behalf of our public school system and Cleveland families.”