Von Washington, Jr.

Washington-VonA former principal of Kalamazoo Central High School, Washington now impacts the entire city as executive director of community relations for The Kalamazoo Promise, a post he accepted in May 2013.

Washington arrived in Kalamazoo in the fall of 2005 to lead the city’s alternative high school, but within two years he had risen to principal of Kalamazoo Central High. During his tenure, the school met Adequate Yearly Progress expectations and was removed from the failing schools list. In 2010 the school won the White House Commencement Challenge and played host to President Barack Obama at the graduation ceremonies.

In 2012 he left K-Central (the alma mater of Yankee great Derek Jeter) to become Associate Vice President of Southwest Michigan First, the region’s economic development agency tasked with stimulating industry growth. A year later he was tapped to provide leadership through the community and beyond for The Kalamazoo Promise, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2015.

Washington — who received his bachelor’s degree from Western State College of Colorado and earned his master’s degree from Western Michigan University — has served on several boards, including the United Way.

Washington’s committee work will be focused on the city sessions at PromiseNet 2014.