Educator spotlight: Quinton Bonds

Quinton Bonds is a longtime staff member at Patrick Henry High School. Photo by Cirien Saadeh

Quinton Bonds is a longtime staff member at Patrick Henry High School. Photo by Cirien Saadeh

By Cirien Saadeh Staff Reporter, Danae Lawson and Datelle Straub Patrick Henry Student Reporters

Quinton Bonds has been at Patrick Henry High School since 2010. As Public Relations Coordinator, Mr. Bonds liaises with family and the larger Northside community. But he’s also the advisor to LINK Leaders (Henry’s student ambassadors), the Senior Committee, the school’s new student council, and its step team. He’s also the school’s graduation coordinator. Mr. Bonds holds a Master’s Degree in marriage and family therapy, but after receiving his undergraduate degree he began working in the Admissions Office at the University of Minnesota. His work at the U introduced him to Henry, and he says that he visited the school often and felt at home there. It was there that he met Henry’s Principal, Yusuf Abdullah, back when Principal Abdullah was working with Achieve MPLS. When Principal Abdullah left Achieve MPLS to join the Henry community as a dean, Mr. Bonds moved into his role at Achieve MPLS and then joined the Patrick Henry community in 2010. Mr. Bonds was recommended to North News as our next Educator Spotlight, because of his commitment to the Henry community, which students say he calls a “Phamily.” Mr. Bonds is also looking to go into school administration with the hopes of one day becoming a school principal.

Why do you think it’s important to develop student leadership? Well I always operate under the assumption that I can't assume that I know what's best for person A, B, C, D. I can't make that assumption. I have to be at the table to have that conversation, especially with students and I need to be able to ask "What do you need?" I'm not gonna assume that you need this, I'm not gonna assume that you want this. It's really important for students to be able to inform us, as educators, as to what they need. And so part of being able to articulate that need is developing a leader. I think it's really important for student voices to be heard, because I think our students are what drive the schools.

What is your dream for Henry students? My dream for Henry students is that they go and be productive citizens in our country. My hope is that it looks like something that's fulfilling for each of them. Whether it is a career, or a job right after here, or college, going to a college-university, I just want all of our students to have a plan and be confident in that plan.

Do you consider yourself a natural caretaker? You know, I'm naturally empathetic and so I do have a natural sense to empathize with people. I don't know, I guess I never thought of myself as a caretaker, but maybe, wow. I never thought of myself that way. I just care about people. I just care about humanity and it's one of the things that I'm really passionate about.

What are your hobbies or things you do outside of school? I'm active in my church. I actually coach the step team at my church. I do like to travel when I can. I really enjoyed London. I liked the chocolate in London. I know that sounds really weird, but it's super good. I like movies a lot. Netflix is my deal, and On Demand. Redbox is my friend. I like movies and I like to hang out with my friends, but I'm more of a relaxed guy. When I can, I go home to my family in Milwaukee. I'm more of a homebody, but I'm okay with that.

Have you considered going into traditional teaching? You know what? I like where I'm at. I like being where I'm at because it does allow me to be flexible and to wear multiple hats. I think, in my role, I have been given opportunities to teach, not necessarily with the traditional lesson plan and all the other good stuff, but I had opportunities to teach many life lessons. I'm more of that guy, the one teaching the soft skills and all the other good stuff. I do feel, even though I'm not in the classroom, that when I do have interactions with students learning is definitely taking place.

What was your favorite class in high school? My favorite class went back and forth between English and then history. I loved history a lot. I still like history a lot.

What is your five-year plan? I plan to stick around here at Henry for quite some time, actually, as a part of my plan, but I'm actually in the beginning stages of planning a transition into administration. I plan to begin work on my principal licensure.

North News launched this column to highlight the work of Northside educators doing innovative and socially just work in our North Minneapolis classrooms. If you have any recommendations for our upcoming spotlights, email North News at ciriens@pillsburyunited. org. Please provide contact information for the person you recommend.

Cirien Saadeh