Educator Q & A: De’Sean Ellis-Watson,
Dean of Students, ReGeneration Bond Hill
March 30, 2021
1. What attracted you to ReGeneration Bond Hill?
Our family has a strong connection to the Bond Hill community. My grandmother has lived in Bond Hill since I was eight years old.
I believe ReGeneration brings something new to Bond Hill. The school’s mission is to make sure every student is learning and on the path to college–no exceptions.
At Northern Kentucky University, I broadened my horizons and made lifelong friends. I want the next generation to have the same opportunities I have had.
2. Did you always know that you would become an educator?
From a young age, I wanted to be a sports broadcaster. I have always been a huge sports buff.
In college, I was a substitute teacher and found it rewarding. The experience stuck with me. After several years working for local TV news after college, I decided to switch careers and go into education.
My motivations to teach at ReGeneration Bond Hill are deeply personal. I didn’t have my first Black male teacher until the tenth grade. I wanted to be a role model for young Black boys.
3. What do your responsibilities include as Dean of Students for ReGeneration Bond Hill?
As Dean of Students at ReGeneration Bond Hill, I bridge the gaps between our school and parents. I build relationships with families and make sure scholars have the support they need to be successful academically. I visit scholars at home to check on them and drop off Chromebooks.
4. What has been your greatest joy/success while being part of the ReGeneration Bond Hill team?
I love everything about my job. It means a great deal to me to make a difference in my community. The smiles on kids’ faces bring me the greatest joy. I love seeing students’ reactions when they work out answers to a difficult question and say, “Ahh, I got it.”
I also love our school cheers. At ReGeneration, we have cheers for each homeroom and for different subjects. My favorite is our math cheer. “Math…I love math…and math loves me. It is easy, and 1, 2, 3….Watch and you will see.”
5. How do you measure success at ReGeneration Bond Hill? How do you know your approach is working?
I had a kindergartner last year who struggled to read and write his name. He was very shy. His teacher came up with an individualized plan to help him catch up. I tutored him in reading one-on-one. Now, as a first-grader, he is reading at a third-grade level. Our entire ReGeneration team is so proud of him. He is one of many ReGeneration success stories.
6. How has ReGeneration Bond Hill been able to partner with parents and the community during the pandemic while students were learning remotely?
When the pandemic first hit last spring, our teachers and students were missing one another. To bring us together, I had the idea of organizing a car parade with our ReGeneration Bond Hill staff through Bond Hill.
We all met at the campus at Fishwick Drive to make posters and decorate our cars with balloons. We drove around Bond Hill honking horns and stopping when we passed by the homes of our families. People came outside to greet us—all with proper social distancing. It was a big morale boost for our entire school family.
7. What makes ReGeneration Bond Hill a great school option for Cincinnati families?
When you send your child to ReGeneration Bond Hill, you are part of a community. We are a loving bunch. We provide children with a supportive and structured environment. We are here for our scholars and families. Our teachers are dedicated to ensuring your child is learning and growing. I tell my families–I am going to be in your child’s life through college. And I mean it.