Andre Ian Roberts ’98, Keeps Reaching for the GoldPublished Friday, June 26th, 2020
Andre Ian Roberts, The Olympian
Tokyo Olympics 2020 may have been postponed, but it has not affected the attitude of athlete alum Andre Ian Roberts, ’98. “I am awakened everyday believing that each day gives me an opportunity to be a blessing to someone and leave an indelible impact on many people,” said Andre. A track and field athlete, he was the MEAC conference champion in the 800 meters each year he competed at Coppin. He also earned academic and athletic All-American honors, and became the school’s first male all-American, and consequently, the University’s first Olympic athlete.
After graduating from Coppin, Andre continued his collegiate athletic pursuits at St. John’s University in Queens, NY, where he earned his first master’s degree. “At St. John’s I became an All-American and Big East Conference champion in the 800 meters, after which I earned a professional athletic contract. I subsequently competed in, and won, a gold medal at the Central American Championships in Bridgetown, Barbados, and ran a time that qualified me for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. I competed in the 800 meters in two world championships in Seville, Spain and Maebashi, Japan, and was a finalist in the Pan-American Games 800 meters.”
Andre majored in criminology, but he is an educator. His foray into teaching, he explained was serendipitous. “My career chose me. I believe that I was divinely guided to this career, to educate, inspire, motivate and serve as a champion for children, particularly children who are marginalized by our K-12 education system, and to inspire the adults who serve them daily.” Andre has been a special education teacher and principal in New York, Baltimore City and Washington, DC. He has worked as a Network Superintendent of Schools in St. Louis, MO, and is presently the Chief Schools Officer in Oakland, CA.
Andre believes in continuous improvement and self-development. It is evident in the number of degrees he has earned and is still pursuing. Andre earned a second master’s degree at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, and is currently a member of the class of 2022 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, executive master’s in business administration (EMBA) program. “I am committed to live my life, professionally and personally one day at a time: with the goal of making each day better than the previous one.”
His parents, Andre shared, immigrated to the United States in the 1980s (dad), and his mother in early 2000s. Both parents came in search of better opportunities for themselves and their family. He gives a lot of credit for he is to his mother. “The way that my mother has lived her life with a strong spiritual foundation, unbelievable work-ethic, humility, and an inclination for community activism, served and continues to be an inspiration to me.”
“My steps have been divinely guided during the past thirty years, and I am confident that they will continue to be guided,” he said, “and one day I hope to return to my birthplace of Guyana, South America as a public servant.”