Our Founder and Director 

Lena Tashjian is a Baltimore City public school teacher who has been teaching at Baltimore City College High School since 2003. She earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and her Master's degrees from Duke University and Middlebury College. She is an immigrant, an activist, and an intersectional feminist who works to centralize marginalized voices by teaching culturally relevant and responsive literature. She founded the Baltimore City College Writing Center in 2014 in an effort to create greater equity and close the achievement gap. She is currently working alongside her tutors to open peer tutoring programs in Baltimore city public schools and in urban public schools nationwide. 

My name is Lena Tashjian and I am the proud founder and director of the Baltimore City College Writing Center. The writing center is a peer tutoring space designed to equip students with the reading and writing support necessary to strengthen their academic performance, build their confidence, and foster a growth mindset. Our client-driven sessions are designed to empower students and create greater equity both in and out of the classroom. 

The Baltimore City College Writing Center is staffed by peer tutors who have undergone an application, interview, and training process. They embody true leadership skills and are motivated by a desire to support their peers. Not only are they dedicated to the success of their clients, but they are also dedicated to the success of every student in Baltimore City. They demonstrate that dedication by volunteering in the community and presenting their equity work at local conferences.

Our writing center has been such a success having provided over 8,000 peer tutoring sessions since we first opened that we are now working towards growing writing centers across the city. To that end, we hosted our first annual citywide peer tutoring conference in 2018. We invited teachers, administrators, and students from all over the school district to learn about our work while providing the training needed to open their own center. We also offer a professional learning community or PLC for educators interested in receiving one on one peer tutoring support. Ultimately, our aim is to give all Baltimore City students the opportunity to succeed at the highest levels while preparing them not only for college but for the professional world beyond. 

If you have any questions about our work or if you’re interested in starting your own peer tutoring program, please feel free to contact me at ltashjian@bcps.k12.md.us. In the interim, I invite you to take a look at our work as captured in the video links to your right

Baltimore City Public Schools Teacher of the Year Finalist 

Teacher Spotlight on The Baltimore Educator

The dedicated spot for Ms. Tashjian is on Page 9.

(Click Here to View)