IBSC Ideas Lab

Professional Conversations for Teachers of Color in Boys’ Schools


Jack Pannell

Jack Johnson Pannell

Jack Pannell is the founder and president of the Five Smooth Stones Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of a generation of boys deserving the finest education possible. He founded Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys (United States) with a mission to become a national model for the education of Black and Brown boys everywhere; 75% of the school's teaching staff are teachers of color. The school has nearly tripled in size within five years, with state test scores that consistently outpace the school district. With 485 boys, Baltimore Collegiate is the first college-prep public charter school of its kind in Baltimore, with a unique focus on college-prep education during the critical developmental stages of the elementary and middle school years.

Nontraditional educator Pannell established Baltimore Collegiate through an intensive self-funded study of nearly 50 schools, adopting and adapting the best practices for moving the needle on the urban male learner. He previously held several positions in politics and government, including serving as the communications director for the late civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). Pannell also led the largest charter school network in Maryland for one year before launching Baltimore Collegiate. A graduate of Amherst College and Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, he is an IBSC trustee. Pannell also wrote a semi-biographical, coming-of-age novel, Lunch Money Can’t Shoot, with an old friend, Michael Levins.

Guest Presenters

Lester LallaLester Lalla

St. John's Preparatory (South Africa) Headmaster Lester Lalla is a passionate educationalist determined to build strong school communities through collaboration, authenticity, and the pursuit of excellence. Boys and their unique developmental journeys hold his heart and interest.

Lalla led the team that won the South African Apple in Education Award for its submission on inquiry-based learning in 2017. He was involved in the IBSC Action Research Program, where his report placed in the top 10 in 2018. He has been a speaker at a number of conferences, including the Google Summit and the inaugural ResearchEd Africa Conferences and serves as an educationalist on the Summit Education Trust.

Lalla began his teaching career at Briardene Primary, his alma mater in Kwazulu Natal, where he was also a sports coach. He went on to teach IT at Sandown High School and was the deputy head and then headmaster of Summit College Preparatory School before joining St. Stithians Boys’ Prep (South Africa) as deputy head. He holds a bachelor’s of education from the University of Kwazulu Natal.