A new perspective in administration


Colin Henke

Mr.Warren discusses student affairs

Henry Hitchings and Emma Searle

Dhakir Warren is bringing a wealth of knowledge and motivation from his background in education and anti–sex trafficking to his new position as administrator of student affairs at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) this year.

Before his recent move to the Island, Mr. Warren oversaw  12 cities, including Boston, Atlanta, and San Diego, through his work as the co-coordinator with CEASE (Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation), an organization that works to reduce domestic sex buying. Typically, victims return to their victimizers because they are unable to find support from communities or the government after their initial rescue. Victims can be seen as unreliable witnesses, which allows sex traffickers to avoid conviction.

Mr. Warren took a unique approach in helping the situation. “We know most people are coerced into the sex trade, and to penalize those individuals is not right, so instead we engaged in initiatives that would target the buyers instead,” he said. “The victims are then taken to places where they are able to get social resources. It was really exciting because of how this issue disproportionally affects the youth, and we were able to support them.”

After years of working bicoastally in Los Angeles and Boston, Mr. Warren decided to stay on the Island with his wife, Sophia, after the birth of their daughter, Sloane, last October. “After a few months of being out, I just kind of thought about what I would miss if I continued to work remotely in Boston and D.C. and continue to travel so much,” said Mr. Warren.

As the newly appointed administrator of student affairs, Mr. Warren is tasked with enforcing the student code of conduct, conducting investigations regarding disciplinary infractions, and communicating with parents of students facing punishment. However, Mr. Warren’s responsibilities do not solely include taking disciplinary action. He also works in student affairs, and offers support to students facing difficulties.

Principal Sara Dingledy found his consistent and upfront approach to discipline noteworthy during his interview process. She said, “Mr. Warren is unafraid to have very difficult conversations with students. He makes contact, and will talk directly to a student.”

In addition to his background working against sex trafficking, Mr. Warren taught in the Boston public school system. He feels both experiences have been formative in how he operates as an educator today. “There are a lot of elements of education that really are aligned with issues of social justice,” he said. “The sum of all my previous work has really helped me to come here and apply those learnings and those skills that I’ve developed in a way that helps students.”offer. “I think identifying more opportunities for access to outside experiences is something I’m really looking forward to exploring, whether it be workforce opportunities that might not be represented here, or other educational or trade opportunities,” he said. “More importantly, it’s the opportunity for intercultural exchange, the ability to see different parts of the country and the world. Expanding and removing barriers is something I really want to focus on.”