Dr. Anna Moore

She’s focused on supporting the needs of differently abled students

Dr. Anna Moore

Photography by Martha Williams

The Howard School, which has been open since 1950 and was founded by an Agnes Scott College graduate who had cerebral palsy, provides education and resources for children with language-based learning differences. Dr. Anna Moore serves as only the fifth head of the school. “At the Howard School, students rediscover the joy of learning,” she says. “We recognize and celebrate each learner’s passions and strengths while also addressing their unique academic challenges. We believe that learners are neither defined nor limited by labels.”

The Howard School was the first school in the Southeast to serve children who learned differently, and is one of the first in the nation to offer education through high school to these students. It is the only K-12 school in the City of Atlanta to do so now.

Moore comes from the Westminster Schools, where she created an integrated program to assist children by implementing what she calls “whole child understanding and education.” Encompassing mental health, learning support, and physical health, the program addresses a student’s needs holistically. If a child is showing distress, an interdisciplinary team works together to look at all facets of a child’s school experience and develop a comprehensive plan on how to treat the root causes, rather than just the symptoms.

Her career path has been in line with her lifelong focus on helping those in need. As a teen in the late 1980s in Atlanta, Moore volunteered with AID Atlanta to help reduce stigma connected with the disease. Additionally, she serves on the advisory board for nonprofit mental health treatment organization Skyland Trail’s adolescent unit and the advisory council for Authentic Connections, a K-12 mental health and wellness program. She’s also on the board of AC Groups, supporting teachers, hospital workers, and parents by providing mental health services. “I am called to serve people who are ‘othered,’” she says. “That’s in my heart. In a world so often marked by chaos and conflict, I seek spaces of grace and kindness.”