Kona-Facia Freeman-Nepay, EdD, got her first experience with language education in 10th grade while studying at the Ricks Institute, an elite private school in Libya. She had a teacher from Cameroon come in to teach them French, ultimately leading her to continue her French education at a school in Cote d’Ivoire before moving to France and achieving a bachelor’s degree in language sciences and a master’s degree in teaching French as a foreign language from the University of Franche-Comté. Dr. Freeman-Nepay also holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and public administration from the University of Liberia.
Subsequently coming to the United States, Dr. Freeman-Nepay began her career in 1992 with the Prince George’s Public School System in Maryland, where she served variously as a language immersion teacher, coordinator, assistant principal and principal until 2012. During this time, she founded the Baltimore International Academy in 2007, which provides a wide range of multi-lingual language learning options in Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian and French. As the academy’s chief executive officer and executive director, Dr. Freeman-Nepay brings considerable expertise in both language immersion and international baccalaureate education and, in 2019, she was able to open a new location serving pre-K through eighth grade.
Considering her school to be the highlight of her career, Dr. Freeman-Nepay has continued to further her own skills and earned a Doctor of Education in global education from the University of Southern California in 2017. As she looks toward the future, she has begun developing plans to establish a university to further increase access to high-quality and innovative education. In order to keep abreast of new developments in her field, Dr. Freeman-Nepay maintains professional membership with the National Education Association and the American Association of Teachers of French.
Attributing much of her success to her faith, Dr. Freeman-Nepay is also deeply grateful to her parents, who made significant sacrifices in order for her to have a good education, and her husband, Rev. Patrick Nepay, who has been her biggest supporter. For her excellence, she has been recognized with a number of honors and accolades. Most recently, in 2022, Dr. Freeman-Nepay was presented with the Advanced and Gifted Education Local Leadership Award from the Maryland State Department of Education and the Outstanding Administrator Award from the American Association of Teachers of French.