180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School

To educators, Washington Metropolitan High School (DC Met) is an alternative school with a devoted staff. To district leaders, it is a failure. To many of the school’s students, it is home – a safe haven from sometimes unsparingly difficult lives. Whatever one’s vantage, 180 Days: A Year inside an American High School provides an intimate portrait of this fledgling school’s day-to-day stories, condensing a full school year – 180 days – into four hours (2 two-hour episodes).

With a dynamic and charismatic young principal and five remarkable kids at the center of the story, 180 Days invites viewers in for an unprecedented first-hand look of life inside of a school that tries to meet the needs of some of our nation’s most challenged students.

Part One

Join Principal Tanishia Williams Minor and her dedicated staff as they guide their students toward graduation day against difficult odds.

Part Two

In the conclusion of this series the DC Met family pulls together towards the first graduating class, sifting through many more layers of complications.



Jacquie Jones

Executive Producer

Jacquie has established herself as a leader in the evolving next-media landscape through innovative partnerships and initiatives such as the Katrina Project, the ground-breaking New Media Institute, the Public Media Corps and blackpublicmedia.org.

She was previously the Executive Vice President of ROJA Productions in New York City, a producer of high impact media for public television and museums. Jacquie is also a Peabody Award-winning producer and director of documentary films. Her credits include “Africans in America” and “Matters of Race” for PBS, “Behind Closed Doors: Sex in the 20th Century” for Showtime, and “The World Before Us,” for the History Channel. She has a BA in English from Howard University and an MA from Stanford University’s documentary filmmaking program. She has been a Revson Fellow at Columbia University and a scholar-in-residence at American University in Washington, DC. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Integrated Media Association (iMA) board and on the Community Advisory Board of WHUT Howard University Television.

Lesley Norman

Series Senior Producer

Lesley Norman was most recently the Executive Director of The Filmmakers Collaborative in Boston. Prior to this position, she was Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of JumpStart Productions in New York, and Executive In Charge of the award-winning series NOW on PBS. Before joining JumpStart Productions, she was Vice President and Production Executive of David Grubin Productions. Lesley has multiple program Emmy awards for her work with NOW on PBS, as well as the Edward R. Murrow award from the Overseas Press Club for her senior producing role on the film “Child Brides, Stolen Lives.”

She has worked on other award-winning productions such as “The Secret Life of the Brain,” “Napoleon,” and “Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided” for David Grubin Productions, “Africans in America” for WGBH, and “BreakThrough: The Changing Face of Science In America” for Blackside, Inc. Lesley holds a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University, and an bachelor’s degree in government from Skidmore College. She has served as a grant reviewer for the NEH, has been a panelist at Silverdocs and a program participant at RealScreen, and has produced several panels for the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers.

Garland McLaurin

Co-Producer + Co-Director

Garland McLaurin has worked in television and film in the United States and abroad for over ten years. He recently worked on “Black in America 4,” the latest installation of an ongoing series documenting African American life for CNN.

Prior to Black in America 4, Garland was a producer and cinematographer on the BET Ed Gordon Special “Homecoming: The Killing of DJ Henry,” As a video journalist, he had worked on projects for Time.com and the NY Times online divisions and produced a series of web shorts on environmental issues for NPR member station WAMU 88.5 American University Radio. In the spring of 2010 he traveled to Haiti to shoot “One Day, One Destiny” a co-production of NBPC’s AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange broadcast series and blackpublicmedia.org. He holds a BA in Radio-TV-Film from Howard University and an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts graduate film school.


Carol Slatkin


Carol Slatkin is a highly regarded video editor based in Washington, DC. Her career in post-production spans over 30 years and covers a wide variety of programming, including feature and television documentaries, non-profit and museum programs. Her work has appeared on PBS, ABC, CNN, TBS, National Geographic Television, Discovery and Smithsonian Channel. Among her notable programs are the PBS Frontline “Is Wal-Mart Good for America”, and Discovery Docs “With All Deliberate Speed”.


Adam Lingo


Adam Lingo is an editor living in Washington, DC. Adam loves a good story and has cut a variety of programs long and short, some of which have been fortunate enough to win an award or two. Over the years he has worked on projects for PBS, National Geographic, Discovery Channel and the National Park Service among others. Highlights include “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” (TLC, Great Books), “Robert Rauschenberg: Inventive Genius” (PBS, American Masters), “Gorillas on the Edge” (National Geographic Explorer), and the independent films “At the Second Traffic Light” and “Un-Natural State.”

Alexis P. Aggrey

Coordinating Producer

Alexis Phyllis Aggrey is the production manager for the series. Her background is in natural history production and interactive game design. Alexis fell in love with documentary production while at National Geographic Television.

Her most recent work includes the redesign of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN, and National Geographic’s Great Migrations series. She received a BS from Norfolk State University in Mass Communications.

Breht Gardner

Field Producer

Breht Gardner is a multiple award winning filmmaker who has worked in various facets of filmmaking, including writing, producing, directing, shooting, editing and sound mixing. His works have been showcased at over seven international film festivals including Sundance and Cannes.

Most recently he produced and directed the reality show “The Studio Exposed” featuring multiple Grammy award winning producer, Bryan-Michael Cox. His other credits include “The Salon,” featuring Vivica A. Fox, “State’s Evidence,” and “That Guy.” Breht graduated from Howard University with a BA in Film. He has also attended the University of Southern California’s film program.

Brittany Clemons

Associate Producer

Brittany Clemons (Associate Producer) previously worked on several National Black Programming Consortium productions such as the teen talk show “What’s Good DC,” and the Public Media Corps, where she developed Digital Media Arts Programs at two District of Columbia high schools. She holds a BA in film with a minor concentration in electronic studio from Howard University.

Will McKinley

Associate Producer

Will McKinley is a graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore. His skills have landed him opportunities to work with the Baltimore Orioles, Comcast Sportsnet, Source Magazine, the University of Maryland, The Afro-American Newspaper, America’s Most Wanted and more. He has a BS degree in TV Production but has a profound love for film.


Alyssa Taylor

Assistant Editor

After graduating from Howard’s School of Communications, Alyssa worked on the Mexico Today tourism campaign editing promotional videos and managing social media. She was Assistant Editor on the 180 Days project and hopes to continue in film and television production within public media.