Our School Leadership Model

Scholar Academies schools are home to a variety of leadership roles that directly impact our schools’ culture, operations, and academic programming. These include:

• School Director (Principal) – leads the school and is ultimately accountable for student learning and achievement

• Chief of Staff – manages school-level operations

• Director of Culture – leads the planning and implementation of pro grams that reinforce positive school culture and behavior

• Director of Curriculum and Instruction — leads ongoing teacher development and instructional coaching

• Director of Student Support – manages and supports the development of all Special Education staff

Click here for a more detailed description of the leadership model at our schools.

  • Thomas McPherson
    School Director, Memphis Scholars Florida-Kansas
    “My educational motto is ‘It’s not about what a student was taught; it’s about what the student has learned.’ This shifts the focus off of what the teacher is trying to do and places it squarely on what matters most—the impact on the students. At the end of the day, we are all in this work to make positive life changes for students. My leadership practice is rooted in the knowledge that these changes come from our ability to foster groundbreaking learning that sticks with our scholars.”
  • Shakira Smith
    Shakira Smith, School Director, Young Scholars Kenderton Charter School
    “I believe in the power of education and what it can do to transform one's future and outlook on life. In my 10 years at Scholar Academies schools, I've felt that the entire community—teachers, administrators, and non-instructional staff—has shared a deep and inspiring commitment to providing our scholars with a high quality public educational experience that extends beyond the classroom. That unique network-wide passion is essential to me as a school leader.”
  • Samantha Greenwald
    Director of Curriculum & Instruction, DC Scholars Public Charter School
    “As a part of the Scholar Academies team, I know I am working with a group of educators that is committed to creating high quality learning environments for students. Our team understands that in order to fulfill this mission we must constantly analyze, evaluate, and reflect on our practice, pushing ourselves and each other so that we never settle for anything less than the best for our students.”

Leadership Development Programs

In addition to the unique opportunities for leadership at each of our schools, Scholar Academies has two network-wide programs for aspiring leaders: PATH to School Leadership and the Incubated School Director program:

Incubated School Director Program
Each year, the Incubated School Director program gives a handful of aspiring principals a full year to devote themselves to learning, planning and preparing for the challenge of leading a new Scholar Academies turnaround school. Incubated School Directors hone six leadership competencies throughout their planning year:

Leadership Development Programs

  • • Instructional Leadership
    • Culture Leadership
    • Talent Leadership
  • • Operational and Strategic Leadership
    • Family and Community Leadership
    • Personal and People Leadership

Incubated leaders also build valuable relationships and systems that help them to guide their new turnaround schools to success.