Menlo Park Academy (MPA), after an extensive review of its leadership structure and goals to elevate its academic program, named Sh’Annon Caldwell as the new Director of Education. (See below for more information on Menlo’s leadership structure)
Sh’Annon Caldwell joined MPA in December 2021 during a challenging period of staffing transitions and programmatic challenges. “Sh’Annon jumped in with both feet, demonstrated great resilience while remaining positive and committed to success in her role as Director of Curriculum and Gifted Instruction,” stated Teri Harrison (MPA Board Chair). Teri continued, “throughout the selection process, Sh’Annon’s commitment to gifted education and alignment with making our mission a lived experience led to her promotion.” Interim School Director, Dr. Richard Hronek, expressed a strong working relationship with Sh’Annon. He stated: “Sh’Annon is a strong leader, a caring colleague, and a quick study. I am confident she will strengthen Menlo’s academics, instruction, and our kids’ classroom experience.”
Sh’Annon joined MPA with nine years of classroom teaching and over ten years of school administration experience. This experience included service as a teacher and Assistant Principal at Whitney M. Young Gifted and Talented Leadership Academy in Cleveland. “Sh’Annon’s day-to-day solutions mindset and long-term implementation planning have been tested and yielded results,” said Tiffany Randle, MPA Board Member. Sh’Annon holds a B.A. in Elementary Education, M.A. in Gifted and Talented Education, and M.A. in Administration and Supervision. She completed undergraduate and graduate work at Youngstown State University.
Sh’Annon is honored and excited to attain a position that best enables her to ensure that MPA meets its mission. She shared, “in collaboration with the board, administrative colleagues, staff, students, and families, I intend to move in the direction of providing in-depth teaching, learning, social and emotional advocacy and exploration of the world through the lens of the gifted child.”
MPA Leadership Structure Change
Throughout the process of examining school leadership needs, the Board collectively saw a need to both place a greater emphasis on MPA’s academic program and divide the overwhelming responsibilities previously held solely by the School Director. The resulting organizational shift created the role of Director of Education and will lead to the hiring of Menlo’s first principal. The Director of Education will be responsible for overall gifted instructional design, program, and classroom delivery standards. Our principal (selection process still underway) will report to the Director of Education and provide day-to-day planning, leadership, support, and communication for educational staff, families, as well as our students.