A Family Celebration for Shalawn Fennoy’s 20th Anniversary

Over the last 20 years, Shalawn Fennoy has built strong relationships with her students at every turn. She eats lunch with students and spends time at recess with them even before they are in her class in order to get to know each individual personality. By knowing them, she is able to help them find places to build their strengths. In some cases, she helps students discover strengths they did not know they had. One of her favorite memories was receiving a handwritten note from a student who had trouble expressing herself in class. After trying everything to get this student to open up, Shalawn realized that this student “just needed someone to give her space
to prove who she was.” Shalawn did just that, setting time to journal with this student and encouraging her to communicate in her writing.

It’s these types of moments—when teachers truly pay attention to the needs of their students—that make City Academy such a special place for learning beyond the classroom. It is a truly safe space for students to be accepted and to really explore who they are as individuals, and Shalawn makes sure that students in her class know this and use it to their advantage. In Shalawn’s long tenure, City Academy has always cultivated an environment that is supportive and feels very family-like. Family is created in small moments— journaling together, eating meals together, and saying “try again” when things don’t go our way—and since 2002, Shalawn Fennoy has been an amazing part of the City Academy family.

Donna Hynes: 20 Years of Leadership

In April 2000, a colleague mentioned an opening at City Academy to Donna Hynes. She interviewed, fell in love with the mission, and has been a pillar on our campus ever since. “I’ve always called City Academy my home away from home,” Donna said recently, a sentiment evidenced by her willingness to always jump in and get things done.

She has been part of the several committees and she’s served as a new teacher mentor. She makes time for all of these important endeavors and is often the first impression for City Academy families looking to enroll their children in the Early Childhood Education Program. As Early Childhood Director, Donna thrives in the small, close-knit family environment that City
Academy operates. She can really focus on what each individual student needs, and furthermore, what each family needs. “We make sure we build a great rapport with each family, and that is a very important piece of making sure our students are
successful,” she said.

The partnership Donna creates with parents is crucial for early childhood development and success in each classroom. Donna also works very closely with the Early Childhood Education teachers. “I am proud to be part of such a phenomenal and talented team
of individuals. I feel that this is where the magic happens,” she said when asked about her team.

Donna leads by example. Her involvement on campus, her dedication to each student, and her strong belief in the mission of City Academy have made her an extremely important part of this community.

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