Staff Milestones

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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A Message from Jarrett Young, New Head of School

To the City Academy Community:

The City Academy academic community is transformative, vibrant, and evolving – it supports the growth of both students and their families during an integral time in their lives. The adjectives used to describe our school make it a desired place for families to entrust their most precious treasure, their children. City Academy families and students are like threads that create an ornate tapestry. Tapestries are beautiful because they have two sides, one that is meant to display the excellence of the artisan and the other that shows the toil of the artisan. The artisans that power the loom at City Academy are our wonderful team of dedicated educators and administrators who work to create the academic opportunities that benefit our students.

As I start my time at City Academy, I reflect on our school’s past. Our school has experienced good fortune with outstanding leaders that love our school and live its mission. Maintaining bold expectations for students is at the core of our school’s work but is only possible because our community is anchored in authenticity and trust. As I walked the halls at City Academy during my interview and subsequent visits, I felt the trust that families have for the school and experienced that everyone is expected to be their authentic self each day. The chance to be a part of students’ academic story is a gift that parents and guardians bestow to educators because they trust that our school will continue to live its mission and provide an experience that is transformational for each child.

The opportunity to be a leader at City Academy is an honor of a lifetime, because my story parallels our students’ stories. I grew up not far from our campus and was supported by family – my mother and grandmother – who wanted me to experience the transformative power of education. That experience drives me every day of my life to do the same for others with every ounce of my being. This is why the opportunity to lead at our school is such a tremendous gift. The work ahead is ours to complete. Let’s commit to communicating and trusting one another to create the best opportunities for our students.

Best,

Jarrett Young, Head of School

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Sydney Williams ’16 – Annual Luncheon Speech

Sydney at her 6th Grade Graduation in 2016

I would just like to start off by saying I am honored to be the 2022 Brightman Award recipient. City Academy was my home for eight years, and even after I left it continued to support me and welcome me into its community. There has never been a moment where I could not contact a former teacher or faculty member when I needed assistance. The alumni of City Academy have helped me countless times with classes and gave great advice when I began navigating my college application process. Ms. Glassmeyer especially has been a great shoulder to lean on these past two years, helping me find scholarships, internship opportunities and just being a shoulder to lean on.

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Sydney Williams – 2022 Brightman Award Recipient

Sydney Williams is a gentle leader with a fierce determination for success. As a student at City Academy, Sydney’s determination to succeed was apparent. After graduating in 2016, she went on to attend John Burroughs School (JBS) and continued to thrive. Her hard work and service to others have made her an excellent choice for this year’s Brightman Award.

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What Leadership Means to Me

City Academy strives to develop leadership skills in all of our scholars, including counting on our Upper School students to become leaders in our own community. Our current 6th grade scholars have truly grown to understand that responsibility and exemplify leadership each day. In ELA class, they were asked to respond to the question “What does leadership mean to you?” in an essay, you can read excerpts from their responses below.


Jamaron Bass

A great leader is my father. I looked up to him and  hope to one day be better than him. He teaches me the difference between right and wrong and how to always do the right thing. He cheers me on when I accomplish something very important. He also tells me he is very proud of me. My father inspired me to be just like him, but a  better version of him. He leads me to more than good, but to be amazing because that is what counts.”


RaShae Blanchard

“In my opinion, leadership means showing someone that you are responsible for not only your actions, but others’ actions as well. Because a good leader models, they are responsible for helping, coaching, teaching, but most importantly, listening. I have learned that listening first  is the best way to lead. It shows that you are invested in what is being said and that you actually care.”

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City Academy Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Did you know that every City Academy  student receives Spanish language and culture instruction, starting at age 3?

 

September 15 – October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to recognize the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the culture and history of the United States. Our Spanish curriculum already includes a heavy emphasis on cultural studies, but this month, our scholars are having even more fun while learning!

Our Spanish program begins in early childhood, when children are most receptive to language learning, and extends through 6th grade. Our two full-time faculty members, Professoras Torres and Rivera, work together to create a curriculum that engages young learners in the culture and vocabulary through songs, games and projects, and builds on those lessons through 6th grade to develop Spanish speaking, reading and writing skills. Professoras Rivera and Torres are both from Spanish-speaking countries, giving them a unique perspective and in-depth knowledge on the curriculum they are teaching.

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A Sweet Introduction to STEAM

Our sixth grade scholars had a sweet introduction to STEAM this year! Students designed and created their own solar oven, and got to test them out by making s’mores.

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2021 Sixth Grade Graduation | Martin Mathews Award Winner

The Martin L. Mathews Award, given at graduation each year, is named for Martin Mathews, co-founder of Mathews-Dickey Boys’ and Girls’ Club, whose inspiration made City Academy possible. It is awarded to a student or students who exemplify his exceptional leadership and citizenship while demonstrating academic integrity. The 2021 recipients, chosen by City Academy faculty, are Whitney Gross and Tyler Younger. The sixth grade teachers shared these words about each of these amazing scholars when presenting their awards:

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2021 Sixth Grade Graduation Presentations | Whitney Gross

Good morning City Academy, Faculty, Staff, Family and Friends. As most of you may know I am Whitney Gross and I would first like to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who made today possible. At the beginning of the year, we were all filled with uncertainty of whether or not this day would happen, but here we are. So on behalf of the Graduating Class of 2021, we would like to extend our gratitude. We appreciate all that you have done to make this day possible.

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2021 Sixth Grade Graduation Presentations | Promyss Wolfe

Good Morning Everyone! My name is Promyss Wolfe.

Frustration. Anger. Fear. Disappointment. Graduates of 2021, parents, family, and faculty we have all felt this way at some point in our life. Especially this year given we
have been engulfed in a global pandemic. But for me, these mixed emotions have been my life story. That’s the not so good part of my time at City Academy, but just like the lyrics to Kirk Franklin’s song, “Brighter Days” were on the way.

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