Welcome back to an exciting new school year at 
The Leona Group!
Leona Group students, staff, board members, authorizers, families and friends:

Welcome back to another exciting school year! This school year we are entering our 20th year of operation as an organization. That's 20 years of doing great things for children every day, and I could not be more proud of the amazing things happening in over 60 Leona schools in grades preK-12 in 5 states across the country.

Thank you for taking the time to learn a little more about what we are up to. If you want to see talent, passion, energy and commitment, you've come to the right place. It is because of our superstar staff and their continual passion and commitment; our eager, driven students who walk through our doors every day ready to learn; our parents and families who choose TLG schools for their families; and our board and community members who volunteer their time and resources that makes us successful. It truly takes a village. So thank you, to each and every one of you, for contributing to our Leona family--in big or small ways-- you are making a difference and we appreciate you.

Together we all look forward to a rewarding, successful school year!

Dr. William Coats
CEO, The Leona Group
Governor of Arizona to Visit Alta Vista High School This Month
Lots of great things are going on at Alta Vista High School, it's no wonder the governor of the state of Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey is coming to visit AVHS on September 15! Alta Vista was one of six schools in the state of Arizona that the governor scheduled on his back-to-school trips.

"Back to school season is an exciting and important time for all Arizona families, because it really sets the tone for the rest of the year," said  Governor  Ducey. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to visit some of Arizona's schools, thank our teachers for the excellent work they do and encourage our children to be the best students they can be. I wish all Arizona kids and their families a successful school year."

Read more about the Governor's visit to Alta Vista

This past year, AVHS school leader Alicia Alvarez was nominated and selected as a  2015 Rodel Exemplary Principal.  

In addition to this, Ms. Alvarez was asked to join the  Governor's Classrooms First Initiative Council  as one of only 11 and the only high school principal. 
Detroit Public Safety Academy to be Featured in EdTech Digest
As Detroit Public Safety Academy enters its third year of operation, the nation is noticing how the school is spearheading 21st-century education transformation in Detroit. DPSA is one of only six public charter schools in the country to serve high school and middle school age students interested in public safety careers, and is the first and only of its kind in Michigan.

The academy's unique program includes online courses powered by eDynamic Learning, hands-on career exploration through internship-style experiences with federal, state and local agencies, and the opportunity to earn college credits in the dual-enrollment program through a local community college.

EdTech Digest will be featuring DPSA on the cover of their September 2015 issue.
South Ridge High School in America's Top High Schools 2015
South Ridge is a high-performing school; they have received three consecutive "A" ratings from the Arizona Department of Education. They were ranked by the U.S. News & World Report "Best High Schools" receiving Bronze Status in 2010 and 2012, and Silver Status in 2013 and 2014. They are also very proud of their 98.6% four-year graduation rate, one of the criteria which secured their spot on America's Top High Schools 2015 list. 

South Ridge High School's poverty rate is 81.7%, making it a "Beating the Odds" recipient. Newsweek's "Beating the Odds" list "seeks to identify schools that do an excellent job of preparing their students for college while also overcoming the obstacles posed by students at an economic disadvantage."

South Ridge also received a star, which "indicates that it meets our Equity measure by helping low-income students score at or above average on state assessments."
Wildwood Environmental Academy Teacher Traveled to the Arctic Ocean
Laura Schetter from Wildwood Environmental Academy in Toledo, Ohio, was one of 35 people selected from over 3,000 applicants by National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions as a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow. She traveled on an 11-day voyage to Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.

"I hope sharing my travels will make the connection for my students of how people connect to the natural world," Schetter said.

She traveled with writers, photographers, lecturers, naturalists, and two other teaching fellows to look at marine life, including polar bears, seals, walruses, Svalbard reindeer, and foxes by boat in the ocean, taking walks on the tundra and visiting Arctic beaches.

Cesar Chavez High School Student Heroes, Save Couple From Fire
Cesar Chavez High School, Detroit Two Cesar Chavez Academy High School students saved the lives of a couple in Southwest Detroit early last Thursday morning by rescuing them from an apartment fire. They saw smoke, went to investigate and started banging on doors to make sure everyone was awake and out of the building. This woke the sleeping couple, bringing them to safety.

Raul Lule, 17, and Dalvin Criddell, 16, should be commended for their courageous and selfless act. They are true heroes!
Mission Heights Teacher, Paleontologist Mr. Gay Featured in National Geographic
Mission Heights science teacher and paleontologist Mr. Robert Gay was featured in National Geographic. Mr. Gay teaches four paleontology classes at Mission Heights, the first and only high school in the country to offer paleontology courses.

Mr. Gay tells Brian Switek, National Geographic, "In addition to learning about the basics of paleontology (life in the past, evolution, previous paleontologists) we also go over the basic skills required to do paleontology. They get primers in cladistics, reading geologic and topographic maps, creating cross sections from maps, measuring stratigraphic sections, preparing and conserving fossil specimens. They apply all of these skills both in the lab and in the field. This summer students assisted in measuring multiple stratigraphic sections, were very successful in finding new fossil localities, and have helped get specimens ready to be permanently housed at the Museum of Northern Arizona."

In order to expand their studies and field work, the Mission Heights paleontology team is raising funds to purchase a paleontology field vehicle. They have created a Go Fund Me account collecting donations. 

Click here to help Mission Heights purchase a paleontology field vehicle. 

Say Geronimo!
At the Michigan Instructional Coach Retreat in July, the school coaches were each asked to submit photos that represented their schools mission and vision. 

View a compilation of the school's images as well as reasons why each coach works in education.

"Say Geronimo" to educating our children for a bright future!

Stay tuned for photos from the August and September 2015 inaugural Teacher Institutes, where 400+ Leona educators came together for an enriching professional development in Okemos, Michigan.
Join us in welcoming our new school leaders for the 2015-16 school year...

School Leader
April Hines-Jenkins, school leader
Cesar Chavez Academy Middle School, Detroit, MI
Charlie Lovelady, school leader
Mildred C. Wells Academy, Benton Harbor, MI
Emmanuel Anthony, school leader
C.M. Grant Leadership Academy, Columbus, OH
Dawn Starks, school leader
Timothy L. Johnson Academy, Fort Wayne, IN
Michael Collins, school leader
Thea Bowman Leadership Academy, Gary, IN
Sarita Stevens, school leader
Thea Bowman Leadership Academy, Gary, IN
Melissa Barnett, school leader
South Pointe Junior High School & Quest High School, Phoenix, AZ

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