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Episode #1

Mary Ellen Lee

Teacher, Principal, Network Administrator at Leading Edge Academy in Arizona

Character Above All Else, The Importance of Educators in Leadership, and Her Secret to Building Relationships with Parents & Students

Episode #1 Recap

Valuable Lessons Learned from Mary Lee Ellen, Network Director of Development at Leading Edge Academy

After 20 years, 7 campuses (plus an online option), 200 educators, and 2200 students, Leading Edge Academy has established its name in the Arizona charter school community. In the inaugural Charter School Connection Podcast, Dallan Wortham of Charter Connect had the opportunity to sit down with Mary Ellen Lee, the current Network Director of Development for Leading Edge Academy. In the podcast, Mary Ellen shares extremely valuable insight on the growth of Leading Edge Academy from 15-16 students to what it is today. This podcast is a must-listen for any charter school leader.

Here are some key insights Mary Ellen recommends for other charter schools based on her experience:

1. Starting small and scaling growth over time can have BIG benefits.
2. Educators add invaluable input to executive school boards. Their experiences can ignite actionable change within the community.
3. Students and teachers are motivated by their WHY. Finding (or CREATING) a "why" can inspire buy-in to the school community.
4. Recommended read for leaders: Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win (Jocko Willink)

Contact The Charter School Connection

Would you be interested in appearing on our podcast or joining our community? 


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