At Green Inspiration Academy (GIA), we look forward to a brighter future. Our new principal, Mrs. Kay Boyd, is definitely a welcomed change and we can’t wait for you to meet her.
Meet Mrs. Boyd
Do you mind sharing about your past experiences and what has prepared you for this role as the new principal of GIA?
Interestingly education is a second career for me. I worked for about 17 years as a manager for a bankruptcy division at a law firm. My husband and I were volunteer coaches for boys basketball and one day I told my husband, “I’m miserable. I’m really never happy except for when we are working with kids.”
I resigned from my job and enrolled in college the next day. That year I started at Notre Dame college, focusing on Special Education, and got a job at a charter school before I graduated.
While I was at that charter school I just had a way of working with people. So I got pseudo leadership there and put together a program very important to me. I titled it Community Restoration, basically restorative practices in lieu of suspension. Everything was good but I was stuck in my classroom and they wouldn’t let me grow. So I accepted a job at another school overseeing their Special Education Department.
I was asked to step up as the principal based on the work that I had done. I graciously accepted for the first year coming out of this crazy COVID world… and then I met April. I just fell in love with her passion and commitment.
What attracted you to Green Inspiration Academy? What makes it different from other schools?
Not just the students, but the staff here. April talked about the teachers at length, and I was so impressed by that. That’s how you have a successful school, investing in your teachers and taking care of them so that they can take care of the students. We talked about why we wanted to do the work that we do, and everything was very, very aligned. When April offered me the position I couldn’t say Yes fast enough. I was so excited to come in and bring my little spin to her already great mission. I live less than 5 miles from school, so I’m really serving the students in my own community, and that’s important to me.
It’s important to note we’ve had very little turnover and that’s very uncommon in education. The people here work tirelessly to do whatever they have to do for the students.
In what way do you see yourself being an inspiration to the students? to the educators?
I think, for students, being a walking role model- being someone who was born and raised in the same community and showing that success is measured differently for different people. And I don’t think anyone’s ever questioned whether or not I care about them. Students know that I’m here for them, and I’ll be their biggest cheerleader, so whatever they need I’m here for it. I’m here to point you in the right direction. I’m here to stay after school with you to help you learn to read better. I’m here to get you a ride to soccer practice. I’m here for it.
And for the staff- I’m a teacher at heart. I’m never not going to be a teacher. I taught classes last year. I expect I’ll teach classes this year. I’m one of those people that will be in the classroom there to help. I want people to feel that they’re supported and we’re doing this together. I may have a business card that says Principal but I’m an educator the same as every other person in this building.
What do wrap-around-services mean to you and why are they important to the educators, students, and families?
Students need help in more than academics. The reality is emotional and mental health affect how well we do every day, in every aspect of our lives. We need to be able to identify what students and families need, so we can help them, so in turn they’re able to be successful in school. We really have to build and foster relationships with family, so that they can feel comfortable, and sane. Use safe, not sane
We have to try to be that bridge– that’s one of the reasons I’m so happy I was able to bring someone who worked with me previously to Green to be our Community Liaison. I think that position is so necessary in schools, offering support and being relentless and kind.
She will be in the community, identifying resources that we can bring into the school. So what does that mean? Do we need to do a food drive here? Do we need to maybe do a resume writing clinic? What can we bring in for free for our families to receive support? What services can we offer beyond?
So I’m happy to have her part of the team. She shares my vision and my mission, and I think that we’ll be able to do great work here for the whole community.
How else do you envision your impact on Green Inspiration Academy?
I’m a really structured, organized person, so there will be a lot of structured organization. I think what will be really impactful here is I’m bringing a Social Emotional Learning curriculum. Every grade will have SEL classes every day. I am very big on enrichment classes. We’ll have Gym and Art and I want students to be able to display what they’re doing. So that’s coming back and with my Special Education background I’m really into individualized support so I’m going to tighten up the Earth CI, Special Education, Response to Intervention (RtI) and Title One programs, so that we are data driven and meeting the needs of everyone here.
Beyond that, focusing on achievement and developing the love of learning for everyone. If we need to do some type of space camp to get kids into Science, then let’s do it. You can look forward to a ton of science-based activities coming out of Green.
Yes, let’s do it! Are you just as inspired as we are? Help us welcome Mrs. Boyd to GIA. She is available during school tours so the guardians/parents can come in and meet her. Schedule a tour of our tuition-free public school for students K-8 today to get inspired in person. Onward. Upward. Inspired! We’re enrolling now!
About Green Inspiration Academy (GIA)
Green Inspiration Academy is a free public charter school for grades K–8 located in Warrensville Heights, serving the Greater Cleveland area. Our school uplifts the educational experience with a focus on mental and emotional health, unmatched education, and strong parent-teacher-student relationships, every single day. Onward. Upward. Inspired! Join us at Green Inspiration Academy!