As a child, Shayna experienced both the ugliness of racism and the redeeming power of a culturally inclusive teacher. So when she became a Teach For America corps member, Shayna focused on inclusivity as a cornerstone to her leadership ethos. Her inner fire lit up her 3rd grade students at Baltimore’s Belmont Elementary and earned Shayna the Peter Kannam Award for the greatest academic gains of the TFA-Baltimore Corps and she went on to be named as one of five National Finalists for the Sue Lehmann Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Shayna then took a position as a KIPP principal and was struck by the awesome privilege and profound responsibility of being a school leader. She experienced the challenges of being a young, ambitious leader, leading a diverse group of teachers; the negative impact of endemic racial and socioeconomic inequities on the educational system; the need for transformative school leaders to positively impact student learning outcomes; the lack of mentorship and support for school leaders, particularly those working in under-served communities.
Despite the challenges, Shayna cultivated KIPP Ujima’s first Leadership Team and led them to create a professional learning community dedicated to differentiated instruction, character education, cultural proficiency, and innovative scheduling models that provided adequate time for collaborative planning and data analysis. The school became the highest-performing public middle school in Baltimore.
KIPP liked what Shayna was able to do with teachers and leaders at KIPP Ujima and made her responsible for Teacher Leadership Programs at the KIPP Foundation. She designed and executed professional development programs for KIPP teacher leaders in 109 schools nationwide serving 26,000 students. These leaders consistently rated the effectiveness of Shayna’s programs at 95% or above.
These experiences awakened Shayna to the critical importance of leadership development and led her to pursue a career focusing on the human beings that lead efforts to serve historically underserved groups and individuals across a variety of industries and sectors.
Shayna has developed Teach To Lead to support the efforts of the ambitious men and women answering the call for effective, authentic and inclusive leadership in the 21st Century.
Shayna holds Masters degrees in Elementary Education from Johns Hopkins and Educational Administration and Supervision from National Louis University. She also completed the KIPP school leadership program at Berkeley and is a part-time faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education’s PENN Literacy Network. Shayna most recently completed the Certificate in Leadership Coaching Program at Georgetown University.