Our Ethos are the foundation of everything we do at LEAD.

They provide a common understanding of expectations and behaviors for all of our students, families, teachers and staff members.

We are preparing LEADers who can thrive academically, socially and emotionally. That’s what it means to be READY FOR LIFE.

OUR ETHOS: I LEAD because…

I am Committed

What makes me most proud as a teacher are not the scholars who get it on the first try, but rather those who struggle, who see the mistakes, and keep going until THEY are satisfied. That is commitment.

Bridget Orgain, Teacher at Neely’s Bend

  • Persevere and never give up

  • Come to my school and community with 100% dedication for learning and to each other

I am Disciplined

When you are disciplined, you show you are disciplined. Integrity is doing what’s right when no one is looking.

Kelvin, LEAD Cameron

  • Work to improve over time through intentional decisions around completing work, changing behaviors, and raising grades

  • Understand the mission of my school and our community

  • Work hard every day to put my best self forward

I Serve Others

I love when I help people and see others help their peers in school and in our community.

Rawanne, Neelys Bend 8th-grade Class of 2019

  • Work together with class and schoolmates

  • Listen to and understand what they are asking

  • Approach each day with an understanding of the importance of being an active and positive member of my school community

I am Courageous

Courage is what allows me to face tomorrow. When my world seems to be falling apart, there is something in the back of my head telling me not to give up and to keep pushing.

Chandler Davis ‘19, LEAD Academy; Fisk University Class of 2023

  • Stand up for what’s right and do the right thing

  • Believe in myself and my abilities and show great determination to trust myself

  • Do what is right both at school and at home

I am Self-Reliant

If our students can leave with a sense of confidence in their self-reliance, this will transition to any career or field they may pursue.

Andrew Doerner, Teacher at LEAD Academy

  • Take charge of and responsibility for my life and my choices both in school and at home

  • Have confidence in my abilities to do the right in all situations

The LEAD Difference

We believe in holding all of our students to high academic standards — and in creating a joyful, safe environment where students can accomplish their goals and be proud of their work. 

We place a high priority on intentional relationship building so every student feels connected and known at school. We believe a growth mindset is key to developing world-class scholars who develop the habits and grit to succeed. We have a commitment to daily excellence and strive for the best for our scholars and community.

There are many ways strive to create this culture at LEAD, including:


A dedicated small-group time where students gather to discuss their progress and any challenges and find consistent support from a staff member and fellow students. Students focus on social and emotional skills like conflict resolution, study skills and teamwork.

Student-Led Conferences

Each year, we flip the script on parent-teacher conferences. Students lead the conversation by providing an update to a teacher or family member on their goals and progress. It builds ownership of their academic goals and confidence in professional communication environments.

College Seminar and Counseling

Beginning in middle school, students have the opportunity to visit college campuses to learn about different college programs and choices and begin exploring the best fit to help them achieve their goals. Once in 9th grade, all students participate in College Seminar, a dedicated time to prepare students for what happens beyond graduation, so they can pursue their goals and thrive.

Extracurriculars, Clubs and Athletics

A well-rounded education helps students develop their skills and interests and enriches their learning inside the classroom. All of our campuses offer different opportunities for students — from research opportunities, spoken word workshops, art shows, band, foreign languages, after school clubs and more.

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