In the heart of North Nashville, LEAD Academy stands as a beacon of educational excellence, fostering a unique environment where high expectations meet unwavering support for both students and staff. With a rich history and a commitment to preparing LEADers to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally, LEAD Academy has become a second home for those who walk through its doors.
Principal Maggie Sneed has been an integral part of the LEAD Academy family for a decade, witnessing its evolution and growth firsthand. She began her journey in 2014 as a dedicated English teacher for 10th and 12th graders, and, over the years, her dedication and leadership have led her to various roles, including dean of instruction, assistant principal of instruction, and, in 2023, the proud principal of LEAD Academy.
“We’ve always taken the relationships and joy just as seriously as the hard work of learning and teaching, and it makes the difference in people ‘showing up’ versus really belonging,” Sneed said.
“I believe with my whole heart that if it’s going to happen in education today, it’s going to happen at LEAD Academy.” – Maggie Sneed, LEAD Academy Principal.
Keshia Thompson has been a teacher for 12 years. She has taught a range of subjects, from history and geography to African-American studies, personal finance, and seminar classes. For Thompson, the uniqueness of LEAD Academy lies in its focus on holistic development. “LEAD Academy is focused on helping to develop the whole person. This applies to students, families, and staff,” she said.
“I’ve been given the space to learn and grow, and the support to push me to be better. I’ve been empowered to think outside the box to find what’s best for my students and families.” – Keshia Thompson, Teacher at LEAD Academy.
Andrew Jones, a 12th-grade student at LEAD Academy, credits the school’s commitment to early intervention and academic growth for his academic successes. Andrew plans to pursue his passion for history at a four-year college, thanks in part to the support he received at LEAD.
“LEAD focuses a lot of their time on academics. In fifth grade, I had a teacher named Mr. Anderson who used to get on me about my punctuation. That led me to become the student I am in English. It helped that I had somebody early to push me. LEAD is unique because I don’t think other schools do that and work with students at a young age to get them to where they are now,” shared Andrew.
“Honestly LEAD Academy is one of the best charter schools around. They are unique because they focus on intervention for anybody who needs it. It helps kids grow and I don’t think other schools do this.” – Andrew Jones, 12th Grader at LEAD Academy.
The commitment of LEAD Academy’s impact goes beyond Andrew, Sneed, and Thompson, working with former students and LEAD Academy alum. You will even find some of the alums among the LEAD Academy staff!
LEAD Academy’s roots run deep in North Nashville. Initially located on Heiman Street, the school moved to the iconic Cameron building in 2015-2016. You may witness visitors looking up as they navigate which parts of the building are LEAD Academy and LEAD Cameron. If you see the blue and green stripes on the top of the walls, you’re in “LEAD Academy Land!”
As LEAD Academy continues nurturing relationships, fostering growth, and inspiring its students and staff, it stands as a testament to the power of education and community. With the ongoing leadership and dedication of staff members like Sneed and Thompson, LEAD Academy remains a place where both history and innovation blend seamlessly to create a bright future.
For more information about LEAD Academy, please visit: https://leadpublicschools.org/schools/lead-academy/