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LEAD Public Schools

LEAD School Spotlight: LEAD Southeast High

LEAD Southeast High School (LSEH) was founded in 2017 and celebrated its first graduating class in May 2021. The following month, in June 2021, Genevieve Hinnant became LEAD Southeast High’s principal. Hinnant previously served as founding principal at Belmont Charter High School in Philadelphia. Prior to that she worked as an administrator in charter schools in New Jersey and as a high school English teacher.

One of the aspects of her school that Principal Hinnant is most proud of is the diversity found on campus and how the school community intentionally celebrates the cultures of its students.

“Our community is incredibly diverse and over 18 languages are spoken on campus,” said Hinnant. “We celebrate all the cultures represented at our school.”

Jessica Simmons, the school’s EL instructional manager with six years at LEAD Southeast High, further emphasized the diversity that the school boasts, making it a special community of learners. 

“Our families make LSEH unique!” she said. “Our community is linguistically, culturally, and racially diverse, and our students and families are welcoming and open to learn from each other and work alongside each other.”

Simmons signed her offer letter – from a hospital room after giving birth – without ever stepping foot on campus at LEAD Southeast! “I couldn’t travel to the interview because I was nine months pregnant and thought, ‘Why not?’ I took a leap of faith, and here I am six years later still at LSEH,” she said.

Since then, Simmons has been supported to grow in all of her roles as English teacher, master teacher, English language development teacher, and now the EL instructional manager. 

Victor Fahim, a 12th-grade student at LEAD Southeast, appreciates how his teachers intentionally support him and his classmates. “LEAD Southeast is a family-based high school,” he said. “All the teachers are close with you and try to get to know you so they can help you. We all work together as a whole to help each other and build each other up.”

“Really, our kids are kind and curious. I find joy every day in the small interactions with students.” – Jessica Simmons, EL Instructional Manager at LEAD Southeast High.

A distinctive aspect about the campus at LEAD Southeast High is that it shares the same campus as LEAD Southeast Middle. Students can begin at LEAD Southeast Middle in 5th grade and will have a spot on our campus until the end of their 12th grade year. With that continuity, small class sizes and family-like environment, every student has the opportunity to learn in a space where they feel safe and welcome each day.

Kennedy Jackson, a senior student at LEAD Southeast, values this family-like atmosphere at school. “LSEH is a very positive, accepting environment,” he said. “The teachers want us to strive inside of school and outside of school.”

“I don’t think other schools are like this. The teachers and students are so accepting of each other.” – Kennedy Jackson, 12th-grade student at LEAD Southeast High.

Erenee Makram, another senior student at LEAD Southeast, plans to continue her education at MTSU in the fall majoring in construction management. She anticipates celebrating this news publicly with the rest of her LEAD family during a unique annual event called Senior Signing Day this spring. 

“A fun fact about LEAD is Senior Signing Day, which is an opportunity to share the joy of our next chapter,” she said.

Allie Kim, the school counselor at LEAD Southeast High and long-time staff member with six years under her belt, said that seeing students like Erenee’s progression makes her job especially meaningful. 

“I love building meaningful and lasting relationships with our students,” she said. “Being able to see students every school day throughout their four years here is an incredible experience. I get to witness their growth, support them in their times of need, and celebrate their successes.”

As LEAD Southeast follows its mission to prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in life, the school is committed to offer full-time college counselors and intensive College Seminar for every student. During senior year, each student receives individual guidance tailored to specific needs and interests to ensure they can make a post-secondary decision that is best for them.

“Our students are amazing.They are so kind and driven and committed to succeeding. Our staff members are just as committed to making sure that students are provided with tons of opportunities and can excel at high levels.” – Genevieve Hinnant, Principal at LEAD Southeast High.

For more information about LEAD Southeast High, please visit: https://leadpublicschools.org/schools/se-high/.  

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