Shanda Gentry Named Chief Academic Officer FirstLine Schools

New Orleans Agenda

Recently, FirstLine Schools announced that after an in-depth search and interview process involving both internal and external candidates, Shanda Gentry has accepted an offer to be the next Chief Academic Officer at FirstLine Schools. Congratulations to Shanda for demonstrating excellence in her current role of School Director at Arthur Ashe, which led to this promotion.

Shanda has over 15 years of experience in educational leadership, curriculum development, and strategic planning. She has a proven track record of enhancing academic programs, fostering faculty development, and increasing student achievement outcomes.

Since joining FirstLine in 2018, Shanda has coached and developed her team to boost student achievement, which led to Ashe receiving a “Top Gains” designation for the 2022-23 school year. She sets the vision and expectations for a positive school culture, with a focus on creating joyful and warm learning environments with high expectations for all students.

Prior to her current role, Shanda served as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Dorothy Height Charter School (formerly Paul Habans Charter School), where she developed, delivered, and supported small group instruction, leading to increased test scores. She also has experience as the Principal of Benjamin E. Mays Preparatory School, where she refined teacher development protocols and hiring practices, leading to a significant increase in the school’s state ranking.

Shanda holds a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of New Orleans and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the same institution. She is certified in Early Childhood Education (PK-3) and Educational Leadership. Shanda is actively involved in professional organizations such as the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE), and the Greenhouse E3 Fellowship.

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