As a national education consultant, Hayden Lyons has seen too many students underserved by their schools, leaving them unprepared for college, careers, and meaningful civic participation. And as a former school leader, he knows that high-performing schools can change the trajectory for their students. This serves as his motivation to return to Springfield, where he worked as a math consultant, to lead an autonomous, in-district school.
This school will focus on students’ ownership over their learning, which includes establishing individual benchmarks created in collaboration with students, as well as independent and innovative projects that students will present to business and community leaders to mirror real-world experiences. In addition to rigorous instruction, robust interventions, and remedial supports, the school will provide access to wrap-around services through community partnerships in order to support students’ diverse needs. “At our school, academic excellence comes from a culture of high expectations coupled with a high level of support. We believe that if students are exposed to this type of education, they can overcome the effects of the inequities that have defined their lived experiences.”
Hayden most recently served as a consultant supporting school improvement initiatives at Cambridge Education. He was the founding principal of Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy High School, and spent three years as a math, science, and technology coach at the Promise Academy Middle School. Hayden was an elementary school teacher for thirteen years and has also taught at the graduate level at the University of Pennsylvania and Adelphi University. Hayden holds a bachelor’s degree in educational administration from the University of the West Indies and master’s degrees from New York University and Adelphi University. He is pursuing his doctoral degree at the University of Pennsylvania in teaching, learning and teacher education.