Summit Academy Schools welcome new principals Lisa Brown, Michelle Brunner, Kristen McClanahan-Parkes and Keegan Schoen. Respectively, they will serve the students, families and staff of Summit Academy Transition High School- Dayton, Summit Academy Community School – Cincinnati Elementary, Summit Academy Community School for Alternative Learners – Middletown Elementary, and Summit Academy Community School for Alternative Learners – Lorain Elementary.
Lisa Brown, Summit Academy Transition High School – Dayton
Lisa Brown comes to Dayton Transition High School with more than 20 years of experience in education, including previous roles as a principal, science teacher and high school curriculum coordinator. During the past two years she served as a performance coach and later as an assistant director for Dayton Transition High School.
Brown says her goal is to ensure that all Dayton Transition High School students are healthy, happy and safe. She says takes pride in the nurturing culture created by school staff members and “firmly believes that every child can exceed expectations.”
Brown describes Dayton Transition High School as a small-school environment with built-in social/emotional support, which allows for increased learning opportunities for students. She believes that literacy serves as a foundation for creating post-high school success. Accordingly, she says she is committed to helping students become better readers through a comprehensive literacy program she plans to implement. Brown and her academic team are also putting additional math electives in place this school year to help ensure that students develop the basic math skills they need to be successful when they graduate.
“I am devoted to continually exploring new ideas to meet the needs of all students,” Brown says.
Brown brings a background rich in professional and academic experience, including a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Cincinnati; a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Xavier University; doctoral studies in Organizational Administration from Nova Southeastern University; court mediator certification from Capital University Law School; and ODE licenses, including superintendent, assistant superintendent, high school principal, elementary principal and 7-12 general science.
Michelle Brunner, Summit Academy Community School – Cincinnati
At Summit Academy Community School – Cincinnati, Michelle Brunner will lead the school as principal. Brunner comes with extensive experience including her earlier post as President of the Summit Academy Cincinnati Community School Board. She also served as an IEP coordinator from 2017-2020 and several years prior for the juvenile justice system.
Brunner worked as an evidence custodian and earlier as a supervisor of delinquency for the Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge’s Office in Cincinnati. She also served as a probation officer for a specialized caseload and worked in grant management and research as well. Her additional professional experience spans from serving as a five-year adjunct professor at Gateway Community and Technical College in Covington, Kentucky to a 10-year period in roles ranging from line staff to administration for the Hamilton County Juvenile Court Youth Center.
After earning a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Xavier University, Brunner went on to pursue a Master in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management at Northern Kentucky University in Alexandria, Kentucky.
Brunner says her goal is to ensure all students receive the high-quality education they deserve through collaboration between her school and staff and families to meet children’s best interests.
“I am truly honored to be given this opportunity and look forward to immersing myself deeper into our school,” Brunner shared.
Kristen McClanahan-Parkes, Summit Academy Community School for Alternative Learners – Middletown
Having grown up just down the street from the school she now serves as principal, Kristen McClanahan-Parkes brings deep-rooted dedication to her new role.
“The Middletown community is very dear to our hearts,” says McClanahan-Parkes, referring to both her and her husband, Jobey’s, roots in the Middletown area, which she describes as a very special place.
The Cumberland University alumna has a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor of Science in Humanities and Social Sciences. McClanahan-Parkes taught third through fifth grades for Lebanon Special School District in Lebanon, Tenn. She says once she began teaching in Tennessee she decided to pursue a Master of Education to help gain more insight toward making positive changes in the school setting, especially for students at risk.
In all, McClanahan-Parkes brings experience teaching children from preschool through sixth grade, including her previous role as a kindergarten through second-grade teacher for Jefferson Township Schools in Dayton. She also served as an instructional coach for Summit Academy Community School for Alternative Learners – Middletown for the past two years.
“I love nothing more than being in the classroom seeing the ‘lightbulb moment’ happen for children. I cannot wait to help continue the growth we have been seeing at our school – both in and out of our classrooms,” she says. “I look forward to continuing our work with Love & Logic to give our teachers, students, and parents skills for success.”
McClanahan-Parkes and her husband live in Middletown with their three dogs and two cats. In their free time they foster animals through Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue and enjoy hiking with their pups.
Keegan Schoen, Summit Academy Community School for Alternative Learners – Lorain Elementary
After graduating from John Carroll University in 2004, Keegan Schoen began his 16-year career in education as a teacher for Model Community School in Toledo. Much like Summit Academy, Model Community School specializes in serving students on the Autistic Spectrum.
In 2005, Schoen joined Summit Academy Community School in Parma as a middle school instructional assistant. After three years in this position, he pursued a Master of Education from the University of Notre Dame. Through the program, Schoen served as a fifth-grade teacher at St. Michael’s in South Central Los Angeles.
After graduating from Notre Dame, Schoen returned to Summit Academy in Parma where, over the last 10 years, he taught eight years of fourth grade, one year of a second- and third-grade combined class, and one year of fifth grade.
“This year, I am thrilled to join the Summit Academy Lorain Elementary family,” Schoen says. He adds that while the coming school year may look a bit different from what students, faculty and staff are accustomed to, Lorain Elementary remains committed to serving children’s social, emotional, and educational needs at the highest level.