Jessica Hahn and Sara Schmidt have been promoted as Curriculum Administrators for Summit Academy. Schmidt most recently served as an instructional coach for Summit Academy Community School – Dayton and Hahn as a literacy coach for Summit Academy Community School for Alternative Learners – Middletown.
With a focus on reading, Hahn will work with Summit Academy staff across the state to improve literacy skills and instructional strategies aligned to the Summit Academy Reading Framework. She also will continue to work closely with Summit Academy Community School for Alternative Leaners – Middletown as the Curriculum Administrator, according to Heather Singer, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction.
“She is a wealth of knowledge on the topic and has made amazing progress with implementing these strategies and programs at Middleton Elementary,” Singer says. “Her strong work ethic and passion for literacy is evident in all that she does.”
Hahn says she embraces her role supporting staff and teams in providing excellence in literacy instruction. To this end, Hahn will lead professional development, planning and implementation or other initiatives that create a positive impact on Summit’s literacy program.
“The many classrooms I’ve visited in the last year have been led by passionate, talented educators. Collaboration strengthens all of our efforts, and I really look forward to continuing to develop strong relationships with each school team. Together we can transform our practice and transform lives,” Hahn says.
Hahn emphasizes the essential work Summit Academy educators do. “It’s difficult work, to be sure, but it is crucial,” she says. “Literacy is so strongly correlated with success in both the workforce and academia that it wouldn’t be a stretch to say literacy shapes the path to our students’ futures.”
As an elementary student growing up in generational poverty, Hahn says she did not always understand the value of a formal education and hid from her school bus more than once to avoid going to school. Much has changed for Hahn since her early childhood years. With her sights set on earning a Ph.D. centered on equity in education, Hahn is now halfway through her second graduate degree, a Master of Education degree in Literacy and Second Language Studies from the University of Cincinnati. Earlier, she earned her MFA in writing from Emerson College in Massachusetts and a BA in literature from Bemidji State University in Minnesota.
Hahn describes her career as one centered on providing individuals and families access to resources needed to improve their lives. “What draws me to public education is a firm belief that it is central to progress for individuals, families and communities,” she says.
Prior to joining Summit Academy nearly 10 years ago, Hahn worked for various nonprofit organizations dedicated to combating homelessness, supporting mental health and providing education.
“What absolutely thrills me about the work we do here is that we are providing access to education to students who may otherwise not have it. We are relentless advocates for excellence in instruction even when, or especially when, other schools have given up,” Hahn says, “What we do here changes lives. Summit educators change lives.”
Schmidt will provide curriculum support to Summit Academy Community School – Dayton, Summit Academy Community School for Alternative Learners – Xenia, and all Summit Academy Columbus and Cincinnati schools.
“Her organizational skills and varied administrative experiences offer a skill set and perspective I am excited to see shared with the curriculum team and southern schools Sara will serve this year,” Singer says.
“We’re excited to add Sara’s varied expertise and enthusiasm to our team,” adds Curriculum Director Mari Dew. She explains that Schmidt will collaborate closely with performance coaches and other special education regional directors to oversee student success graduation plans, College Credit Plus and the career advising policy for all Summit Academy Schools.
Schmidt received a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Urbana College and Master of Education in Educational Leadership from American College of Education. She previously served as an administrator for Cornerstone Early Learning Center and principal/superintendent (and earlier as a teacher) with The Center for Autism and Dyslexia.
“I am looking forward to being a curriculum administrator due to the amount of support I will be able to provide across multiple Summit Schools,” Schmidt says. “Summit’s mission is incredibly valuable to me and aligns with my personal mission to ensure that students and educators are receiving the support they need to be successful.”