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Dayton Leadership Academies

A School Culture of Joy and Achievement

Administration Team

Sharell Benson
Benson, Sharell
PBIS Coach
Academy Staff
Administration Team

Sharell Benson was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She earned her highschool diploma from Colonel White School of the Arts. After a few years in the field of early childhood education she pursued her Bachelors Degree. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Central state University.

Ms. Benson worked in early childhood education for over 15 years, which adds up to 20 years in education. Her passion for education began during the early years of parenthood, where she became highly invested in her children’s education. This brought forth a strong passion for education as well as the understanding of what strong family and teacher relationships have in educating the whole child. She began working in the preschool setting and formed and bonded with students and families on this level.

From there and shortly after graduation, she became a Kindergarten teacher at a local charter school in Dayton. The same charter school her children attended during elementary. After spending one school year there, she joined the DLA family in 2016. Best decision of her life she says. She spent the last 3  school years working in 1st grade and the last school year working in 2nd grade. Along with being a 2nd grade teacher she has also held various positions throughout the school. She is  the K-2 House team Coordinator as well as the Summer Launch Director.In addition to those titles positions she  also volunteers on the PAC committee as well as tutored the boys basketball team this school year. 

 She is a proud mother of 2,their ages are 23 and 21. Teaching and nurturing became my life as she grew with her own children. Working with the team at DlA has afforded her  the opportunity to learn from great leaders and teachers. Her passion for education has been strong since her own kids were young and DLA has allowed her to strengthen her passion in every aspect of education. 

She enjoys teaching students and seeing the growth throughout the year. She also enjoys working with families, had she not been a teacher that would have been the next calling. Family and education go hand and hand to me. Building relationships with students and families help support students academic growth and teaches the whole child not just part of the child. Mentoring fellow educators has been another passion, since she was a young mom, she’s always felt like she had a story to tell and has always wanted to help others better themselves and reach their fullest potential. In her free time she enjoys cooking, watching food network, reading, watching football, and shopping. 

Annie Kreischer
Kreischer, Annie
Assistant Principal
Academy Staff
Administration Team

Mrs. Kreischer was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and two Master Degrees in Reading and School Administration from Bowling Green State University. After graduating from BGSU, she moved to Las Vegas, NV where she taught preschool and 1st grade for 5 years. She served as the grade level chair and teacher mentor.


In 2017 she joined DLA as a kindergarten teacher, and shortly after stepped into the teacher coach role. As the Teacher Coach for Data and Instruction, she worked with the administration team to lead professional development, coach teachers, and analyze school data. She also served as the track coach for the past two years and is passionate about helping our students find the best in themselves. She is excited to step into the assistant principal role and continue to help grow DLA to be an amazing education opportunity for students in our community.  

Krista Matthews
Matthews, Krista
Family and Community Engagement Coordinator
Academy Staff
Administration Team

Krista Matthews is a Dayton native who graduated from Colonel White High School and later Kaplan College. She has been working in community engagement, youth development, and education since 2013. She brings experience in recruitment, family support, and community partnerships. Krista was a Childcare Director for YMCA of Greater Dayton and KinderCare Learning Center. She served as DLA’s 21st Century Grant Manager from 2018-2019. She previously served as a board member for Dayton Urban Young Life and Watkins Academy. 

Tess Mitchner-Asinjo
Mitchner-Asinjo, Tess
Principal, Teacher Leadership
Academy Staff
Administration Team

Mrs. Asinjo was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Mount Holyoke College, teaching certificate from San Francisco State University, and Master’s degree in School Leadership from DePaul University.

Mrs. Asinjo started in education with Teach For America and taught second and third grades in East Palo Alto, CA and Chicago, IL. As a Teach For America Program Director, Mrs. Asinjo coached over 200 teachers in Chicago. In 2006 she became the Founding Principal of East Chicago Lighthouse Charter School in Northwest Indiana. She expanded the school from 110 to 300 students and lead the school to be recognized by the Indiana DOE for the third highest growth (59.5% growth) on NWEA Mathematics out of all schools in the state.

From there, Mrs. Asinjo joined the national team of Lighthouse Academies as the Director of Recruitment and Selection and then served as the Senior Vice President of the Research, Design, and Strategy Team. In that role, she trained and developed school leaders, conducted school quality reviews, and served as an internal consultant for 17 schools in 7 states.

Mrs. Asinjo joined DLA in 2015 and is enjoying being back in a school setting. She is passionate about teacher effectiveness and providing an excellent education for DLA students. Mrs. Asinjo and her husband have two children who keep them very active and entertained. When she has time, she likes cooking, hiking, playing tennis, reading novels, and travelling.

Donna Rickman
Rickman, Donna
Middle School Coordinator
Academy Staff
Administration Team

Ms. Rickman has her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and Business Administration.  She also obtained her Masters Degree in Educational and Curriculum Instruction. She has 5 years experience in Mansfield, Ohio along with 14 years in California and 3 years in Virginia.  She loves the welcoming atmosphere at DLA and feel at home!

Eric Wright
Wright, Eric
Dean of Students
Academy Staff
Administration Team

Mr. Wright is a native of Lima, Ohio. He graduated from Lima Central Catholic High School and went on to study Sociology at OSU Lima Tech.  Mr. Wright is certified in marriage & relationship education, Rites of Passage program implementation and training, Say It Straight communication training, and specializes in at-risk youth. He is skilled in mentoring, counseling and life skills. He understands the daily struggles and challenges young people face and provides guidance and leadership to develop future leaders. He is also actively engaged with the community in order to provide services available to DLA families. In 2006, he was voted as one of the city’s Top 10 African American Males for his work with youth in the Dayton community.

Mr. Wright joined DLA in 2003 as a Truancy Officer, where he passionately and effectively guided students to do their best. He joined DLA because it gave him the opportunity to work with students and families to help them realize the importance of education. He also brought his coaching skills and background and serves as the 8th grade basketball coach. The thing he likes most about DLA is the student and parent support that the school provides to DLA families. He enjoys being part of such a dedicated team of individuals who care about the students and the community. His favorite past-time is crappie fishing, but he also enjoys playing and watching sports.