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Dayton Leadership Academies

A Leader In Me School With A School Culture of Joy and Achievement

Administration Team

Shelicia Brown
Shelicia Brown
Family Engagement Coordinator

Mrs. Brown was born and raised in Dayton,Ohio

and graduated from Stivers school for the Arts- Choir and Band. She serviced children and families for 18 years with emphasis in preschool education. She is a wife and a mom of 5 and a bonus mom of 4. She and her Husband are founders of Verb Ministries where they hope to continue to expand. She am also a parent of DLA which has been an added bonus to her position as Family Engagement Coordinator, to be able to share a space with her children while at school. She truly enjoys assisting and being a service to children and families and people in general and helping to make positive changes and connections.

So the role as Family Engagement Coordinator is the perfect fit.

Sharell Ford
Sharell Ford
Senior Dean of Academics

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
Annie Kreischer

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 Principal role and continue to help grow DLA to be an amazing education opportunity for students in our community.  

Tess Mitchner-Asinjo
Tess Mitchner-Asinjo
Executive Director

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.

Debra Walls
Debra Walls
Dean of Academics

Debra Walls was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She graduated from Dunbar High School. She attended Wright State University where she received her Bachelors of English degree to teach Middle and High School English. She received a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Antioch University. After completing her education, she left Ohio to move south, She has lived and taught middle school English in Little Rock, Arkansas and Memphis Tennessee. 

She returned to Dayton six years ago where she began working at DLA as a 6th grade English teacher. In the time she has been at DLA, she has been a Teacher Leader in multiple ways. She was the English Department Chair for two years and spent one summer as the Summer Launch Coordinator. Ms. Walls has also been the DLA cheerleading coach for the past 5 years.  After teaching 6th grade English for five years and being a Reading Interventionist for one year, Ms. Walls is excited to step into her new role as the Middle School Coordinator. 

Ms. Walls has one child, a five year old daughter who keeps her very busy and young at heart. Ms. Walls has always been passionate about working with middle school inner city students. She finds great joy in helping grow students academically as well as socially. Ms. Walls strives to prepare students for not just high school, but the real world and help them realize that they are capable of anything they put their minds to.

Eric Wright
Eric Wright
Senior Dean of Students

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.