Asia Cunningham focuses on data-based strategies where she collaborates with the leadership team to monitor, analyze and develop instructional plans for each student. She sets clear expectations for staff and students and emphasizes the importance of strategic professional development centered around student data and academic growth. Cunningham believes in a whole-child approach, investing in her students’ social and emotional needs to help bolster academic achievement. Under Cunningham’s leadership, Pearsontown Elementary has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School, a National PTA School of Excellence, and a Magnet School of America.
Cunningham places value on involving families in their children’s academic careers and creates opportunities that allow them to engage in the school community socially and academically, such as “Schoolwide Kid Talk” community discussions, “We are Kings and We are Queens,” a program that empowers young girls and boys to advocate for more equitable practices in schools and become agents of change, and the creation of a Parent Night pep rally for parents and teachers before state testing. Her positive leadership approach has included hosting teacher groups, establishing a support system and connection with the school community for new families as well as creating fun, morale-boosting activities. For example, her ‘Taking Flight’ theme at the start of the new year involved herself as the pilot, along with flight attendants, boarding passes and snack cards to board the airplane – symbolizing togetherness and cohesion of mission on their journey to success.
Cunningham’s leadership reaches outside of Pearsontown to the district and beyond, where she is actively involved in the community and passionate about building a strong foundation for students and future leaders. She is a North Carolina Principal Fellow and collaborates with the Central Carolina Regional Education Service Alliance to mentor aspiring principals. She serves on multiple panels that support teachers from various universities in the greater region, is a district principal mentor, a regular speaker at leadership conferences, and has helped write and develop curriculum for Durham Public Schools.
Cunningham received a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice in 2007 from North Carolina Central University, a Master of Arts in teaching from Walden University in 2015, and a Master of School Administration from North Carolina Central University in 2017.
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