Minnie Howell 404-366-3700 | Renaissance Child 404-875-9668 info@premier-academy.org

Yolanda JenningsPremier Academy has a longstanding commitment to cultivating its talent and forging opportunities within the organization for professional growth and development among its staff. The organization strives to ensure all staff is highly trained and poised to assume greater leadership roles. Yolanda Jennings is one such example.

Ms. Jennings came to Premier Academy in August 2009 as a Pre-K teacher at the Minnie Howell Child Development Center. After demonstrating a strong and professional work ethic, passion for teaching, and solid leadership abilities, she rose to Master Teacher in 2012, leading the entire Pre-K teaching staff and coordinating administrative functions for the team. It was in this role that Ms. Jennings became more interested in educational administration and found Premier Academy the most encouraging place to begin her journey to administrative leadership.

Through Premier Academy’s Teachers as Leaders program that aims to develop leadership skills and create job advancement opportunities among staff, Ms. Jennings joined a year-long leadership development cohort of 15 teachers. She and fellow teachers received group training sessions and individualized career and personal coaching with a certified Life Coach.

Premier Academy provides 18-hours of staff development training to all staff each year. Ms. Jennings states that she became more intentional in choosing her training courses and sought ways to expand the   lessons and best practices she learned through the program in order to hone her leadership and administrative skills.  She states, “I began to take more intermediate and advanced training courses and volunteered to learn additional processes at the center.” Her internal motivation for professional growth was nurtured by Premier Academy’s leadership.
The Teachers as Leaders program sparked an already growing desire for career advancement within Ms. Jennings, and she approached Executive Director, Cindra Taylor, with an interest to take on additional administrative responsibilities. “The program really put things into perspective for me. I want to make a difference in the field of early education,” Ms. Jennings says.  In 2017 Ms. Jennings became the first Program Director at the new Renaissance Parkway Child Development Center. In this role, she oversaw all programs at the center including the Pre-K, Childhood Acute Mental Health Program, Head Start and Early Head.

Now, Ms. Jennings is the Program Administrator, coordinating the financial and enrollment operations of the center. When asked what her long-term career plans are with Premier Academy, she confidently states, “I pledged to myself to work this job to the fullest potential, not bounce around like many do at other centers. I am impressed by the operations at Premier Academy. It is a cut above other childcare centers.” Ultimately, Ms. Jennings would like to use her training and expertise gained at Premier Academy to develop and influence educational policies and curriculum throughout the State of Georgia. Indeed, Yolanda Jennings is remarkable example of talent development at Premier Academy and a great credit to the organization.