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Metro Charter Academy Principal Named Semifinalist in Regional Accolade Honoring Charter School Administrators

Ms. Shelli Wildfong, principal at Metro Charter Academy, was recently named a semifinalist in MAPSA’s annual MI Charter School Awards. She was honored to be nominated among 20 outstanding educators from all corners of Michigan who have been recognized as semifinalists for the 2020 Michigan Charter School Teacher of the Year and Administrator of the Year Awards.

Wildfong’s journey to the field of education was not typical. As a child, she struggled in school and never envisioned herself becoming an educator as a career. “My struggles in school as a student actually motivated me to become a teacher, because I wanted to connect with children that were like me and be able to provide them with a more positive and enriching school experience than I had faced,” she said.

This recognition is less about herself, but more about the staff at Metro for Wildfong. “Without my amazing staff and their dedication to serve our students and families, there would be no need or reason to recognize me,” she shared. “I lead them, yes, but they are the ones that do the remarkable work each and every day with our students.”

Wildfong started her career at Metro Charter Academy 19 years ago as a second-grade teacher and is now in her 9th year as principal. 

Shawn Leonard, director of school quality at National Heritage Academies (NHA) shared why he believes Wildfong is such an outstanding educator and school leader. "She is passionate about providing the best education option for students in the Romulus community and works each day to ensure her students receive the best from her team,” he said. “As a result, Metro is the best choice for families in Romulus and it’s through her leadership that has made this happen.” 

Every year, MAPSA’s Charter School Awards provide a platform to highlight outstanding educators in Michigan's charter schools. There are nearly 300 charter schools across Michigan, with more than 10,000 teachers and hundreds of nominations were received for this year’s awards from all over the state.

Two additional individuals from NHA were also recognized as nominees in the awards. Ms. Aletha VanValkenburg, second-grade teacher at Chandler Woods Charter Academy, was named a 2020 Michigan Charter School Teacher of the Year award semifinalist, and Ms. Ashley Benson, first-grade teacher at Achieve Charter Academy, has been named a finalist and is now in the running to be recognized as the 2020 Michigan Charter School Teacher of the Year.

To be considered for this recognition, MAPSA receives anonymous nominations from parents, teachers, school leaders, and community members to recognize those who are going above and beyond.

Congratulations, Ms. Wildfong!