Women Who Lead in K-12 Education: Sheronda Holmes of Harding Academy

Sheronda Holmes has devoted 11 years to education, leading the school's 'diversity committee in preparing and implementing regular staff-wide training and professional development opportunities.'

Women Who Lead in K-12 Education: Sheronda Holmes of Harding Academy

The pandemic/post-pandemic period was the perfect time to show leadership.

The metro area's top administrators, educators and teachers have had to deal with a lot of uncertainty and upheaval. They are probably the hardest-working people in the city, second only to the health care workers.

Memphis Business Journal’s next group, Women Who Lead: Honoring the top female educators from kindergarten through grade 12 seemed like a logical choice.

It is also logical to highlight the achievements of women who have broken the glass ceiling, and helped define the organizations they work for.

The editorial team of MBJ has selected women who have qualities that define leadership. These include keeping school operations running smoothly, developing curriculums, and adjusting technology processes. They also possess the leadership necessary to promote student success in classrooms and on campuses.

The 10 Women Who lead honorees in K-12 education have held many different positions involving diverse experiences. This informs the way each educator approaches various aspects of leading a school or its programs.

Women Who Lead, a monthly feature sponsored by Paragon Bank in MBJ, is a continuing monthly feature.

Harding Academy's director of community engagement and belonging

Harding Academy has been her home for 11 years. Her most important career achievement is her current position as director of belonging and community engagement. She supports and advocates students and teachers in that role, while working on difficult topics such as diversity and community. She is also the chair of the school's diversity committee, which prepares and implements regular training and professional development for all staff.

Sheronda also teaches African American History, a class that is required for all students in 11th grade.

She has noticed a trend of more strategic efforts being made to recruit and retain leaders of color.


Next professional goal: "Extend my support and advocacy beyond our students, teachers and to the families and community of Memphis." It is important to link what we're trying to achieve within our school community with the city of Memphis. This will allow our students and their families to have meaningful engagements in the community.