Ida B. Wells-Barnett

The Academy's Newsmakers 

Providing Quality Educational Services  
to Akron, Ohio's Youth

Building Young Scholars for Their Future!

Volume V, Number 5                                                                                                                                           January 25, 2006

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Home of Learning Centers at 815 Copley Road
We Plan To Move Into Our New Facility Soon!

Administrative Staff:
Mrs. Angela M. Neeley, Chief Administrative and Fiscal Officer; Mrs Mozella M. C. Watts, Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development Supervisor; Mrs. Kelly L. Pack Crosby, Business Manager / Human Resources Officer; Mrs. Cynthia Y. Shotwell, Secretary; Mrs. Synia L Rodgers, EMIS Data Coordinator and Student Records Manager; Mr. Anthony Kratsas, Certified Instructional Leader Elementary Grades (K to 4); Mr. Robert M. Singleton, Certified Instructional Leader Intermediate Grades (5 to 8)

Faculty and Assistant Teachers: Mrs. Regina Wilson, Certified Kindergarten Teacher; Ms. Michelle A.D. Batten, Certified 1st Grade Teacher; Mrs. Kyrie Lee, Certified 2nd Grade Teacher; Ms. Sheila J. Zeidrich, Certified 3rd Grade Teacher; Mrs. Nicole M. Cathey, Certified 4th Grade Teacher; Ms. Redelia House, Certified Mathematics Teacher - Grades 5 to 8; Mrs. Chelaise Burton, Certified Social Studies Teacher - Grades 5 to 8; Certified Substitute for Mrs. Burton: Ms. Marcella Gattuso; Mrs. Roslyn Pratt Haynes, Non-Certified Language Arts Teacher - Grades 5 to 8; Mrs. Christie McFadden, Certified Natural Sciences Teacher - Grades 5 to 8;  Mrs. Mary K. Petric, Certified Title I Teacher; Mrs. Andrea K. Hirst, Certified Title I Teacher; Mrs. Stephanie B. Wood, Certified Title I Teacher; Certified Special Education Teacher, TBA - Grades K to 4; Ms. Paula Warren, Non-Certified Special Education Teacher - Grades 5 to 8; Mrs. Doni Mari Burrus Brooks, Assistant Teacher, Community Relations and Student Discipline; Mr. Floyd Fillingame, Assistant Teacher and Information Technologist

Special Academic Involvements:
Mr. Anthony Gamblin, Non-Certified Health and Physical Education Teacher - Grades K to 8;
Mr. Brian Spizzo, Certified Art Teacher - Grades K to 8; Music Teacher, TBA - Grades K to 8

Board of Governors: Dr. Edward W. Crosby, Founder and Chair; Dr. Janice D. Taylor Heard, Vice Chair; Dr. Bridgie A. Ford;
Mrs. Angela M. Neeley,  Board Treasurer; Mr. John Fuller; Mrs. Mozella M. Cottingham Watts; Mrs. Nikki Marchmon Boykin,
Mrs. Cynthia Y. Shotwell, Board Secretary;

Mrs. Emma Jean Calhoun, Co-Founder and Governor Emeritus (1998-2000)

Highly Qualified Educators Teach
Your Community's Youth

n August 1999, the Ida B. Wells Community Academy hired a number of certified and highly qualified faculty and staff. Seven years later the Academy has continued to hire highly qualified faculty and staff. Recently the Academy  established a working relationship with Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 442 E. Bell Street, Akron, Ohio 44307 and joined with Pastor Jeffrey A. Dennis to place the Ida B. Wells Intermediate Learning Center – Grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 – at Mt. Calvary. The elementary grades – Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th – will remain at Mt. Ollive Baptist Church, 1180 Slosson Street, forming the Academy's Elementary Ele- mentary Learning Center.

The staff also consists of a cadre of Administrative and Support Staff that serves as the Academy's Brain Trust; that is, they are the ones assigned the task of making certain the Academy's educational mission to deliver quality educational services is accomplished. These administrators and support staff are:

  • Dr. Edward W. Crosby is the Academy Board of Governors Chair  and serves as chair of the Board's  Personnel and Grievance Committee; this committee handles Faculty and Student affairs and the grievances related to academic or employment issues.
  • Mrs. Angela M. Neeley was elevated from Business Manager to Chief Administrative Officer. This position is a redesignation of  the former Superintendent position. She also functions as the Academy's Fiscal Officer.
  • Mrs. Mozella M. Cottingham Watts, MEd, Supervisor of Curricu- lum, Instruction and Professional Development. Mrs. Watts is a retired Principal of Hotchkiss Elementary and Perkins Middle School s in the city of Akron City.
  • Mrs. Kelly L. Pack Crosby is the Academy's licensed Business Manager and Human Resources Officer,
  • Mrs. Synia L. Rodgers continues to do a superior  job  as the Aca- demy's Secretary / Student Registrar and EMIS and Student Records Coordinator.
  • Ms. Doni M. Burrus the Academy's Community Relations Facili- tator which includes student recruitment, attendance, and disci- pline. This appointment also requires Ms. Burrus to meet regularly with parents and community leaders to tell the Ida B. Wells strory and enlist mean- ingful community involvement in the Academy's edu cational process.
  • Mrs. Cynthia Y. Shotwell is the Secretary-Receptionist  at the In- termediate Center. She also serves the Secretary to the Board of Governors.
The members of the Academy's Board of Governors are highlighted on  the next page.

Other very essential elements of any educational institution is its Faculty and Teaching Assistants, all of whom have to be highly qualified, State certified, and committed to deliver the educational standards required by the State of Ohio and the No Child Left Behind Act. All classroom teachers are also responsible for teaching African and African American culture and history and creating the tools to assess those Academy instituted curricular items as well as those required by the State's achievement and proficiency tests. The faculty are also complimented by a cadre of qualified volunteers. There are two individuals assigned to direct the faculty, teaching assistants, special educa- tion personnel, and volunteers on each of the campuses. They are:

o    Mr. Anthony Kratsas is a certified teacher and manages the Acade- 
      my's Elementary School Campus. Her educational team mates
  • Mrs. Regina Wilson is the Academy's certified Kindergarten Teacher.
  • Ms. Michelle A.D. Batten is a certified and teaches 1st Grade students.
  • Mrs. Kyrie A. Lee is the Academy's certified 2nd Grade Teacher.
  • Mrs. Sheila J. Zeidrich is certified and teaches the 3rd Grade.
  • Mrs. Nicole Cathey teaches the 4th Grade and has applied for state certification.
  • Mrs. Mary Petric is our certified Title I - Reading and Math Teacher. 
  • Peggy R. Romesberg serves as a certified Special Education or Learning Disabilities Specialist.
o    Mr. Robert M. Singleton is a certified teacher and manages the Aca-         demy's Intermediate Center. His educational teammates are:
  • Mrs.  Cynthia Y. Shotwell is the Secretary- Receptionist 
  • Ms. Chelaise Burton, MBA, is certified and teaches Social Studies to all grades taught at the Intermediate Center.
  • Mr. Floyd Filingame is the Academy's Information Technology Specials and Assistant Teacher. He also serves as needed in Mrs. House's Math classes.
  • Mrs. Christie McFadden is  state certified and striving to be classified as a highly qualified Science teacher for grades 5, 6, 7 and 8. She also coaches boys basketball.
  • Mrs. Paula Warren as a certified Special Education or Learning Intervention Specialist.
  • Mrs. Andrea Hirst  is our certified Title I - Reading and Math Teacher. She has also established a mentoring program for the Academy's female students.
  • Mrs.Redelia House has state authorization to teach mathematics to all grades taught at the Intermediate Learning Center.
Academy offers the following special academic courses for all students enrolled at its Elementary and Middle Schools:
  • Mr. Tony Gamblin  is a state approved Assistant Teacher of Physical Education and Health and Hygiene.
  • Mr. Brian Spizzo teaches the Visual Arts to students
  • The Academy needs your skills and academic interests to help develop our young people into the scholars and community builders they a destined to become.

Title I Students to Read and Do Math

Kindergarten Class of Attentibve Learners
Assistant Teachers Review Their Daily Activity Plans

Eager First Grade Students in the Act of Learning

Building Second Graders into Scholars

Edward W. Crosby and The Red, Black and Green

The Founder:  Dr. Edward W. Crosby, PhD

   Anansi, His 6 Sons and A Daughter

ne day not so long ago, there was a spider named Anansi. Anansi was born and raised in the country, but had just recently moved to the city after marrying his beautiful wife, Aso. Not long after moving to the city Anansi returned home from a long day's work as a systems analyst and, after greeting his wife, was told that they would be having a baby soon. Anansi was very excited about this wonderful news and danced a dance of celebration with his wife.

Their first child was born a few days later and they were both very happy. Now this child was no ordinary child, oh no. He actually told them his name before they could think of a name for him. His name was U-mo-ja and he had special powers that allowed him to gather people together who didn’t always agree with each other. Now, before Umoja's first birthday, Anansi comes home from work and is greeted with the news that Aso is expecting another child soon, a son.  When this son is born he also knows his name. He tells his proud parents that his name is Ku-ji-cha-gu-li-a and he’s really the backbone of the family, for he has the power to help the weak and unfortunate in this world to stand up for themselves in times of trouble and need.

Well it just doesn’t get any better than this, or does it. Not long after Kujichagulia’s arrival Anansi and Aso have another baby. This son tells them his name is U-ji-ma and he is very skilled at planning and coordinating group activities, like neighborhood cleanups and such. Soon after his birth come the births of his brothers U-ja-ma-a, N-i-a and Ku-um-ba. Ujamaa is good at helping large groups of people manage their money by pooling together their resources. Nia has the ability to turn a bad situation into a good one by focusing on the positive and using proverbs and stories to help others see how they can do it too. The last in a long line of boys called himself Kuumba and he was the artist in the family. He could draw anything, sculpt in clay and wood and he could even use his pen to draw himself out of sticky situations. Last, but not least, I-ma-ni was born and she was like the high priestess of the family.  She had faith in herself and her people, that they could do what others have done. This faith allowed her to do things that would be impossible for people without faith in themselves.

Anansi had been working as a systems analyst for quite some time now and he knew his way around computers and computer networks. But, one day he was working on installing a new network at a large university and accidentally touched the wrong two wires in a computer, he was reconfiguring, fusing one of his legs onto the motherboard. He tried to free himself using his web spinning abilities, to no avail. He was hopelessly stuck inside the computer. He tried using his cell phone to call his family to come and get him. This had worked in the past, when he was in similar predicaments, but this time his battery was low and he was in a cell phone dead zone, where he couldn’t get a good connection, so he resorted to the only other form of communication he could think of, he yelled. He carried on with this yelling for quite some time with no result. Then by some stroke of luck one of his children heard him and took the message to the rest of the family, that dad was in trouble. Who do you think heard the message and carried it back to the family?  Of course, it was Umoja!  He called for a family meeting and gathered everyone together in order to come up with a plan to rescue Anasi, their father. Their first thought was to call 911, but they were overwhelmed with calls coming in from irate computer users who couldn’t access the university’s Telnet system, so they couldn’t send out a search and rescue team any time soon. Kujichagulia encouraged them to come up with a plan on their own to rescue Anansi. Ujima offered to help in the planning and coordination of an emergency rescue operation, while Ujamaa suggested they pool their savings together to pay for cab fare to father’s worksite and for any tools they would need to release him from the deadly grip of the PC he was stuck inside.

Once they reached Anansi’s worksite they looked over the situation and saw that it did not look good for Anansi. Nia offered to use his great strength to pull Anansi away from the computer, while Kuumba offered to use his knife to separate Anansi’s leg from the motherboard. Alas, they tried and tried, with no success. His leg was firmly stuck to the motherboard. Imani began chanting Harambee, Harambee, Harambee, first very softly, then louder and louder.
At first the other family members ignored him, but then it dawned on them what he was trying to say. Harambee means let’s all pull together, so each of them attached a number of strands of their webbing to Anansi from all different directions and began to pull, while Ujima continued to cut away at the motherboard in a desperate attempt to free Anansi from its grasp.

After going at it for several hours they succeeded at freeing Anansi and they all began to do a little dance. However, the story doesn’t end there, for you see while they were celebrating, their web strands became fused with the inner workings of the computer and its Telnet network, creating something entirely new. Do you know what this is?  Why it’s the Internet, of course. The worldwide web was created by Anansi, the spider, his 6 sons and his only daughter. If this story isn’t true, it oughta be; and that’s the truth!

© Kofi M. Khemet, Sacramento, CA,
December 7, 2003. 
Mr. Khemet was the Academy's Curriculum Infusion consultant for the years 2003 and 2004.


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Elementary Learning Center
(Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Grades )

Mr. Anthony Kratsas, Instructional Leader
Mt. Olive Baptist Church
1180 Slosson Street
Akron, Ohio   44320-2730

Phone: 330.867.1085   FAX: 330.867.1074

For More Information, Write or Call 

Mrs. Synia L. Rodgers, Secretary and Registrar
 Mrs. Angela M. Neeley, MBA, Chief Administrative Officer
and Fiscal Officer

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy
1180 Slosson Street
Akron, Ohio   44320-2730

Phone:  330.867.1085   FAX:  330.867.1074

Intermediate Learning Center
(5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Grades)

Mr. Robert M. Singleton, Instructional Leader
Mt. Calvary Baptist Church
442 Bell Street
Akron, Ohio   44307-2306

Phone: 330.253.4298   FAX: 330.253.5512

Khepera--The HieroGraphics Online Logo© January 20, 2001. This Web site was designed and posted by HieroGraphics Online, Kent, Ohio. All rights reserved.                          Updated: January 25, 2006