Our Interim Chief Learning Officer, Dr. Shirley Reams‘ many years as an effective school principal has earned her the reputation and prestige of an award winning, on the cutting edge, progressive leader. She is often described as a trailblazer and visionary transformer who inspires and empowers teachers and students to extraordinary accomplishments.
Dr. Reams strongly believes that “…Children will reach their full potential only when they are confident that they are in a safe, secure and structured environment, supported and led by administrators, teachers, and parents who are totally committed to excellence in education”.
A retired DeKalb County School System principal and system-wide coordinator, Dr. Reams led her students, faculty, and staff at Terry Mill Elementary — a Title I school with 94% of the students receiving free or reduced lunch — to become a DeKalb County School of Excellence, as well as a three-time recipient of the Georgia Department of Education’s Pay for Performance school award totaling several hundred thousand dollars. The United States Department of Education named Terry Mill “A National Drug-Free School” under her leadership which earned the school national recognition and a trip to the White House with some of her students and teachers. Dr. Reams earned numerous awards as an innovative pioneer of educational projects, including being named one of ten YWCA’s Women Who Make a Difference, Area Principal of the Year, and Community Hero Torch Runner for the 1996 Olympic Games. She was the brain child of the hugely successful Boys to Men and Girls to Women mentoring programs which guided students toward positive choices and lifelong success. These mentoring programs also received special recognition from the White House. She has written and self-published two books, Thoughts for Empowerment and When Death Knocks.
The fifth of six children, Dr. Reams was born and raised in Thomson, McDuffie County, Georgia. She was educated in the public school system, matriculated through Albany State for undergraduate studies, and earned her M.A., Ed.S., and Ed.D. degrees from Clark Atlanta University. Her only child Tory Reams, a Morehouse College graduate, made his earthly transition in 1998. Dr. Reams has well demonstrated that her life’s calling is education. She says, “Education and Paying It Forward is the life blood of my drive and determination to ensure the educational well-being of every child under my tutelage.”
Shirley C. Reams, Ed.D.
Academy of Scholars
Interim Chief Learning Officer