Meet one of the founding teachers at Rainier Valley Leadership Academy High School in South Seattle: Sylvia Hadnot, multicultural educator extraordinaire. From jazz to ecological history to art leadership and more, Sylvia brings real-world knowledge and experience into her classroom.
Sylvia has performed jazz piano at the Triple Door and the Paramount, among other jazz houses. She launched her own benefit events company at age 22 to support local artists in the city. She has written youth curricula for social-emotional health, college and career readiness, and environmental justice.
Between all of her activities and work, Sylvia somehow also found the time to complete a Master’s in Education, with focuses on Multicultural and Urban Environmental Education.
Perpetually interested in the growth and success of those around her, Sylvia has been interested in education since age 5. Her kindergarten teacher even put her in timeout for over-helping her classmates from time to time! She has since learned how to support others on their journeys to success rather than do the work for them.
With several years of classroom teaching experience, from working with students in the King County Youth Detention Center to special populations, Sylvia is excited and prepared to teach a diverse group of scholars at RVLA and guide them on their own personal paths to fulfillment.
Born and raised in Seattle, Sylvia grew up in the Beacon Hill neighborhood before moving to Shoreline to attend high school. She now lives in Columbia City with her tabby cat, Prince Shakur. When she is not walking around the neighborhood with Shak, you can find Sylvia studying the latest in equitable classroom practices, stretching in a yoga class, moseying around at a plant sale or riding the light rail to a networking event.
Rainier Valley Leadership Academy’s High School will open in August 2018 as a public, tuition-free, college-preparatory charter school serving a diverse population in Southeast Seattle. Enrollment has already begun for the first ninth-grade class, and the school will roll gradually up to a full 9-12 high school over the next four years.
With a mission to help transform public education so all students graduate prepared for college, leadership, and life, RVLA is a Village Partner in HomeSight Community Development Corporation’s Southeast Economic Opportunity Collaborative (SEOC) in the heart of Othello Station. The school joins dozens of other community-based organizations to create a culturally relevant, integrated, and welcoming place that supports communities at risk of displacement and engages and celebrates the diversity of the Othello Station and larger Rainier Valley community.
To learn more, Rainier Valley Leadership Academy High School is hosting an Informational Meet & Greet on Wednesday, June 6. They invite you to learn more about how their supportive environment for students helps to put every student in their inclusive, small, and diverse community of learners on the path to college.
Arneidra Austin-Lloyd is the founding principal of Rainier Valley Leadership Academy High School in Seattle. She believes in a school culture where families and the community are an integral part of school-based decisions and the students' education. A South Seattle native, she feels honored to have the opportunity to come back home in service to her community and make a positive impact by establishing a school where students will receive a high-quality, equitable education.