APS News Release

School Board Appoints New Virtual Learning Program Principal

The School Board appointed Danielle Harrell as the new principal of the Virtual Learning Program. Harrell is currently the Director of Educational Programs at the Women’s Education Alliance in Towson, Md.

“Throughout her career, Ms. Harrell has made a concerted effort to build positive relationships with students, staff and families to advance student achievement. She is determined to use the combination of her strong leadership skills, education and experience to strengthen the Virtual Learning Program and to cultivate an environment of academic excellence for our students,” said Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán.

Harrell has 23 years of experience as an educator. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Cleveland State University and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. Additionally, Harrell earned an Education Specialist Degree (Ed. S) in Educational Administration from Cleveland State University. She has been both a teacher and administrator in alternative education settings at both the middle and high school levels. Most recently, she was a middle school principal, where she was responsible for developing, implementing, and revising an annual strategic plan. Harrell created the first cohort of middle school students to participate in dual enrollment. She was instrumental in transitioning the school to 95% inclusion within three years. Her team created procedures that begin the process of systematic equitable change.

She recently served as Director of Educational Programs for the Women’s Education Alliance (WEA) in Towson. She has experience in all areas of education including, alternative education, special education services, secondary, elementary, early childhood, and online learning. She has held positions with the Ohio State Department of Education and in the central office.

During her time at the Ohio Department of Education, Harrell worked as a Transformation Specialist. In that role, she coached principals throughout the state on a systematic approach to student discipline that included the exploration of their implicit bias, classroom walkthroughs, using data to align curriculum, having courageous conversations, leading/developing professional learning communities, the facilitation of effective meetings, fiscal responsibility, and increasing parent and community involvement.

In a previous position as the Director of Pupil Service, she ensured adherence to all state and federal regulations for students receiving special education services and students who those protected by a 504 plan. She oversaw all services related to children on the special education continuum from gifted to autism. She also coordinated preschool services. Harrell been successful in cultivating a team environment that creates systemic change. That success has been documented through increased student achievement, increased graduation rates, a decrease in special education identification, and increased student attendance.

Her appointment is effective Oct. 25.