Tyger Digital Academy Appoints a Leader
Mansfield City Schools knew that offering a remote learning platform was vital to families as the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic continued. Now, over 1,000 students are enrolled in Tyger Digital Academy. That equates to over ? of the entire district. With such rapid growth and anticipated additional growth, a dedicated leader was needed to ensure the continued success of this important learning platform.
Last week, Mansfield City Schools Board of Education approved the appointment of Heather Kushner as Tyger Digital Academy’s Interim Director. Previously, two current principals Bethany Scott and Marinise Harris were splitting responsibilities for the platform between grades K-6 and 7-12, respectively. Both will continue to provide support as consultants to Kushner.
A native of Mansfield, Kushner began working in the district 14 years ago as a tutor. She served as Dean of Students of the Hedges Success Program, as Chairperson of the Local Professional Development Committee and as an adviser to Key Club. She is eager to begin working with the staff to engage with them on curriculum development and best practices.
One unique offering of Tyger Digital Academy is that teachers are solely dedicated to the platform. Some teachers in other districts must split their time between online and hybrid students. This dedicated level of engagement between students and teachers provides a similar experience as if they were in a traditional classroom. Kushner notes that many teachers volunteered to be part of the online platform to meet the changing needs of students and families. Others are included in vulnerable populations and see it is a good fit to continue teaching.
Tyger Digital Academy continues to offer specialized curriculum for students currently enrolled in schools like Springmill STEM and Spanish Immersion. There is also music, art and physical education. Students enrolled in Career Tech Education can also complete their classes through the platform outside of those that require hands-on learning.
Kushner says one of the biggest challenges, “was quick growth,” and that she will be working across departments to ensure procedures are further developed and in place and that digital infrastructure is improved. “The goal is to continue to meet the needs of the family,” she said.
The next semester begins for the district after winter break on Monday, January 4. For families interested in enrolling their student in Tyger Digital Academy for the second semester, or families wanting to continue with the pathway, re-enrollment will be required. Details will be released in the coming weeks. For questions, contact Heather Kushner at [email protected].