2016 Heart of the School Awards Finalist

Tonya Combs-Redd

Three years at Yorkwood Elementary School in Loch Raven


Tonya Combs-Redd recognizes the importance of effective communication and works to ensure that she hears her school community. This tone was set at the beginning of her tenure, as she brought the school community together to develop the vision and mission statement for the school, and is reinforced each year as the community is invited to revisit the vision/mission and make adjustments as needed. Her two-way communication strategy to include space for comments and feedback on any materials that are sent home has built trust with the community and increased parent engagement. She is very data-driven and has instilled this belief in her staff as well. Ms. Combs-Redd is deeply devoted to her school and students, which does not go unnoticed by her school community. This is summed up well by one of her teachers: “Ms. Redd's transformational leadership has encouraged staff to stay, students to love going to school and our community to remain engaged.”