Parma City Schools appoints Leah Walden as new Principal of Ridge-Brook Elementary School


PARMA, Ohio — The City of Parma Schools recently named Leah Walden, dean of students at Ridge-Brook Elementary School, as superintendent of the Manhattan Avenue building.

“We’re very fortunate to have a pretty deep bench in terms of people aspiring to take the next step in their careers,” Superintendent Charles Smialek said.

“We had three internal candidates interviewed last week along with teacher representatives, a classified association representative, central officer representatives and a member of the PTA.

“All three interviewed very well. I don’t think there was a bad choice, but Leah was the clear favorite. She came to us last year from Constellation Schools and was named Dean of Students at Ridge-Brook. It was pretty clear that his relationships with staff and families were very strong.

Leah Walden was recently appointed principal of Ridge-Brook Elementary School in Parma. (John Benson/

Walden replaces outgoing principal Steve Perry, who left the district this summer for a position at Medina City Schools.

“I’ve built a strong bond with the staff and families at our school,” Walden said. “When the principal position opened up in Ridge-Brook, I applied hoping that I could fill that position at one of the most outstanding elementary schools in our district.

“I wanted to continue to work alongside great staff with fantastic families to advance the vision of the Parma City School District.

“Many say education is a calling, and I believe I fulfill my purpose by working in education.”

Regarding her goal for the upcoming school year, Walden said adding to the building’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program is a priority, while also increasing student success. and collaborating with the PTA and community partners.

“Furthermore, I look forward to strengthening my relationships with each staff member while creating a culture of respect, trust, appreciation, optimism and purpose,” Walden said.

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