Who I am
Cynthia Strickland Jewell is a native of Decatur, Georgia. She is a proud product of the DeKalb County School District, where she attended Kelley Lake Elementary and Henderson High School. After high school she attended Mercer University where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education. She also earned degrees from Central Michigan University and Lincoln Memorial University.
Mrs. Jewell began her career as an educator as a fourth-grade teacher at her alma mater, Kelley Lake Elementary. This is one of her most rewarding experiences; being able to give back to the community that helped raise her. After teaching for six years, she was promoted to assistant principal at Chapel Hill Elementary. She served as an assistant principal for five years before securing a position as a principal in Atlanta Public Schools. She focused on building relationships with the parents, school, and community. She focused on this same principle when she took the helm as principal of Stockbridge Elementary in 2016.
This school had one of the highest free and reduced lunch populations as well as the highest percentage of ESOL students in the district. Mrs. Jewell had high expectations for all students and staff, and she constantly reminded the staff that free and reduced is how the students eat and not how they learn. Mrs. Jewell was promoted to Senior Director of School Support in the fall of 2019 after having the highest increase on the College and Career Performance Readiness Index (CCRPI). Her school’s rating improved from an F to a C in one school year. In the position of Senior Director, she had the opportunity to work with 14 principals using the coaching and development model to build teacher capacity and improve student outcomes. Out of the 14 schools supported during the 2020-2021 school year, all but three schools showed growth in reading as measured by the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP).
The experiences she gained during her educational trajectory helped prepare her for her current position as Executive Officer of School Support in Griffin-Spalding Schools. Mrs. Jewell is the principal supervisor of eleven principals, works closely with the curriculum department to ensure high quality learning experiences are at the core of instruction, and coaches daily alongside principals to increase student achievement.
While she has received countless awards and commendations, she considers her greatest gift as being able to serve. Because Mrs. Jewell touches the lives of hundreds of leaders, teachers, students and their families daily, she views her career in education as a ministry instead of a job.
She is not only a transformational school leader, but a wife to Jasper E. Jewell and a mother to two children: Christopher and Sydney. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends during her spare time.
Why I Joined BWEL
I joined BWEL because it is important to have allies as well as a sisterhood for networking, collegial support, and growth as a leader. Black women share many of the same struggles in educational leadership regardless of the region in the US and/or grade band.
BWEL National Vice President 2023-2025
What I do for BWEL
The Vice President assists with membership, mentoring programs, regional efforts, collaboration with other organizations, marketing and oversees the Nominating Committee.