New Principal Announcement: Citizens Academy

Dear CA Families,

I hope this finds you staying safe and healthy during this global pandemic and widespread civil unrest.  Our thoughts and prayers are always with you, and we are so grateful for your partnership as we seek to form a more just world.

My name is Leah Martello, and I am so excited to announce that I have accepted the position as Principal at Citizens Academy for the 2020-2021 school year!  I have been part of the Breakthrough family since 2009, and I am looking forward to this new chapter.

As a Cleveland native, I have been uniquely invested in pursuing educational equity in our community for many years.  I attended Cleveland State University where I earned a degree in Early Childhood Education before joining the founding team at Village Preparatory Cliffs.  I started my journey as a Kindergarten teacher and then served as the Dean of Scholars for over the last decade, where I was instrumental in building a culture that supports and celebrates every scholar.

The Citizens Way is known as a pillar of excellence throughout Breakthrough Schools; it is something I have always admired, and I cannot wait to be part of this community.  With a combination of High Structure, High Support, and excellent academics, there is no doubt that we will set the bar for what is possible and necessary in changing the educational landscape in Cleveland.

I am so eager for what is to come; although we are not sure what the fall will look like, I can say one thing for sure - we are in it together, as one united community, and we will always do what is best for you and for your child as we look ahead to middle school, high school, and beyond.

I look forward to meeting all of you in the months to come, and please do not hesitate to reach out so we can connect.

Yours in Education,


Leah Martello

Principal, Citizens Academy