About JRLA

At JRLA we develop ACADEMIC HARD SKILLS (the essential knowledge and skills to succeed), ACADEMIC MINDSETS AND SOFT SKILLS (the resilience and adaptiveness to thrive) and IDENTITY, RELEVANCE AND BELONGING (knowing that you matter as a part of something greater than yourself). 

Our History


Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) is an open enrollment, tuition-free public charter high school on the northwest side of Detroit. The Academy began its first academic year in September 2011 and currently serves over 400 ninth through twelfth grade scholars and nearly 500 alumni from metro Detroit. JRLA provides a leadership-focused education that engages and inspires youth to achieve at the rigorous level necessary to ultimately graduate with a college degree.  Scholars are provided with an authentic academic experience which builds both the skill and will necessary to be successful in high school and beyond.  Immersed in the culture of college, scholars will not only receive extensive college exposure via university tours, but also be required to pass at least one Advanced Placement course to assist in a seamless transition into college.  JRLA is a 9-16 model where scholars are supported not only through high school graduation, but through college graduation via our College Success team that works to coordinate success for current scholars and alumni.

Board of Directors


JRLA's Founders:

Founder and Detroit native Jalen Rose is an ESPN/ABC analyst and 13-year NBA Star who has assembled a team of educational experts and community leaders to turn his dream into a reality.  Mr. Rose brings to the Academy his knowledge of the sports and entertainment industries, commitment to philanthropy and his passion to give back to Detroit. A graduate of Detroit Southwestern High School, Mr. Rose attended the University of Michigan where he was one of five freshman basketball players known as the “Fab Five.”  As a college graduate, he is eager to help Detroit youth achieve the same goal.  Mr. Rose has been instrumental on the planning team and serves as the President of the JRLA Board of Directors.

Jalen Rose

Michael Carter

Co-founder Michael Carter is a Detroit native and successful entrepreneur. Mr. Carter is managing partner of Pinnacle Construction Partners, a multi-state, pre-construction planning and construction management services firm, and the former president and CEO of Athena Health Club and Day Spa in Nashville. As a successful graduate of Project 100, the University of Detroit’s recruitment program to enroll and graduate inner-city youth, Mr. Carter graduated with a B.A. cum laude and a M.B.A. He serves on the UDM Liberal Arts and Education Dean’s Advisory Board. Mr. Carter brings his first-hand experience to the design of the Academy, his commitment to provide resources, and his dedication to improving the future for Detroit youth.  He has been instrumental on the planning team and serves as the President of the Operation Graduation Board.

Current Board Members:

Jalen Rose


ESPN/ABC Analyist, CEO Three Tier Entertainment

Dennis Archer, Jr.


CEO/Founder - Ignition Media Group; President - Archer Corporate Services

Greg Boll

Vice President

CEO, Navigant Oak, LLC

Leigh Chandler


CAO of Strike Group, LLC

Christopher Brochert


Co-Founder/Partner, Lormax Stern Development Co.

Shawna Forbes


Professor and Former Vice Chancellor/School of Continuing Ed & Workforce Dev, Wayne County Community College District

Dean Brody


Managing Director, Accenture

Wendy Jackson


Deputy Director, The Kresge Foundation

Jason Langwell


EVP, Intersport

A special thanks to our past board members:

 Tonya Allen - Rumia Ambrose Burbank - Honorable Mayor Dave Bing - Tim Gale - John James
Ron Klein - Mick Koster - Diane Manica - Kim Mattes - David Schostak - Neil Weissman

The JRLA Founding Team

The JRLA Founding Team

Jalen Rose, Michael A. Carter, Sr., Mick Koster, Diana ManicaMichelle Ruscitti-Miller, Dr. Barbara Smith and N. Kendell Walton


Our team is hard working and relentless towards our goal of providing our scholars with an excellent education.


Administrative School Leadership Team

Wendie Lewis, Principal                                   lewisw@jrladetroit.com

Rebecca Kissel, Assistant Principal                kisselr@jrladetroit.com

Katelyn Hoisington, Dean of Students           hoisingtonk@jraldetroit.com

Delonte Jones, Dean of Leadership               jonesd@jrladetroit.com

Katteeva James, Dean of Operations             jamesk2@jrladetroit.com

Eugene North, Leadership Coach                  northe@jrladetroit.com

Rhea Cooper, School Social Worker              cooperr@jrladetroit.com

Sherry Goosby, Leadership Coach.                goosbys@jrladetroit.com

Demarcus Wingate, Building Sub                  wingated@jrladetroit.com


College Team

Malika Velinor, Dean of College                     velinorm@jrladetroit.com

Dr. David Williams                                            dwilliams@promiseschools.org


Office Team

Niki Garcia, Office Manager                            garcian@jrladetroit.com

Silva Howard, Attendance Clerk                    howards@jrladetroit.com


Special Education Team

Lyla Abdallah, SPED Coordinator                   abdallahl@jrladetroit.com

Shirley Rowe, SPED Teacher                           rowes@jrladetroit.com

Kim Carter, SPED Teacher                                carterk@jrlasdetroit.com

Instructional Team

Gregory Beamish, English.                           beamishg@jrladetroit.com

Jake Brenner, Algebra II                                brennerj@jrladetroit.com              Alexandra BuWalda, Chemistry                  buwaldaa@jrladetroit.com

Jennifer Chang, Algrebra                              changj@jrladetroit.com

Ryan Dougherty, History                               doughertyr@jrladetroit.com

Corey Edwards, Health & Fitness                edwardsc@jrladetroit.com

Anass El Guermai, Geometry                      elguermaia@jrladetroit.com

Ciara Hamilton, Biology                                 hamiltonc@jrladetroit.com

Ricky Harzula, College Bound Scholars     harzular@jrladetroit.com

Nick Kaczanowski, Civics and Econ            kaczanowskin@jrladetroit.com
Keir Major, World History                               majork@jrladetroit.com

Michael Mitchell, English                              mitchellm@jrladetroit.com

Calvin Nellum, Physics                                  nellumc@jrladetroit.com

Samuel Peterson, English                             petersons@jrladetroit.com

Bryan Raycraft, Spanish                                raycraftb@jrladetroit.com

Reneta Richard, English.                                 richardr@jrladetroit.com

Jonathon Speese, English.                            speesej@jrladetroit.com

Courtney Sykes, Biology                               sykesc@jrladetroit.com

Evan Sawyer, Spanish                                    sawyere@jrladetroit.com

Tawania Whitt, Math Intervention                whittt@jrladetroit.com

Vickie Willis, Communications                     willisv@jrladetroit.com



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Press Release