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

President, Cummins Bridgeway

Leigh Chandler


CAO of Strike Group, LLC

Christopher Brochert


Co-Founder/Partner, Lormax Stern Development Co.

John E. James


President, James Group International; CEO, Renaissance Global Logistics (RGL)

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
Ron Klein - Mick Koster - Diane Manica - Kim Mattes - David Schostak - Neil Weissman

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

Melissa Daugherty, Assistant Principal         daughterym@jrladetroit.com

Katelyn Hoisington, Dean of Students           hoisingtonk@jraldetroit.com

Katteeva James, Dean of Operations             jamesk2@jrladetroit.com

Adrian Johnson, Dean of Leadership             johnsona@jrladetroit.com

Rebecca Kissel, Instructional Coach             kisselr@jrladetroit.com

Eugene North, Leadership Coach                  northe@jrladetroit.com

Demarcus Wingate, Building Sub.                 wingated@jrladetroit.com

Rhea Cooper, School Social Worker              cooperr@jrladetroit.com

College Team

Malika Velinor, Dean of College                     velinorm@jrladetroit.com

Kwesi Awotwi, College Advisor                      awotwik@jrladetroit.com 

Terran Davis, Alumni Success Coord.            davist@jrladetroit.com         

Office Team

Niki Garcia, Office Manager                            garcian@jrladetroit.com

Silva Howard, Attendance Clerk                    howards@jrladetroit.com

Special Education Team

Adrienne Todd, SPED Teacher                        todda@jrladetroit.com

Jessica Clanton, SPED Teacher                      clantonj@jrladetroit.com

Melissa Jefferson, SPED Teacher                   jeffersonm@jrladetroit.com

Shirley Rowe, SPED Teacher                           rowes@jrladetroit.com

Instructional Team

Alexandra BuWalda, Chemistry                   buwaldaa@jrladetroit.com

Bryan Raycraft, Spanish                                raycraftb@jrladetroit.com

Calvin Nellum, Physics                                  nellumc@jrladetroit.com

Ciara Hamilton, Science                                hamiltonc@jrladetroit.com

Corey Edwards, Health & Fitness                edwardsc@jrladetroit.com

Delonte Jones, English                                   jonesd@jrladetroit.com

Evan Sawyer, Spanish                                    sawyere@jrladetroit.com

Jake Brenner, Algebra II.                                brennerj@jrladetroit.com

Keir Major, World History                              majork@jrladetroit.com

Lori Todd, Math Intervention                        toddl@jrladetroit.com

Michael Mitchell, English                              mitchellm@jrladetroit.com

Nick Kacznanowski, Civics and Econ          kacznanowskin@jrladetroit.com

Rachel Bryan, CBS                                          bryanr@jrladetroit.com

Ricky Harzula, College Bound Scholars     harzular@jrladetroit.com

Ryan Dougherty, History                                doughertyr@jrladetroit.com

Samuel Peterson, English                             petersons@jrladetroit.com

Tasha Evans, English                                      evanst@jrladetroit.com

Vickie Willis, Communications                     willisv@jrladetroit.com



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15000 Trojan Street, Detroit, MI 48235 | Tel. 313-397-3333 | Fax 313-397-4155