Principal Harris

Lesley Harris, Principal

It is my pleasure to serve as  principal of  the Chester Early Childhood Learning Academy!  I have been a member of the Chesterfield County Public Schools community since 2012. In my new role as  principal, I will support students, teachers, and families as we grow the leaders of tomorrow by building positive relationships, celebrating student diversity and promoting kindergarten readiness by setting high academic expectations for Chesterfield County’s  youngest learners.  Set sail with CECLA as we foster lifelong learning and create a strong educational foundation for students through differentiated instruction and collaboration between the school, community and parents.  

I bring with me 20 years of educational experience and a commitment to ensuring all students reach their fullest potential. I have served as an instructional assistant in  Head Start,  classroom teacher,  and Assistant Principal. I obtained a associate degree in early childhood development from John Tyler Community College.  I hold a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Virginia State University, a master’s degree. in curriculum and instruction from Averett University and an endorsement in educational leadership from the University of Richmond. 

We will meet the social-emotional needs of all learners by building positive relationships and keeping a student-centered approach in all we do. 

I invite you to partner with us as we continue to promote a caring and nurturing environment for our students. Please join us for school events and parent workshops. There will be many opportunities for parents and community members to support the Chester Early Childhood Learning Academy throughout the year. I am so proud to be a Chester Early Childhood Learning Academy Seahorse!  

Assistant AP

Leslie Lenhart, Assistant Principal

I am delighted to join Chester Early Childhood Learning Academy as the assistant principal! With over 30 years in education, I have taught grades kindergarten through third grade and most recently worked as an elementary school Instructional Designer. With a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Virginia Tech, a teaching certificate from VCU, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Virginia Tech, I come to CECLA with a strong desire to serve this wonderful community with the utmost dedication.

I grew up in Chesterfield County and currently reside here. My husband and I, along with our two sweet daughters all attended Chesterfield County Schools and Virginia Tech. We enjoy spending time together at the beach, listening to live music, cooking, and cheering for the Hokies!

My vision has always been to create a learning environment that promotes each student’s desire to become a lifelong learner. I realize the importance of engaging all students effectively . By empowering students to take risks as they work towards achieving personal goals, we will develop confident students who will become responsible citizens, always aiming to expand their knowledge.

I look forward to partnering with you as your child begins school! Please feel free to contact me anytime.