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 Principal Shana

Shana Jones-Banks, Assistant Principal

I am truly excited to serve as the Assistant Principal of the Chester Early Childhood Learning Academy! I feel very fortunate to be part of this school and to support the students, families and teachers. I have been dedicated to the field of education for more than 20 years. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Virginia State University and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University. I have worked with students ranging in age from Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade in a variety of roles. I have been a Classroom Teacher, Team Lead, Lead Teacher and a Program Advisor.

My favorite experiences have taken place in the early elementary years. I call them “the light-bulb years.” When that “light bulb” pops on for a student, you see a total metamorphosis! The look in their eyes when they realize their success is truly a million-dollar moment. I love those light-bulb moments and look forward to seeing all of my students reach those milestones.

Most importantly, I bring a belief that students are at the center of all school-related decisions. I am excited to unite my experience, my openness to learn, and my child-centered approach to support our students. Because the relationships between families and the school are vital to the success of our students, I encourage you to become involved in every way possible.

Outside of school, you can find me at the football field with my husband as we cheer on our two sons and at the local dance studio as we watch our daughter do her favorite thing–dance!

I look forward to working with you as a partner in education to ensure your child’s success!