My name is Mrs. Withers, I am the Principal of the Primary Academy at (DEPSA) Detroit Edison Public School Academy. I have been at DEPSA for 15 years. I started as a 5th grade teacher and then moved to 1st grade, I also taught 2nd grade. I was lead teacher for two years, and then became Curriculum Coach for reading, I moved from there to Assistant Principal, and now currently the Principal. I believe in the mission and vision that we have here at DEPSA and the high expectations that we set for students and with the staff and well as for administration.
I attended Central State University in Wilberforce, OH, where I majored in Business. I received a Master’s degree in Business Management from Davenport University. I then changed careers from Business to Education and received certification and Master’s Degree from Wayne State University. I then got Certified in Education Leadership.
I am very dedicated and devoted to what I do, I care deeply about the kids and ensuring that they are getting a quality education. I am a very outgoing and social person with a great personality. Every year is different and I look forward to continuing to prepare our students for academic success.
Mrs. Collins joined Detroit Edison Public School Academy (DEPSA) in August of 2005 as an English teacher for the Junior Academy. Having had 6 years of previous teaching in experience in Florida she was ready for a new adventure in Detroit. She credits DEPSA as her true training ground for becoming a master teacher. Later she went on to become a tech integration specialist as well as an instructional coach for both English and Social Studies for the middle school. In 2014 she became principal for New Paradigm's first home grown school, New Paradigm College Prep. During her time at NPCP, she replicated DEPSA’s culture of academic excellence and achievement. In 2015 she returned “home” to the Junior Academy becoming JA’s first female principal. Junior Academy is truly personal for Mrs. Collins. She directs the academy with what she calls tough love for her students. She expects nothing, but their best and pushes adults in the Academy to do the same. Mrs. Collins calls the staff the Dream Team. She aims to develop a team that works together to service and instruct the students. She is a product of urban schooling, having grown up in Harlem, New York. She believes whole heartily that NPFE provides a stellar education for students in the city of Detroit and that no one works harder than an NPFE educator.
Ralph C. Bland began his career in education as a 1st grade teacher at an all-boys academy in Detroit Public Schools. Since then he has served as a teacher, coach, principal and superintendent. Under his leadership, Detroit Edison Public School Academy (DEPSA) was the first charter school in Michigan to be named a Michigan Blue Ribbon School and is consistently the city's highest performing PK-8 school, also outpacing state-level academic performance. In 2010 Mr. Bland founded New Paradigm For Education (NPFE) to expand the DEPSA instructional model across the region, ensuring access to a rigorous world-class education for thousands of Michigan scholars.
Mrs. Hodge, C.P.A. serves as the organization’s CFO. She leads the finance and accounting functions for NPFE, as well as the NPFE schools. She directs and manages budget development, financial planning, cash receipts and disbursements, financial reporting and banking relationships. Mrs. Hodge is an accomplished financial executive who has over 15 years of solid school accounting experience.
Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Bland, possesses over 20 years of school leadership and curriculum experience. As the founding principal of Detroit Edison Public School Academy, Dr. Bland created a sound academic plan to outperform the surrounding district and state averages on a number of indicators. She is responsible for developing the network’s curriculum, completing data analysis, providing professional development, and aligning supplemental instruction with state standards and the Common Core.