Hard-working Head of School keeps Global Scholars Academy on track

The Student of the Month board, where GSA acknowledges the children for various achievements. (Staff photo by Latoya Jenkins)

Since it opened its doors in 2009, Global Scholar’s Academy, with its extended hours and extra activities, has had families crossing their fingers that they will get drawn in the annual lottery for the charter school.

Leonard Mayo and the GSA team take the school’s mission very seriously: to create greater developmental equity for Durham youth who represent the greatest risks of academic failure due to significant social, economic, and educational challenges.

Mayo, who has been the Head of School Curriculum for three years said, “Just because you were born into poverty doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve the best education, and that is what we try to give our students here at GSA.”

Mayo is from Tarboro, and has a wife of 38 years and three children and grandchildren who are in Texas, St Louis, and Washington, DC. Since his children are all over, he loves to travel to many different places. In his free time, he also enjoys going out into his yard to do a little gardening.

Before coming to GSA, Mayo worked in the public schools system in Orange County for 28 years. He was a geography and social studies teacher, a men’s head basketball coach before becoming an assistant principal and principal.

“The best part of this job is seeing the kids learn and seeing the light bulbs go off in their heads when they realize their full potential and realize that they are actually learning,” said Mayo.

No matter how much fun, or how much you enjoy your job, every job comes with some challenges. “Keeping good teachers was one of my challenges, but lately I haven’t had an issue with it because we now have a grant that gave all of our teachers at minimum 8 percent increase in salary,” said Mayo.

“Getting used to the length of the day was also very challenging,” said Mayo. Most schools are out around 2-3:30, but GSA closes at 6:30. And from 7:30 until 6:30, they are giving the children a full intensified learning environment.

Mayo said that his mother was a maid and always wanted better for her children, so she pushed him, so that he can have a better life than she did, which is why his mother was his biggest influence in his life and the reason why he became a teacher.

Mayo loves to watch the children learn and grow, it’s what gets him through most of his days. His passion is watching the youth learn and he is very passionate about GSA and what they are doing as a school and family.

“GSA is headed in the right direction, constantly finding new ways to improve. Jim Johnson, UNC professor and member of Union Baptist Church, inspires us all because he is continuously looking for funding sources and grants, so we can make sure that our student receive the best education as possible,” said Mayo.

Mayo truly cares about the education of the youth of GSA. He not only does what he does because it is his job, but he does it because he knows that the children are our future.

“If we won’t believe in our children, then who will?” said Mayo.


The staff and faculty accomplishment board, showin the teachers and their certifications and degrees. (Staff photo by Latoya Jenkins)

The staff and faculty accomplishment board, showing the teachers and their certifications and degrees. (Staff photo by Latoya Jenkins)