Cynthia Hammond

Dr. Cynthia Hammond has served as principal of Westside Elementary School in Perry, Georgia
for the last eight years. With previous experience as an assistant principal, a middle school
teacher, and a police officer, Hammond’s leadership style is hands-on and community-oriented,
with a focus on growing leadership on all levels—from students to administrators. In the course
of her tenure, she has spearheaded the development of an enrichment and remediation lab to
increase student achievement while building computer skills, facilitated a redesign of the
school’s cafeteria, and created a new staff position to invest in parent relationships to address the
needs of Westside’s diverse students, 97% of whom live in poverty. Acknowledging barriers to
parent participation, Hammond has used technology to make engagement more accessible to all
families. She also introduced “Vine to Table,” a school-wide project that integrates STEM
education goals through interdisciplinary, applied learning. Through the project, students use
aeroponic towers, raised garden beds, and a greenhouse to grow produce that is served in the
lunchroom, distributed to local food banks, and shared with Westside families. The project has
received wide recognition, including three consecutive years receiving the “Feed the City”
Award, which acknowledges the school’s demonstrated commitment to community service. Dr.
Hammond holds an Ed.D. from Argosy University, and Ed.S. from Georgia Southwestern
University, and M.S. and B.A. degrees from Fort Valley State University.