Melissa S. Brady

Linden Hill Elementary School
Red Clay Consolidated School District
Wilmington, Delaware

Linden Hill Elementary can credit its 2022 National Blue Ribbon School status in part to the collaborative, growth-oriented leadership of principal Melissa Brady. Brady fosters professional and academic growth through her distinctive style of distributive leadership and comprehensive approach to professional development. By centering teacher voices to promote professional interdependence, Brady has achieved an effective synergy among the Red Clay’s multidisciplinary leadership team, which includes counselors and a special education teacher to ensure strategies reach the learning needs of the most vulnerable students. This environment prepared the school well for the difficult “pandemic pivot” to online learning. In the midst of the crisis, Brady stayed true to her leadership values by actively creating the conditions for work-life balance and prioritizing both the physical and mental health of Red Clay teachers, families, and staff. This work was supported by a variety of community partnerships that Brady fostered to provide a range of academically, socially, and emotionally supportive activities for students, including tutoring and mentorship programs and access to mental health resources. Under her leadership, Red Clay has successfully implemented the Leader in Me Habits of Happy Kids as a school-wide Tier 1 system for social-emotional wellness and leadership development. Brady holds a B.S. from the University of Delaware and an M.Ed. and School Leadership and Principal Certifications from Wilmington University.