Aleshia Cantrell, a dean at Overland High School and former community administrator at Prairie Middle School, recently received a Circles of Change Award, which honors individuals who inspire peace, hope and positive change. The award was presented by the Seeking Common Ground organization during a special event held Oct. 28 in the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
“Receiving this award was an honor, but the true reward comes in seeing my students graduate from high school college-ready and prepared to lead in creating a better and brighter society,” said Cantrell.
Seeking Common Ground (SCG) was founded in 1993 with the goal of helping young people—the next generation of leaders—to see the humanity in the ‘other’ in order to approach conflict resolution from a place of greater empathy, connection, and inclusion. The group’s mission is to empower individuals to change the world by creating peaceful communities through integration, socialization, communication, and leadership development.
Those who know her say Cantrell is very deserving of the award.
“Aleshia Cantrell has provided exceptional leadership at both Prairie Middle School and Overland High School,” said Dr. Kandy Cassaday, principal of Prairie Middle School. “Her dedication and commitment to the students, staff, and community over the past five years has made a tremendous difference for so many. I am not surprised that she was selected and honored with this award, as she is so willing to do whatever it takes to better the lives around her.”
Cantrell says she shares the credit for the award with Cherry Creek Schools.
“To be honored by such an exceptional organization for the work we are doing here in Cherry Creek not only warms my heart but allows me to see that we are truly having an impact on educating others and continuing to create awareness around the academic achievement gap,” said Cantrell. “As a product of Denver Public Schools and a Cherry Creek Schools educator, my hope is that others continue to see the positive work being done in our public schools and the unwavering focus we continue to have on educating our youth.”