Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy

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Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy
Atlanta, Georgia
United States
Type Public, single-gender (girls and women)
Motto "CSKYWLA - To be empowered by scholarship, non-violence, and social change, my sister"
School district Atlanta Public Schools- SRT 4
Principal Erin Barksdale
Grades 6-12
Color(s) Pink, white, and brown
Mascot Lady Eagles

The Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy (CSKYWLA) was opened in Atlanta, Georgia, United States in August 2007. For a short time the academy was simply referred to as "the girls' single gender academy," but it was later named by its first principal, Melody Morgan, in honor of the life and legacy of Coretta Scott King, the civil rights leader and wife of Martin Luther King Jr.

At its inception, the school served girls in grade 6 with plans for expansion to grade 12 by 2014. It graduated its first high school class in 2014. CSKYWLA is a public school in the Atlanta Public Schools system.

Among the staff and students, the acronym for the school's name, CSKYWLA (pronounced "see-skee-WAH-lah"), has been coined as a salutation given the definition "to be empowered by scholarship, non-violence, and social change, my sister."

Single-gender education[edit]

CSKYWLA was initiated by Atlanta Public Schools based on the research of Michael Gurian, who asserts that girls and boys have different learning styles. To this effect, teachers at CSKYWLA employ teaching strategies geared toward the general learning styles of girls.


Students at CSKYWLA are immersed in a rigorous academic curriculum, which includes language arts, social studies, and reading. There is also a strong emphasis on math and science, subject areas in which, according to research and tradition, girls tend to struggle more than boys.


Students at CSKYWLA have an opportunity to take connections classes, including:

  • Art
  • Band
  • Latin
  • Orchestra
  • Physical Education
  • Spanish

Extracurricular activities[edit]

  • Auxiliary
  • Basketball
  • Beta Club
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross-Country
  • Golf
  • Marching Band
  • National Honor Society
  • Photography Club
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field

Special honors[edit]

Since 2008, sixth grade students at the Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy have had the honor of being guest speakers at the annual Martin Luther King Memorial Holiday celebration ceremony at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

  • 2008 - Kia Sims
  • 2009 - Tamira Johnson
  • 2010 - Brianna Martin
  • 2011 - Rim Adem (middle school) and Jasmine Woodard (high school)
  • 2012 - Hikemia Hussein (middle school) and Chelsea Burks (high school)
  • 2012 - Destiny Gillespie (middle school)
  • 2017 - Kiaya Robertson (High school)

Student Creed[edit]

In addition to academic achievement, much focus is placed on leadership and character development. The students recite the Student Creed each day. It was written by Lyndsey Collins, one of the first science teachers at CSKYWLA.

"As much as I attempt to calm the chaos around me called life, I can't.
I can only control myself.
However, I have been told countless times that I am
Intelligent, courageous, strong, and beautiful.
So from this moment on, every indelible mark I make
Upon myself or my community will embody a piece of me.
That indelible mark will embody intelligence, courageousness,
Strength and beauty because they are what make ME!"


The middle school is currently under the leadership of Dione D. Simon (Principal), Everett Barksdale (Assistant Principal) and Melanie Robinson (Dean of Academics). The high school is currently under the leadership of Shaundra Fears (Interim Principal), and Lincoln Woods (Assistant Principal).

Coordinates: 33°47′21″N 84°28′52″W / 33.78928°N 84.481064°W / 33.78928; -84.481064