School Leader Spotlight - Buckeye Community Hope Foundation

School Leader Spotlight

Dwan Moore

Dwan Moore, Principal/Superintendent of Hamilton County Math and Science Academy, has shown that innovation, mentorship, and clear communication are key tools for school success and growth.

Ms. Moore has been in education for over 30 years. She started out going to school for x-ray technology, but soon discovered her passions lay elsewhere.

“My husband was in education, and I thought, ‘I think I would like to do this too’”, said Moore. “I got to meet so many people through him and was able to have two wonderful mentors who gave me the best of both worlds when it came to education.”

At the start of her career, Ms. Moore worked in Cincinnati Public Schools, where she eventually became a dean of students. She was later recruited for the opportunity to start Hamilton County Math and Science Academy from the ground up.

“I loved moving into the charter school setting,” said Moore. “Where else would I go to try what I want to try and meet so many types of people? If you’re in the private school setting, you’re limited on what you can do, but in the charter world, you can be innovative. HCMSA gave me my direction in education.”

“Here [in charter schools], we get a chance to do it all; we get to try new ideas. I have a great board of governors and they trust me and my ideas on how to get things done,” said Moore. “It’s also important to always be open to new ideas. My leadership team and my admin team, we get together and we collaborate with each other.”

That innovation was an essential element to the growth of the school. HCMSA began with just 60 kindergarten students. Now, in the 27th year of the school, they are ready to expand and have well over 600 students.

“It’s about the teachers, parent involvement, and being in the community. I’ve worked hard to create an accepting, collaborative culture in our school,” said Moore. “Lots of our population growth is by word of mouth. I’m always meeting parents and talking and listening. I’m out in the community being present, being at different functions and being involved. Parents are excited to hear about the school and are excited to send their kids.”

Having started her career as a teacher, Ms. Moore knows how important it is to keep that fire and momentum going for her team. Their biggest goal is picking the pace back up post-covid and getting their results where they want them to be.

“We’re a data driven school,” said Moore. “We study data a lot and are always learning how to improve from the results. I give teachers their data every month; they’re competitive and want to have the best scores. Our success is a ‘we thing’, not just me.”

She has made it a priority to set her expectations for her teachers. Through clear communication, they know what is expected of them.

“I don’t hover over my teachers,” said Moore. “I give them the space to be creative and do their own thing, as long as they meet their goals and our set expectations. I never want that fire in them to go away. I want them to feel comfortable to come and talk to me.”

Ms. Moore is proud of the schools’ success. Having started as a small mom and pop, the school has expanded greatly. The goal for the next few years is to have an addition onto their main building with more classrooms.

“Our population is very diverse, and we are busting at the seams,” said Moore. “One of our goals is to have an addition to our building with more classrooms to accommodate our growth.”

Outside of school, Ms. Moore is an active reader, walker, and enjoys traveling as much as she can.

“I love to read. I think that was another reason I got involved in education,” said Moore. “I worked at a bookstore and would read every day. Reading can take you so many places.”

The best advice Ms. Moore can give to other leaders is to keep the fire going.

“You have to work to make sure that fire is still burning with your teachers,” Moore said. “Always mentor them and give feedback to help them improve. Make sure they feel comfortable talking to you and coming to you for help to work things out. Be there for them.”

Scroll to Top