Get To Know Citizens Leadership Academy

School Leadership

Our school is led by Principal Sydney Gruhin.

Citizens Leadership Academy

Grades Served

CLA is a middle school serving students in grades 6-8. 

School History

Citizens Leadership Academy was founded in 2011 by Shelly Saltzman, bringing Expeditionary Learning to Northeast Ohio for the first time. Citizens Leadership Academy seeks to build on the successes of the K-5 Citizens Academy schools, as members of Breakthrough Schools. 

Board of Directors

Our school has an an all-volunteer Board of Directors.

View our:

2018-2019 Board Meeting Schedule

Cynthia Tancer, Chair  –

Reggie Novak, Treasurer  Ciuni & Panichi, Senior Manager

Yolanda Saunders-Polk, Secretary

Kevin Alin, The Fund for our Economic Future, Director of Regional Engagement

E. Mordecai Cargill, Cleveland Neighbornood Progress

Amonica Davis, Nordson Corporation Foundation

Lolita Hines, Case Western University, Assistant VP for Finance, Administration and Strategic Planning Alignment

Art Lundberg, Baker Hostetler, Partner


Mission & Vision

Our mission is to prepare our middle school students to lead in academics, service, and civic engagement during high school, college, and beyond.

Our vision is to add a highly effective middle school model to the mix of current school offerings available to Citizens Academy graduates and other regional students.

Innovative Academic Program

Core Skill Building and Learning Expeditions

The Citizens Leadership Academy curriculum is designed to prepare our students to succeed in rigorous college prep high schools, and then in college and in the 21st century job market. The curriculum is a synergistic approach based on two discrete learning models: Core Skill Building and Expeditionary Learning. Through this two-pronged educational model, CLA students will be well prepared for the Ohio state tests, and they will also be well grounded in the critical 21st century skills framework.

Academic Results

We are proud of our students' most recent accomplishments on the Ohio state tests. Our school earned an "A" for Student Growth in 2016! (Ohio Department of Education). You can find our full school report card on the ODE website here.


It is always our goal to reach the whole child, and we strive for a balance of athletic and non-athletic after school extracurriculars. For example, extracurriculars include: 

  • Boys/Girls Basketball
  • Math Hoops
  • Lego Robotics
  • Cheerleading
  • Drama Club
  • Service Club
  • Chess Club

After School

We have after school tutoring for students looking for extra support with reading and math, as well as Homework Club for those who need a quiet place to finish homework. Additionally, we have an after school partnership with the Boys & Girls Club on Broadway, and provide transportation there after school every day.

Dress Code & School Uniforms

Our basic dress code is a purchased purple or black CLA polo and khaki pants. Athletic attire required on the days your child has PE. 

Citizens Leadership Academy