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Dear Community,

Welcome to Youngstown Academy of Excellence. YAE is a learning community which values high expectations for both academics and behavior. Youngstown Academy of Excellence’s staff encourages students, families, and community members to be part of the educational process to ensure that all of our students are high school ready and able to pursue any educational path they choose. All students can learn, and our staff strives to make a difference in every child that enters our building.

The teachers and staff at YAE are committed to providing a quality education for all students in a safe, secure, and nurturing learning environment. We are committed to ensuring that each child reaches his/her full potential.

Currently, YAE has a student population of approximately 200 students in grades K-8. YAE is staffed with eighteen certified members of the teaching staff. In addition to core academic subjects, students have the benefit of a daily art course. Special services available to students include: special education, title I support, English as a second language, occupational therapy, speech and language, and counseling through our community partnerships. School hours are 8:30am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday.

We encourage all parents/guardians to maintain regular communications with their child’s teachers and be actively involved in the school community. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the office by calling (330) 746-3970. We look forward to meeting your child and helping foster a love of learning.

Heather Knapp
Head of School

Miss Heather Knapp, Head of School

Miss Heather Knapp joined Youngstown Academy of Excellence in 2011. She started teaching first grade and was moved to third grade the following year. She taught in third grade for two years and was the Director of Academics before accepting the Head of School position. Miss Knapp holds a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in Educational Administration, and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

Jon Natko, Superintendent

Mr. Jon Natko joined ACCEL Schools in 2015 with 30 years of experience as a K-12 public school educator, principal, and social worker. As Superintendent he oversees leadership development, instructional programming, operations, and strategic planning for multiple schools in Northeast Ohio. Prior to ACCEL Schools, Mr. Natko worked as a principal for Streetsboro City Schools, lead teacher at Orange City Schools, social worker for Euclid-Lyndhurst City Schools, and job success coordinator at Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools. Mr. Natko holds a Bachelor’s degree from Kent State University, a Master’s degree in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University, and a MBA from Cleveland State University.

Staff Directory

Community School

Community School

Youngstown Academy is a public, community school. We are our own school district sponsored by the St. Aloysius Orphanage (Charter School Specialists) which provides oversight and enforces academic, fiscal, and legal accountability. We are managed by ACCEL Schools, a high performing network of over 50 charter schools located throughout the United States.

Community Schools (Charter Schools) offer families an alternative to the local public school. Community schools are tuition-free, open to all students in the county, and focused on meeting student needs for success. Community schools are among the top-performing schools in the nation. Read more about charter schools.