Meet Dr. Shelta J. Richardson, a remarkable entity who has contributed to the vast educational industry with compassion and skillful traits. She has served successfully for 25 years in this field and attained various noteworthy accomplishments. She attributes her success in business to her perseverance and grit and to surrounding herself with individuals who share her beliefs and values. She is a visionary and has been recognized and listed by various prominent platforms in their issues.
Dr. Shelta is the Chief Executive Officer of The Academy of Early Learning, a Christian-based organization that offers infant, toddler, and preschool programs for children ages six weeks and above. She has been passionately leading her team in achieving various milestones. She focuses on ensuring that she continuously provides the highest quality of services possible for the community. She also maintains a healthy and personal relationship with all her teachers and staff. She excellently attempts to have a great working relationship with the parents who entrust their children with her and her team.
Her venture The Academy of Early Learning is committed to providing parents with an early learning experience for their children. It offers surroundings where learning develops naturally. She states each kid is guided to achieve their potential in every part of life inside the shelter, thanks to the caring bond of Christian love. Their programs offer experiences for youngsters that establish a passion for learning that will last them a lifetime. Dr. Shelta adds that with the help of the Reggio Emilia Approach, children in her academy learn all about cooperation through many projects, particularly resolving problems and conflicts. “Parents may also choose a Reggio approach because they want to teach their kids how to think, not what to think, and to develop themselves as well-rounded individuals with an innate curiosity and love of learning,” she adds. When these kids leave the Reggio environment, they are equipped to rely on their inner compasses to help steer them on their individual journeys, rather than fit into one specific niche. As the CEO of the non-profit organization, Dr. Shelta’s job responsibilities include managing directors. These directors are supported by capable management teams, at both the Louisiana childcare facilities in Slidell and Port Allen. She has been crucial to the academy’s success in recent years, and she has impressively overseen various start-up activities. These activities include hiring and training all staff members, and the development of an employee handbook. In addition to that, she was looking at other aspects of the academy’s rollout while simultaneously delivering the highest ECE standards of excellence and curriculum standards.
Along with the Academy of Early Learning, Dr. Shelta owns and is a senior consultant at I-Cube Consulting/Early Learning Consultation Services. This award-winning company offers early learning, general business, and leadership training services to its clients. Meanwhile, Dr. Shelta plans to host a national conference on early education and leadership, begin teaching at the university level, and launch a new business.
An academically decorated journey
Dr. Shelta completed her associate degree in child development from MidAmerican Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. She also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in management and human relations, summa cum laude, a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Art in education, and a Doctor of Education in leadership and organizational change. Moreover, she also received certification as a Louisiana Pathways Trainer III. She is admired by various entities in the industry, and her success has been appreciated by many. She received an Outstanding Leadership Award from The Mirage in 2022, was included in the 2021 and 2022 Top 100 Visionaries in Education at the Global Forum for Education and Learning and was recognized among the 20 Most Inspiring Women Leaders for 2020 by Women Leaders Magazine. Her venture I-Cube Consulting was also honored with the title of Best Education Company at the Education 2.0 National Conference in 2022. Whereas the Academy of Early Learning was named among the Top 50 Organizations in Education at a conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 2021.
Dr. Shelta was previously affiliated with the First Family, another Christian educational organization. She served as the District Manager and Director for La Petite Academy and as a Consultant and Director for Open Arms Institute. Dr. Shelta also served as President of The Academy of Early Learning before being named Chief Executive Officer. She is also a member of her local rotary and has served on various community boards, including the Concerned Citizens of Saint Tammany Parish in 2022 and as a school board member of the Saint Tammany Parish School in 2019. Her other civic interests include serving as a youth leader for Bethany Lutheran Church, as a board member for the Citizen Utility Rate, and as the vice chair of the Gardner Edgerton Republic Party.
Keeping the wheels turning
Dr. Shelta encourages her directors to run the company independently within the academy setting. She avoids micromanagement and focuses on concepts that help the company stay current and relevant. She offers her staff the required assistance to train and grow within the company. She always attempts to build a bench for the upcoming leaders. She enjoys developing leadership skills in the women she works with. Most of her management team includes millennial women who portray leadership traits and have the potential to grow within the early education sector. She urges all generations to actively listen with an open mind and learn from one another. Lastly, she believes that every individual is valuable to the business because everyone has so much to learn from one another.
Dr. Shelta uses her consulting job outside of the academy to assist women who wish to create their own institutions. She imparts knowledge and mentorship to them on all facets of running a business, including human resources, finance, operations, labor relations, crisis management, and servant leadership. She desires assurance that the ladies she works with genuinely care about them as human beings. “I truly want them to succeed,” she adds. She does not care about competitors, so she does not hesitate to share her resources. She reckons that there are enough children to serve, and they benefit when such exceptional schools’ function well. Her consulting work, however, is the primary method she employs to inspire female entrepreneurs to become great leaders. “My clients are mostly women who are running childcare centers. I work hard to take their ideas and present solutions that honor the direction they wish to go,” she asserts.
In relevance to that, Dr. Shelta envisions her company’s stature as being at the top. Her venture has attained such success that it can be hardly described in words. In addition to surpassing the academy’s financial goals and making a profit within its first year.