Vision Statement

Equipping students with 21st century skills to become global leaders.


Deara Okonkwo pictured above with her inspiration for Innovative Ways Academy, Ron Clark (Founder of Ron Clark Academy, Atlanta, Georgia) at the RCA Teacher’s Conference (2012).

Mission Statement

School Mission: Innovative Ways Academy’s mission is to create a transformational climate of lifelong learners where talented and compassionate faculty will nurture students’ pursuit of academic excellence, exemplary character, and meaningful contribution to their local, national, and global communities.

Consultant Mission: Our mission is to provide a model framework of rigorous instruction that has practical tools for accomplishing our visionary ends of fostering self-responsible and lifelong learners. We accomplish this by training teachers, engaging students, educating parents and designing curriculum to ensure that student achievement is met for all.

Founder & Executive Director

   Deara Okonkwo is an extraordinary urban “edutainter” whose gifts and talents illuminate in the children of her school and dance studio through her integration of arts in education. Ms. Okonkwo is a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California, holding a Master’s Degree in Education, Clear Teaching Credential and Bachelor’s all obtained from the prestigious University. She is renowned for her outstanding academic accomplishments: at the prime age of fourteen, she graduated from high school with an Associate of Arts Degree; at seventeen, she received her Bachelor’s in English with a minor in Psychology and at eighteen she obtained her Master’s Degree in Education along with her teaching credential. Deara is the Founder and CEO of DeDe Dance Studio, a 501(c) (3) non- profit that works to empower youth through multicultural performing arts, brotherhood and sisterhood clubs and educational enrichment. Most recently, she established Innovative Ways Academy, a uniquely designed Middle School that provides children with a world-class and elite educational experience. Furthermore, her Academy offers rigorous academic coaching for educators and provides practical modeling in the classrooms to increase student achievement. Her motto is to recycle the knowledge that she obtained and she has sought to achieve these as an urban educator. Her passion lies in her professions, educating children in the classrooms and empowering youth through the performing arts. She demonstrated profound leadership skills through her humanitarian efforts. Deara is a true change agent and leader for the youth in Los Angeles, and across the world, at large.