SDLCA Building

Southwest Detroit Lighthouse Charter Academy

Budget and Salary/Compensation Transparency Reporting At Lighthouse Academies, we prepare our scholars through rigorous programs that provide them with a foundation that will allow them to succeed in and graduate from college. Our unique arts-infused curriculum, emphasis on social development and integration of diverse cultural opportunities augments learning and broadens horizons.


Quick Facts

Number of Scholars: 293
Grades: K-5
Date Opened:
Principal: Jill Geden


  • Add 1 grade each year until the school is K-12
  • Safe and Nurturing Environment
  • Before/After School Care
  • Rigorous Academics
  • Social Development
  • Arts Infusion
  • Bicultural and Bilingual Environment

Annual Events

  • May 4: SDLCA will be participating in the Cinco de Mayo Parade 11:00 a.m. Patton Park Meeting Site
  • May 5: Mexican Heritage Cinco de Mayo Celebration 12:30-2:30 p.m.
  • May 14: First Annual Family Art Event at SDLCA 6:00-8:00 p.m.
  • May 21-23: 5th Graders 3 day Camp Field Trip
  • May 30: SDLCA Marathon
  • May 31: First Annual SDLCA Father Daughter Dance & Mother Son Dance (for more information call Sonia 820-8303)
  • June 11th-18th: All Scholars will receive free Vision & Hearing Screenings
  • June 20: Kindergarten Graduation
  • June 24: SDLCA Field Day


Extracurricular Activities

  • Latino Family Services After-School Tutoring/Mentoring Program 4:00-6:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday (Not taking new participants at this time)
  • Soccer Program has begun (not taking new participants at this time) for any questions contact Mr. Casillas
  • Soccer Program Days and Times: Tuesday and Thursday 3:30-4:45 (CHILDREN MUST BE PICKED UP BY 4:45 p.m.)



  • Covenant Community Care Dental Clinic
  • Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation
  • S.W. Solutions Early Head Start
  • Family Alliance for Change
  • CHASS Clinic
  • Latino Family Services
  • National Kindney Foundation (PE-Nut Program)


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  • APPLY NOW FOR THE 2014-2015 SCHOOL YEAR. For tours or to enroll your child contact Sonia at 313-820-8303


  • Thank you Scholars & Parents of SDLCA for helping us raise $1,656.00 through the candy fundraiser.  We so appreciate it! 


  • May 2nd, 16th, & 30th: Parent Meetings at 8:30 a.m.


  • April 26: Dia de Los Libros-Day of Books Family Event at Clark Park 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  Free food, books, and food!




April 1: Board Meeting, 5:00 pm
April 16: Parent Teacher Conferences (NO SCHOOL FOR SCHOLARS)
April 17: Teacher Professional Development (NO SCHOOL FOR SCHOLARS)
April 18-25: Spring Break Vacation


May 6: SDLCA Board Meeting 5:00-7:00 p.m.

May 26: Memorial Day (NO SCHOOL FOR SCHOLARS)

SDLCA Ribbon Cutting 9 17 13
On September 17, Tennis star Andre Agassi, Bobby Turner along with other leaders from our partner Canyon Agassi Charter Facilities Fund, as well as our scholars, families and community members joined us for our Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting celebration.

Documents & Links

Latest Documents

School News

Board Calendars

Student Applications


Document Archive

Board Calendars

Board of Directors


MI Transparency Reporting

Marketing Materials


School Calendars

School News

Student Applications

School Leaders


Jill Geden

Jill Geden
Ms. Geden was born in Detroit, MI, and raised in Southeast Michigan. She was previously the principal of a K-8 UNO Charter School in Chicago, IL, where she led her school to its highest achievement on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test with 91% of students meeting or exceeding state standards in math and 78% of students meeting or exceeding state standards in reading. Prior to leading her school in Chicago, Ms. Geden worked with the KIPP Charter School Network in both San Diego, CA, and Chicago, IL, as a fifth grade reading teacher, middle school English teacher, grade level chair, and Miles Family Fellow. She also worked for Teach For America in both the Phoenix region, as a program director coaching first and second year teachers, and at TFA’s summer training institutes in Georgia, New York, Phoenix, and Pennsylvania, coaching teachers and staff members. Ms. Geden taught fifth grade in Avondale, AZ, for two years as a Teach For America corps member. She holds graduate degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education in School Leadership and Arizona State University in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in English. She believes the secret to success in schools is building strong relationships with students, staff, and families in order to ensure everyone is able to achieve their goals and feel fulfilled in the work they are doing.
Family Coordinator

Sonia Ponce de Leon

Sonia Pic Jpeg
Ms. Ponce de Leon is originally from Texas and moved to the state of Michigan in 1993 to pursue her Bachelors and Masters degrees in the area of social work. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1998, where she received her Bachelors in social work. She then went on to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where she obtained her Masters in Interpersonal Practice with Families and Youth. She has had a long relationship with the Southwest Detroit community that spans approximately 15 years. She spent the last 10.5 years at Cesar Chavez Academy High School, where she held the position of school social worker. Ms. Ponce de Leon believes that it is important to empower and build people up through sincere, caring, and consistent connections in order to make a true mark in the lives of others.
School Operations Manager

Kyesha Lane

As a graduate of Detroit Public Schools and Wayne State University, Ms. Lane has a keen devotion to ensuring quality education in the City of Detroit. She has over 10 years’ experience working in non-profit management, operations, fundraising and, state and federal government. Prior to joining the LHA family, she served as the Manager of School Operations at UPA Middle School located in midtown, where she implemented policies and procedures which significantly increased site operational efficacy. As a senior community liaison for Congressman Sander M. Levin, Ms. Lane developed a passion for education. In this role she managed all youth outreach initiatives throughout Oakland and Macomb Counties including managing the Congressional Internship program, participating in a wide array of mentorship programs, development of curriculum for the Congress in the Classroom series, being integral in the Drug Free Communities initiatives and managing the Artistic Discovery Program which promotes visual arts instruction in public education. She believes that there is unlimited potential within each child that can be revealed through rigorous, safe, nurturing and success driven educational environments.
Director of Teacher Leadership

Latoya Perry

Latoya pic
Ms. Perry is a native of Fayetteville, NC. After attending Winston-Salem State University, Ms. Perry joined Teach for America. She was placed in Washington DC, where she taught for Prince George’s County Public schools. During her time there, she earned her master’s degree in Elementary Education from George Mason University. She then pursed a teaching opportunity with KIPP DC Public Charter Schools. During her first year there, she earned the KIPP DC Board Award for Excellence in Teaching. She also served as a mentor teacher, developed curriculum, and was a faculty advisor. Ms. Perry believes that all children can succeed. When students, parents, teachers, and the school are all united the possibilities are endless.


Become a Lighthouse Academy Student

Discover, achieve and prepare for success in college and beyond. We will prepare your student academically, socially and culturally to succeed in and graduate from college.  We will develop your student’s critical decision-making skills to prepare him/her for success in life.  Lighthouse Academies offers small schools, small class sizes, longer school year, and longer school day so we can provide students with a high quality education. Don’t wait – apply now to transform your child’s future!

Join Our Team

Are you fearless, driven and forward-thinking? We need people who want to teach, lead and transform the lives of our students. We need people who share our passion for creativity and innovation. We are committed to developing the capacity of our staff with 20 professional days each year, individual coaching and collaboration. Join us in transforming children’s futures.

Apply for a position »


Southwest Detroit Lighthouse Charter Academy

4001 29th Street Detroit MI 48210 USA

42.3346443 -83.1093903
Tel: 313.782.4422
Fax: 313.782.4469

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