Successful Innovations, Inc. was founded in 2006
by former educational leaders of schools with a large percentage of students on free and reduced lunch. Darla Edwards (former principal), Stefanie Prokity (former principal), and Hilda Stevens (retired Literacy Coach) were passionate about finding meaningful ways to increase student achievement and decrease the achievement gap. They believed that the solution to increased performance could be addressed through equipping parents with the knowledge necessary to support their child’s education.
Unfortunately, the ladies soon realized that some parents could not attend parent workshops or other school functions because of their work schedules, transportation issues, or intimidation in a school setting. The educators knew that these parents truly wanted their children to be successful, but felt inadequately prepared to do so.
Their passion to help these parents prompted them to develop and create interactive resources that would make it easier for parents to support their child’s education right in the comfort of their own home. When they piloted these resources in their schools, they realized that parents loved being able to watch a video tutor model practical learning activities that they could work on with their child. This empowered the parents and helped them become confident advocates for their children.
As a result of getting the parents involved, their schools achieved significant gains in student achievement, decreased the achievement gap, and were recognized by the United States Department of Education for increased performance. After experiencing tremendous success by piloting the resources in their own schools, the educators believed that they could help other schools throughout the nation achieve the same success with their creative resources to support family engagement.
Because of their passion to work on their company full-time, the educational leaders decided to “take a leap of faith” to fulfill their dream of working with school districts around the nation on their family engagement reform efforts.
Their interlocking colorful logo represents the three components of successful family and school partnerships: parents, students, and teachers. The ladies believed that when a true collaboration exists between the school and home, the results are tremendous.
Through perseverance, faith, and an unwavering trust in God, the educators have been able to launch their company’s resources into 33 states and Puerto Rico. Today, they are excited to be able to work with schools and districts and early childhood centers throughout the nation to provide meaningful opportunities to help parents and students succeed.
Darla Edwards is the President and Co-Founder of Successful Innovations, INC. She is a leading national educational consultant and provides educational services and trainings for teachers, principals, and community organizations.
She has over fifteen years of experience in education as a teacher and principal in the public schools of Virginia. While serving in her capacity as principal, she researched and developed programs to meet the educational needs of individual children and moved schools from “low academic achievement levels” to the “highest academic achievement levels”. Her efforts included, but were not limited, to creating numerous school and community outreach initiatives, designing innovative learning programs to meet the individual needs of students, and improving professional development trainings to support beginning and veteran teachers. Her efforts not only improved classroom instruction, but most important, increased individual student achievement. Edwards also designed programs for parents to assist children at home.
As a result, Edwards’ career as an educational leader is distinguished by high professional honors. She was selected to receive the School Bell Award from the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals for her significant accomplishments and achievements in education. The Virginia Association of Federal Program Administrators recognized her for developing a creative program to support the achievement of Title I students. Governor Kaine presented Edwards with an award for implementing best practices in nutrition and health among the students in her school. She was also selected and recognized by the United States Department of Education to present at the National Reading First Conference to educators around the nation on effective strategies in reading instruction. Edwards has co-authored and published a book, “Building A High Achieving School”, which has received recognition among civic and state community leaders and being used by many educators throughout the nation.
She has served as a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, National Education Association, Virginia Education Association, National Association of Black School Educators, Women’s’ Leadership Council of United Way, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Stefanie Prokity is the co-founder and owner of Successful Innovations, Inc., an educational consulting firm, dedicated to providing quality interactive resources for family/parent involvement and onsite professional development opportunities for educational professionals. She is the co-author of the book; Building a High Achieving School, 3 C’s to Success.
She has seventeen years of experience in Virginia public schools, nine as a classroom teacher, and eight as an administrator, including assistant principal and principal at both the elementary and secondary levels.
As a former educational leader in the Virginia public school system, she has had extensive experience working with at-risk students and being a turnaround agent at low performing schools. She has a vast knowledge and expertise with the Virginia Standards of Learning, implementing research based reading and mathematics curriculums, creating positive school improvement initiatives, establishing solid business/community partnerships, and forging strong parent/educator alliances.
Because of Mrs. Prokity’s expertise in the field of education she has had the honor to present at local, state, and national conferences, including, Lynchburg City Public Schools “Best Practices” workshops, the Virginia Testing Director’s Annual Conference in Richmond, Virginia, the National Reading First Conference in Reno, Nevada, and at the National Black Child Development Institute in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mrs. Prokity is a recognized and involved member of the following organizations; VAESP, NAESP, VEA, NEA, Kappa Delta Pi, Virginia Head Start Association, and the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of Central Virginia. She received recognition and induction into the Manchester’s Who’s Who for professional leaders among women in 2006.
Stefanie Prokity received her B.S. in Elementary Education, NK-8 from Liberty University and her M.Ed in Educational Leadership, Elementary and Secondary endorsements, from Lynchburg College. She lives in the central Virginia area with her husband of fifteen years.
Hilda C. Stevens
Hilda Stevens is co-founder and lead national educational consultant for Successful Innovations, Inc.. She has experience consulting and leading professional development workshops at the state and national levels. As a former Virginia educator with over 30 years of public school experience, Mrs. Stevens has had extensive training in Response to Intervention Strategies, Literacy Coaching, and Differentiated Instruction.
When she served in the capacity of Reading Coach, Stevens helped to transform her school from one of the lowest performing schools in the state to one of the highest performing schools in the nation by focusing innovative instructional strategies and techniques to support reading instruction. Because of this accomplishment, Stevens was recognized and selected by the United States Department of Education to lead a presentation on effective reading strategies to educators around the nation. She has also been recognized by the Virginia Department of Education for excellence in literacy coaching and intervention strategies to maximize students’ achievement in reading.
Stevens has co-authored and published a book, “Building a High Achieving School” which has received recognition among civic and state community leaders and being used by many educators throughout the nation. She has also authored, “Reflections in Reading” articles which provide practical tips for parents to help support their child’s literacy development.
Stevens has served as a member of the National Education Association, Virginia Education Association, Phi Delta Kappa International, Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, IOTA State and IOTA Chapter, and the International Reading Association.
She has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Averett University, a Masters of Education in Reading from Lynchburg College, a gifted certification from Lynchburg College, and a Masters in Education in Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia.