• Meet the Assistant Principals

    Melissa Hugh-Girdhari --- Melissa is a passionate educator who believes in fostering the development of the whole child.  She has seventeen years of experience in public education spent in California, Georgia and South Carolina as well as six years of being a mom to her daughters Hartison and Solara.   After nine years of teaching, Melissa became a Literacy Instructional Coordinator where she coached and trained teachers.  It was from this experience that Melissa was able to support the learning beyond her single classroom.  Continuing to grow her skills, Melissa became a Compliance Facilitator and trained Principals to implement Response to Intervention (RTI) within their schools.  For the past three years, Melissa has been a RTI/SST Specialist where she implemented systems of supports for all students.  

    Prior to Parkside, Melissa served as Assistant Prinicpal of Warren T. Jackson Elementary.  Previously, Melissa was the Summer Site Administrator at Fred Armon Toomer Elementary School for 10 APS elementary schools.  Melissa holds degrees from San Francisco State University and Georgia State University.  Melissa lives in the Southeast Atlanta neighborhood of Ormewood Park, with her family, where she is the current President of South Atlantans for Neighborhood Development and an active member of Southeast Atlanta Communities for Schools.
    Melissa Hugh-Girdhari
    Assistant Principal 
    Contact For: Kindergarten - 2nd Grade


    Dr. Cynthia Alexander --- Dr. Alexander is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana (GO SAINTS!). She has over 30 plus years of experience as an educator, with fourteen of those years of service within the Atlanta Public School System. Prior to moving to Georgia she worked in several teaching and administrative capacities in Louisiana and California. Her most recent opportunity to serve students and communities within APS was as the Assistant Principal at Whitefoord Elementary School and as a district Special Education Model Teacher Leader. She attended Louisiana Tech University where she obtained her B.A. and M.A. degree in special education and elementary education, as well as her Doctorate degree in Developmental Education from Grambling State University. She is certified in leadership, regular education, special education, (all content areas) and ESOL for grades Pre-K-middle school. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor for University of Phoenix and Kennesaw State University on-line graduate and undergraduate aspiring teacher education programs.

    Out of all of her accomplishments she is most proud to be a wife, mother of four and grandmother of five. Dr. Alexander considers her primary responsibilities as a Parkside Panda to be ensuring there is an effective teacher in every classroom, implementing school wide discipline procedures and continuing to support the focus of Parkside- Diversity, Pride and Community. Dr. Alexander is very excited about becoming a Parkside Panda, and looking forward to continuing her work ethic and collaboration with peers that has enabled her to be an integral part of "value added" personnel, committed to supporting student achievement and families within the Parkside Community.
    Dr. Cynthia Alexander
    Assistant Principal 
    Contact For: 3rd Grade - 5th Grade