Launched January 1, 2018 as a community for creative and passionate equity-minded educational leaders, this site is being developed to pique the curiosity and hope of teachers, principals, and school district leaders that are working to become the rock stars of our profession. By rethinking, proposing, and (re)formulating discourse, we will examine traditions, ideologies, and notions of power and identify ways to spark transformation in our work.
If you enjoy thinking about and exploring the various ways you can advocate for and take care of those in your charge, you will feel at home here. By reflecting and engaging with us, you will discover ways to empower others with empathy, imagination, and a spirit of craftsmanship. We will begin to think about different ways of doing things, decent and dignifying ways of treating people in schools and outside of schools, in order to help inspire the best outcomes – academically and socially – for our students.
While I am still learning about blogging, I am eager to share insights and read your thoughts about the content. Too often, I notice that deficit approaches and language place the burden of responsibility exclusively on the shoulders of students and their families; and by choosing deficit models, we take away possibilities of transformation and hope. This blog is about hope. It is also about a call to action. I look forward to reading your insights.
As a small town girl who has experienced oppression, exclusion, harassment, and my fair-share of hard times, I want to help influence better conditions for students. I recognize that in order to do so, we have to simultaneously focus on better conditions for school and district employees. I understand first-hand how differences are perceived and how deficit models serve to create barriers for students and their families. But I also know there are hurdles and walls for many individuals within our profession. I want to be a part of changing that landscape – not only here in my district – but on a larger scale.
I am a product of Arizona schools, graduating with a Doctorate of Education from Arizona State University in Educational Leadership and Policy Development. My husband and I are both native to small towns here, and together we have three successful adult children that we raised in the suburbs of Phoenix. We also have two grandsons that are growing up in different parts of the U.S. From time to time I will share my insights as a parent and budding grandparent.
I am completing my 30th year as a career educator, and have held the position of teacher, principal, district office administrator, and director of a national equity center. I am currently a Superintendent in a school district located half-way between Phoenix and Tucson. I have taught courses in Multicultural and Bilingual Special Education at Arizona State University, and Leadership in Special & Inclusive Education at the University of Kansas. Teaching is and always has been my passion.
With a focus on equity, quality, and family, I started my position as Superintendent and this blog with a desire to contribute, inspire, and make a lasting positive impact. I am guided by the conviction that education changes lives and strengthens communities, and I believe school leadership is about being responsive and inclusive. I staunchly believe in our children – all children – and strive to ensure leadership that ignites our best efforts; all day, every day.