Tech & Learning presents the Honor Role podcast (#TLHonorRole) celebrating fierce and formidable women in education. Education veterans Drs. Kecia Ray and Frances Gipson talk with inspiring role models who have shaped the educational landscape by overcoming obstacles, connecting with mentors to guide them through their journey, and leading future generations of women through the glass ceiling and beyond.
A brilliant mind, a brilliant STEM story: Dr. Cheryl Ney, is a social justice leader in higher education who is changing the trajectory of students, educators, and leaders on the eastside of Los Angeles. Her passion and experience as Dean is influenced by pioneering women in the sciences. Learn how to go inside and be empathic through this shero.
Dr. Ney has been an academic administrator at California State University, Los Angeles for over ten years, the last five as Dean of the Charter College of Education. With a doctorate in Biochemistry, she comes to the work of educator preparation as a STEM educator herself, having taught undergraduates for 20 years at Capital University in Columbus Ohio. She is very active in the California “linked learning” arena, the 21st century career and technical education reform to prepare high school graduates with college and career ready outcomes. Her scholarship is in the area of gender and science.
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Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo is a lifelong social worker and educator. Her life-altering message drives the importance of reaching all “at promise” learners and inspires all listeners. Debra shares her journey from dropout to superintendent of one of the most diverse counties in America; in doing so, it reflects her very personal and professional mission.
Debra Duardo was appointed Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools in 2016, designating her as the top education leader of the nation’s most populous and diverse county. Dr. Duardo has more than 30 years of professional experience working with at-promise students and their families. Her unique life experience as a high school dropout able to overcome obstacles and rise to the position of County Superintendent drives her passion to ensure that all students receive an education in a safe, caring environment and that every student is college-prepared and career ready.
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In the inaugural Tech & Learning Honor Role podcast, Drs. Kecia Ray and Frances Gipson talk with Angela Maiers, a world-renowned author, entrepreneur, international keynote speaker, and educator, whose transformative message of the importance of mattering has the power to unleash the genius in us all.
Angela Maiers is considered one of today’s most influential thought leaders in education and transformative thinking. Most recently, she has been named by Forbes as one of the Top 5 Edupreneurs to Watch; by IBM as one of the Top 20 Global Influencers, among the Top 100 Women in Technology by Onalytics, and among the Top 20 Education Thought Leaders by TrustEd. She is the author of 9 books on education, including the noted Genius Matters and Classroom Habitudes, and was for many years a prolific contributor to the Huffington Post on innovation, technology, and education.
Listen to the episode here.
Mónica García proudly represents Board District 2 in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the nation. With her bold call to action for “Diplomas for All,” Board Member García has galvanized the L.A. Unified school community to take aggressive action to reach 100% graduation and break the cycle of poverty by ensuring that every child can read, write, think, and believe.
Since her election to the Board in June 2006, Ms. García and the educational justice movement have successfully championed school reform models that offer students smaller and more personalized settings. These options give school sites the autonomy they need to prepare all students for college or career. To date, more than 250,000 students are now served in this growing portfolio of reform models, which include single-gender academies, partnership schools, in-district teacher led academies called “pilot” schools that operate under a reform labor contract and charter schools.
District-wide, Ms. García led the campaign to pass a $7 billion school bond for the largest new school construction program in U.S. history. In addition, these funds created opportunities to leverage much needed health and human services through the successful $50 million Wellness Center Initiative.
Dr. Cheryl Logan has served as Superintendent of Omaha Public Schools since 2018. Logan has spent her career in education working in school districts with large immigrant populations from around the world, including with students from significant English language learner populations. She has previously served as Assistant Superintendent in Philadelphia Public Schools, and various roles at Prince George’s Public Schools and Howard County Public Schools.
Marie Izquierdo is the Chief Academic Officer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the nation’s fourth largest school system, which serves more than 350,000 students and employs 53,000 teachers and staff. She is a career educator with more than 25 years of experience in school reform. She
As CAO, Izquierdo has spearheaded efforts that have yielded a historic 84% graduation rate and the distinction of having 98% of all schools rated A, B or C by the Florida Department of Education. She oversees the Education Transformation Office, an office that supports the lowest performing schools in the district, successfully eradicating all F schools in the district for the past two school years. A fervent proponent of school choice, she also leads the Innovation and Choice Office that has earned the district a staggering 302 National Magnet Merit Awards, the 2017 Donna Grady-Creer District Award for Magnet Sustainability, and the College Board Award for Equity and Access.
Carol Jago has taught English in middle and high school in California public schools for 32 years and is associate director of the California Reading and Literature Project at UCLA. She served as president of the National Council of Teachers of English and as chair of the College Board’s English Academic Advisory committee.
She has published many books with Heinemann including The Book in Question: Why and How Reading Is in Crisis. She is also author of With Rigor for All: Meeting Standards for Reading Literature and Cohesive Writing: Why Concept Is Not Enough and published books on contemporary multicultural authors for NCTE. Carol wrote an education column for the Los Angeles Times, and her essays continue to appear in educational journals and online forums.
Torie Weiston-Serdan is a scholar and practitioner with over 13 years of teaching and youth programming experience. An emerging leader in the youth mentoring field, she wrote Critical Mentoring: A Practical Guide, which has become the handbook for culturally sustaining youth work in the discipline. Outside of teaching and research, Weiston-Serdan runs the Youth Mentoring Action Network, a non-profit dedicated to leveraging justice and equity mentoring. Through her community-based work, she mentors Inland Empire youth through high school into college and careers. She also works extensively with other community-based organizations in support of their youth advocacy efforts, specializing in training mentors to work with diverse youth populations: i.e. Black, Latinx, LGBTQQ, first-generation college students and low-income youth.
Dr. Christi Barrett has served in the education field for 20 years. During this time she served as a regular and special education teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. Dr. Barrett serves as the Healthy Valley Foundation Vice President, a Western Science Center Board Member, and a Hemet Action Group member. Dr. Barrett’s involvement in the community is driven by her belief that the important work of educating and supporting our youth is not limited to the boundaries of the District, but is imperative to the community’s overall success.
Nzingha Sonya Dugas
Nzingha Dugas is the Executive Director of the Umoja Community Education Foundation (UCEF). UCEF operates 68 programs across California’s 114 community college system. Mx. Dugas’s role includes leading the Foundation’s central office team, the northern and southern statewide region staff and overseeing all operations.
Umoja’s programs focus on academic engagement, student leadership and professional development, and matriculation success for African ancestry students. For counselors and faculty, Umoja provides training in cultural pedagogy in teaching and learning.
Mx. Dugas was the founding Director of the Oakland Unified School District’s inaugural African American Female Excellence Initiative. The initiative’s focus was to accelerate academic achievement and address disparities in educational and social outcomes for Black girls and young women from pre-school through high school.
Jacqueline Jodl is a nationally recognized authority on social emotional skills and their impact on education performance and workforce readiness.
Her career began at Unilever in marketing management, where she managed established brands and new product innovation as well as businesses integration following corporate acquisitions. She led The Aspen Institute’s most critical endeavor in education, serving as the Executive Director of the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development.
As the principal strategic advisor at the University of Virginia’s School of Education, her primary area of interest is innovation in PreK-12 education.
Carolyn McKanders is Director Emeritus for Thinking Collaborative, the home of the Adaptive Schools Seminars and Cognitive Coaching Seminars. Carolyn’s background includes 28 years in the Detroit Public Schools as a teacher, counselor, program administrator, and staff-development specialist. Presently, she presents seminars internationally on developing Adaptive Schools and Organizations, Cognitive Coaching, enhancing presentation effectiveness and meeting facilitation skills. She also provides polarity management training, which supports organizations in identifying and managing competing tensions inherent in social systems.
Dr. Maria Armstrong
Dr. Maria Armstrong is executive director of the Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents (ALAS). Maria has worked in education for 28 years including as a high school teacher, counselor, migrant program liaison, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and as superintendent of the Woodland Joint Unified School District near Sacramento. After retirement, she worked for a year with the Puerto Rico Department of Education to develop its role in optimizing learning and outcomes for its more than 365,000 students.
Her career path serves as an inspirational story to many as it is one of those roads less travelled. As a young single mom, Dr. Armstrong earned her GED before going on to attain her bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix, a Master of Arts degree in Education from Azusa Pacific University and Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne. She is also an avid cyclist and golfer.