A Culture of Inclusivity

Posted on April 07, 2022

Graduate School Students in workshop

Original Story, written by Margaret Moffitt, is available from our Transform Magazine.

Principals, superintendents, and other K-12 school administrators must be well-versed in many topics — current teaching methods, effective discipline, and current educational theory, policy, and philosophy, among others.

To be effective campus leaders these days, they also must understand the forces of social, economic, and educational equity as the schools they serve grow more diverse. Here’s a look at the work two faculty members are doing in these areas.

Having ‘courageous conversations’

When Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools wanted to groom its next generation of school leaders, officials in the district of about 52,000 students approached the School of Education (SOE) for help.

From those discussions came the Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, funded by the school district. Starting in January, UNC Greensboro faculty led the district’s assistant principals in discussions on leadership, building relationships, and transitioning into the role of principal.

The academy is co-led by Dr. Brian Clarida, a clinical associate professor of educational leadership and cultural foundations; and Dr. Donna Cox Peters, a UNC Greensboro alumna, executive leadership coach, and past chair of the SOE Advisory Board. The program’s six all-day sessions took place over several months.

Practical scholarship

Dr. Tiffanie Lewis-Durham grew up in a diverse Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood of Black residents and Hasidic Jews. When it came time to go off to college, Lewis-Durham picked the predominantly White Penn State University, largely because of the school’s powerhouse football team.

Lewis-Durham earned a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate at Penn State during a fraught time for minority students. Dozens of Black and Hispanic students had gotten racist emails, and some Black student leaders had received death threats. The university’s sluggish reaction triggered protests and a sit-in that lasted 10 days.

Those experiences helped shape the professional work of Lewis-Durham, an assistant professor of educational leadership and cultural foundations at UNC Greensboro since 2018.

Read more in our Transform Magazine. Explore the pages of this annual publication and discover how the work of our faculty, students, and alumni is having an impact not only at UNC Greensboro, but in our community, nation, and world.