Job Title & Organization OR What I’m Doing Now: Chief Operating Officer – Columbus City Schools
Why I Do What I Do: My parents lived through the civil rights movement in Montgomery, Alabama during the 1950s and 1960s. So, I grew up in a household where they taught me the importance of social justice for all and a commitment to public service as a core value. I do what I do because I believe to the core of my existence the phrase by Marian Wright Edelman; Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.
Favorite Glenn School Class and/or Professor: I enjoyed all of my classes, but if I had to identify one or two, it would be Organization Theory with Dr. Bob Backoff, Public Policy Analysis with Dr. Mary Marvel, and Public Economics with Dr. Charles Adams.
Last Good Book Read: Organizing for Learning: Strategies for Knowledge Creation and Enduring Change by Dr. Daniel H. Kim.
Last Good Movie Seen: Bright Road, starring Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte and Philip Hepburn
Hobbies: Sports, Music, Watching old movies
Latest Personal or Professional Accomplishment: The development and passage of Governor Ted Strickland’s education reforms in House Bill 1.
Favorite Quote (most meaningful, describes who you are, philosophy you live by, etc.): “When you wake up in the morning, it’s a good day. Everything else after that is gravy!”
What was your motivation for attending the Glenn School? I wanted to pursue a career in academia as a professor and researcher.
What is your favorite Glenn School memory? The conversations with professors outside of the classroom about their experiences and knowledge of various subjects will stay with me forever.
Briefly describe your career path and how you ended up with the job you currently have? I began my career as a professor in the old School of Public Policy. I wanted to experience the actual development and implementation of policy, so I left my faculty position to join the Ohio School Boards Association as an education researcher and policy analyst. After a couple of years in that position, I transferred to the Association’s government affairs department to become the Deputy Director of Legislative Services. I left the Association after five years to join Columbus City Schools as the supervisor of legislative services. I was promoted within a couple of years to the position of Special Assistant to the Superintendent for Board Services and Government affairs. I was with the school district for about five years when I joined the Governor’s office in 2007 as his Executive Assistant for Education Policy. I returned to Columbus City Schools as the Chief Operating Officer in January 2011.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to current and future Glenn School students? Really take the time in class and out of class to probe the wisdom and knowledge of your professors about their expertise. This is also a wonderful time for students to truly become scholars in their chosen areas of expertise. Use your time wisely to really explore your intellectual interests.
What is the most valuable thing you took away from your Glenn School experience? You have to be committed to your principles and pursue excellence at all times.
What would your Glenn School classmates be most surprised to know about you now? I served as Governor Ted Strickland’s Education Policy Advisor.