District Seeks Diversity ; Nationally, Teacher Turnover Still Higher among Minorities

By Llopis-Jepsen, Celia | The Topeka Capital-Journal, December 6, 2015 | Go to article overview

District Seeks Diversity ; Nationally, Teacher Turnover Still Higher among Minorities


Llopis-Jepsen, Celia, The Topeka Capital-Journal


Shawnie Guillen Hays, a Topeka teacher of more than 20 years, is eyeing a career in school administration. A few years ago, she says, the thought was far from her mind.

"I really was comfortable in the classroom," said Guillen Hays, who works at Williams Science and Fine Arts Magnet School, where her duties include mentoring new teachers and helping them and other educators improve their instruction techniques. "I just loved working with kids."

Her passion for teaching hasn't changed, but Guillen Hays says a program at Topeka Unified School District 501 piqued her interest in exploring other roles within her field, and is helping her hone the skills necessary to do so.

In 2011, USD 501 launched its Minority Leadership Academy, an initiative spearheaded by deputy superintendent Larry Robbins with support from the school board. The goal is to diversify leadership voices within the district and attract more teachers of color by demonstrating USD 501's interest in providing opportunities for professional growth.

About 60 percent of USD 501 students identify as Hispanic, African-American, Native American, Asian or multiracial. By contrast, 89 percent of teachers and other certified staff are white, and 85 percent of administrators are.

Four percent of the certified staff and 4 percent of the administrators are Hispanic, compared with 30 percent of the students. Three percent of the certified staff and 11 percent of the administrators are African-American, compared with 19 percent of the students.

Organizations ranging from the National Education Association teachers union to chapters of the NAACP have called for more racial and cultural diversity in U.S. schools. Proponents argue a diverse staff can help bolster curricular relevance, classroom engagement and ultimately academic outcomes for students of color, to alleviate the ongoing gap in educational attainment rates for minorities.

Robbins says he believes investing in local talent is part of achieving such a goal.

"The very first place that we should start is right here in our own backyard," said Robbins, "in terms of developing leadership capacity."

School board president Patrick Woods says he believes the academy is helping teacher recruiting efforts by signaling that doors are open for professional development.

"We want people from every single background," Woods said. "From every demographic in the community that we serve."

After joining the Minority Leadership Academy, Guillen Hays, who is Hispanic, says she underwent training at USD 501 and Westar Energy, which has a leadership training partnership with the district. This, she says, helped her realize her strengths as a potential leader and address her weaknesses.

She says she began seeking out leadership opportunities, such as handling training for USD 501 kindergarten teachers, and switched from her job of 19 years -- classroom teacher -- to her more recent role as instructional coach.

"It has given me the opportunity to really work with teachers and to help them improve their own instruction," she said, "and that's what I really love about my current job. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

District Seeks Diversity ; Nationally, Teacher Turnover Still Higher among Minorities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.