Senior Lecturer Deborah Jewell-Sherman was recently named a recipient of the 2012 Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). This award recognizes leaders who exemplify the qualities modeled by the late Dr. Effie Hall Jones, a veteran educator and AASA associate executive director. Jewell-Sherman will receive the award this week at the AASA National Conference on Education in Houston.
“Dr. Effie Jones was a stellar career educator, who used her considerable talents to maximize opportunities and successes for students and emerging system leaders, with a focus on significantly augmenting the senior leadership pool with more woman and people of color,” Sherman said. “Through the efforts of many, I have been mentored and supported, which has allowed me to serve in leadership positions that exceed even the most grandiose dreams of my youth. To be recognized for continuing the tradition of reaching back as one climbs is perhaps the highest tribute to those who believed that demography would not define my destiny. In their honor, I cannot and will not do less.”
Throughout her career, Jones maintained a professional and personal commitment to diversifying the field of education with high-quality leaders and to ensuring the best education for all students. The recipients of the honor given in her name have picked up the torch of equity and social justice and demonstrate its humanity in their lives. The award was first given in 2004 and recipients are selected by an external independent panel of AASA members and representatives from the National Alliance of Black School Educators and the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents.
Prior to joining the HGSE faculty, Jewell-Sherman served as superintendent of Richmond Public Schools, culminating in her being named Virginia Superintendent of the Year 2009 by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents. During her appointment, 95 percent of Richmond’s lowest performing schools achieved full accreditation under Virginia’s Standards of Learning reform legislation. In addition, the district improved from 18 percent to 91.7 percent of all schools meeting this standard as measured by the State Department of Education in 2008. Currently, Jewell-Sherman serves as the director of the Urban Superintendents Program and is the principal investigator for an initiative between the faculty of HGSE and the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Jewell-Sherman also serves as a key faculty member for the Doctor of Education Leadership Program (Ed.L.D.).