“We are fortunate to have a person of Deborah’s great talent and commitment among our faculty. Following a lengthy and distinguished career as a public school leader, Deborah’s standing as a national and international education leader has only grown since she came to HGSE,” McCartney said in an email to the HGSE community. ”Deborah is shepherding the final cohorts of the Urban Superintendents Program through to completion and has made significant contributions to the development, launch, and implementation of the Ed.L.D. Program, teaching its central, required course in the first-year core curriculum. In addition, she frequently advises school leaders, districts, and education organizations across the country, and has served as the principal investigator of the partnership between HGSE and the Johannesburg University Education Leadership Institute.”
A former public school leader and educator with 32 years of experience, Jewell-Sherman becomes the first woman to hold the title of professor of practice at the Ed School.
"I very much appreciate this acknowledgement of my work by the illustrious faculty of our beloved HGSE and I intend to continue to empower with knowledge, to support through relationship, and to promote through networks the phenomenal students who yearly travel to Appian Way,” Jewell-Sherman said. “ In concert with colleagues and pivotal players in the education sector, I plan to continue the critical work of insuring our school's relevance and impact in addressing the seminal educational issues and challenges of our day, for 'to whom much is given, much is required'."
Over her career in public education, Jewell-Sherman worked as a classroom teacher, principal, and central office administrator. Following her time as an elementary school principal in Hampton City (Va.) Public Schools, she rose up the administrative ladder as an assistant, associate, and acting superintendent, before becoming superintendent in the Richmond City (Va.) Public Schools (RPS). During her seven-year tenure, she gained a national reputation as one of the most effective urban district superintendents in the country for her successful implementation of “Excellence For All,” a comprehensive strategic plan aimed at improving teaching and learning and promoting community engagement. When she left the superintendency in 2008, 95 percent of Richmond’s low-performing schools had achieved full accreditation under Virginia’s Standards of Learning reform legislation, compared with an 18 percent accreditation rate before she arrived. Her outstanding work earned her national recognition and numerous honors including being named 2009 Virginia Superintendent of the Year.
At the Ed School, where Jewell-Sherman started as a senior lecturer in 2008, she has continued to work on leadership development as both the director of the Urban Superintendents Program and a key faculty member in the Doctor of Education Leadership Program.
In 2012, Jewell-Sherman received the Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award from the American Association of School Administrators, which recognizes leaders who exemplify the qualities modeled by the late Dr. Effie Hall Jones, a veteran educator and AASA associate executive director.