Renee Racette, Ph.D., is an education professional with 13 years of experience with the St. Louis Public Schools. Starting as a chemistry teacher in 2005, she loved supporting students in learning about acid/base titrations and the periodic table. However, she realized she could make a greater impact in the lives of children outside of the classroom and began her school leadership journey. Spending time in both neighborhood (also known as comprehensive schools) and magnet schools, issues of equity and the unequal impacts of policy were highlighted in real time before her. This proved to be the spark behind her decision to complete a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. The desegregation plans in place in the St. Louis region have created a distinct system of separate and unequal schools that remains deeply entrenched in the status quo. As a school leader, she felt the limits of this system and recognized that it was going to require a different kind of advocacy to make the impact she desired.
Dr. Racette is currently serving as a fellow at the Illinois State Board of Education where she works in the Center for Teaching and Learning. She is involved in a multitude of projects there including the Diverse Learner Ready Teacher initiative, the reauthorization of the state Perkins plan, the Equity Advisory Work Group, and supporting the Early Childhood Education Division in writing the FY20 ECE Block Grants.