THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED IN OUR FIRST ELECTION!
It is our pleasure to announce that through votes of affirmation, ESJ members confirmed candidates to Board positions as follows:
Cryslynn Billingsley, Ph.D., Vice President of the Board I currently serve as assistant principal at Jennings Senior High & College Prep Academy. Previously, I taught middle school students English at Parkway Northeast Middle School. I recently finished my Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis where I also earned my Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Educational Specialist degrees, and I am also a certified cognitive coach through Thinking Collaborative. I piloted, with a small group of teachers, the changes in grading from traditional to Standards-Based which led to a district-wide shift in assessment practices so that all students have the opportunity to show what they know and can do. I introduced Genius Hour learning in my classroom and it evolved into school-wide experiences around students finding ways to create legacy which supports the school’s character education initiatives. My writing and educational practices have been featured in Educational Leadership, AMLE magazine, Marshall Memo, Mindsetworks.com, Rethinking Grading, and Digital Reading: What’s Essential in Grades 3-8. I consult with schools and businesses over various professional development topics like racial equity, character development, systems efficiency, capacity building, event planning, and public relations. I am the director of a Cultural Leadership Camp where students engage in concepts involving civil rights, social justice, service, self-awareness, leadership skills and tools to enable them to recognize and resolve issues of discrimination and inequality. With my administrative team, we host a quarterly Speakeasy: Urban Education in connection with UMSL with educators from across the St. Louis area. I am interested in being an ESJ Board member because I have had the opportunity to work with a variety of students with intersectional identities and challenges in contrasting educational systems and have aided in helping set up sustainable systems that bring students in rather than push them out. Helping students and educators find ways to navigate the spaces they choose successfully has been a passion of mine having been a desegregation student myself as part of my educational experience. The variety of lenses I have would be my contribution to the board.
Dr. Shanise Terrell, Board Member at Large, 2-year term I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri by a loving mother and supportive father. My early education took place in the catholic school systems and later in the St. Louis Public Schools magnet school program. After high school I received my Bachelors of Arts degree in Elementary Education, later receiving two Masters of Art degrees, one in Curriculum & Instruction from Maryville University and the second from Lindenwood University in Educational Leadership. I am consistently seeking to grow as an educator and in December 2018 I received my Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Maryville University. In order to change the world, I believe supporting, growing and challenging young people is our greatest hope. As a leader, I work hard at providing a culture and climate where students feel nurtured, challenged and loved. I work with several different agencies to provide resources to our families and students, volunteer with students on Thanksgiving to serve those in need, and established a service program for our community entitled “Pennies with a Purpose”. Throughout my 23 years in education I have continuously pursued opportunities for me to engage in work that will promote equity and social justice. I have received training & certification in ABAR (Anti-Bias Anti Racism), received training in Social Justice & Culturally Responsive Teaching as well as led district administration and educators through sessions to improve equity in education and culturally responsive teaching methods. These trainings have aided in my work as a leader to ensure that equity for all is at the forefront of district decisions. I have presented at numerous conferences, such as the International Model Schools Conference, where I led sessions focused on a leadership framework, school branding, and shifting the culture of a school. I am extremely proud of the knowledge I gained by participating in the two-year cohort of the National Institute of School Leaders in conjunction with the Missouri Leadership Academy. The knowledge gained through the two-year program propelled my work as a leader to take a stand for students who are disenfranchised. I am grateful for my work as PBIS trainer and model school obtaining state gold medal recognition as a building principal and eventually receiving the NAACP Benjamin Hooks Award for Educational Leadership. I look forward to continuing my work in education and to serve in a capacity where I can assist in growing others in the work of social justice.
Carol Lickenbrock, Board Member at Large, 2-year term In 2006, I returned from Japan, where I had been teaching English at Fukuyama University. Since then, I have been working with emerging bilinguals, their families and teachers at Parkway Northeast Middle School. My ongoing doctoral research has focused on engaging middle school English learners in critical literacy, in understanding words as a source of both disempowerment and empowerment. The objective is that my students will use language not only to become adept at what is currently termed academic language, but to bring their literary strengths into the school discourse. I have B.A. from Grinnell College, an M.A.T. from School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, and expect to complete a Ph.D. at UMSL within the year. I have worked with ESJ on the conference planning committee for the last four conferences and was a co-chair of the silent auction last year. In my work with ESJ on breaking the school to prison pipeline, I initiated relationships with Metropolitan Congregations United, We Can, and Keep Kids in the Classroom. With my own students I have implemented student-led restorative circles, mediation to repair harm between students and other students or their teachers, and outside the classroom I have sought training in trauma-informed care. Even with all this, it’s hard to keep all students in the classroom thriving. I would like to create a group of educators within ESJ to learn and support each other as we figure out how to change a system that has so disproportionately disadvantaged students of color. My strength is in seeing issues and plans holistically. As a board member, I would bring that skill, and my experience, to planning and decision-making processes.
Sherita Love, Board Member at Large, 3-year term Sherita Love began her career in education in the Webster Groves School District before moving into curriculum, program and staff development with YMCA Community Development Programs. Aside from Sherita’s role as a director with the YMCA, she was a national trainer with the Y of the USA in Leadership and Diversity & Inclusion courses for professional staff, served on the Multicultural Mentorship Committee with the YMCA of the USA and the Diversity and Inclusion Council with the Gateway Region YMCA. There, Sherita developed the current model for Diversity, Inclusion and Global strategy for the staff in St. Louis and Southwest Illinois. She continues to serve on the board of the O'Fallon Park Rec YMCA in St. Louis and on the WEDO (Women Empowered to End Disparities in Obesity) board of the Community Development YMCA. After her time at the Y, Sherita joined Diversity Awareness Partnership, a nonprofit in St. Louis focused on increasing awareness, facilitating engagement and providing education about diversity and inclusion managing youth programs like Give Respect, Get Respect (an anti-bias program), EXPLORE (STEM Career Immersion Programs) and the Diverse-City Art Competition. Sherita currently serves as the Manager of the Education Hub (EdHub STL) at Innovation Hall powered by Venture Cafe St. Louis. She is also the founder of ExpandED Equity Collaborative where she works to close education opportunity gaps in collaboration with educators and community, as the co-founder of GLAMM (Girls Lead and Make Moves) promoting education and empowerment for young women of color, advisory board member for Blessed Teresa of Calcutta School, board member of Connected Learning and as a consultant with a lens for supporting girls and students of color with STEMpact’s STEM Teacher Quality Institute, a comprehensive professional development program for teachers in our region focused on "stemitizing" classroom curriculum with Washington University.
Trevor Hicks, Board Member at Large, 3-year term Trevor Hicks is a senior at Harris-Stowe State University studying Secondary Education with a concentration in Social Science. Trevor is a program assistant at SkipNV where he provides support to the SkipNV team with community-based research and directly supports Education Hub (EdHub STL) at Innovation Hall for events, special projects, and the EdHub fellowship. Trevor’s social justice journey started when he co-founded the social justice club at Ritenour High School. As a member of the social justice club, Trevor was tasked with school improvement, community engagement, and transforming the school environment into one that was more inclusive and equitable. For the past five years, Trevor has worked with the Social System Design Lab (SSDL) at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. While with the SSDL, Trevor was part of a cohort that used systems thinking and group model building to design and facilitate multiple youth summits with high schoolers around St. Louis focused around the issues of structural racism in schools, gun violence, youth homelessness, and educational equity. He has also been invited to speak and facilitate systems thinking sessions using group model building with educators and students as a program assistant and in his role as an associate with the Waters Foundation. As a board member of Educators for Social Justice I will be able to contribute my experience with engaging youth with systems thinking, while building their leadership and advocacy capacities.