Latinx Leadership Initiative

August 1, 2017

Dr. Jim Watson, Dr. Debra Morris, Dr. Rebecca Shore represent core professors working within a school leadership masters and certificate program in the Cato College of Education, and two of us are former students of that program. We serve adult graduate students in a master's in school administration and certificate program leading to the principalship in North Carolina who work as teachers in PK-12 schools throughout a region which spans over 11 counties across our state. We take our program out to the surrounding counties to meet demand and over time we have developed a strong principal pipeline that graduates on average 50 new potential K-12 school administrators licensed as principals every year. We have worked to cultivate a diverse candidate pool of students from the region and African-American representation within our student population is high, matching with the K-12 student population ratio in our region’s schools. However, four years ago we found one area of our otherwise diverse student population to be sorely lacking; Latinx leaders. Background of the Problem In 2016, we noticed a striking lack of Latinx students in our school administration classes; in fact, there were none. We looked broader and found an extreme lack of Latinx leaders in our region’s schools. We traced the leadership problem to a lack of Latinx teachers in the region, the potential candidate pool for becoming our graduate students and future leaders, and then to a lack of Latinx teacher candidates in our university preparation programs, all at a time when the Latinx student population in the region was burgeoning. In 2010, the Latinx population in North Carolina was 8.4 percent; by 2019, that percentage had grown to 9.6, with the largest concentrations in urban Mecklenburg and Wake Counties and notable presence across the state’s more rural small towns (see Tippett, 2020). (We recently published an article chronicling the actions undergone for changing the important ratio within CMS to work toward equity and the result.) Our inquiry resulted in reverse partnerships with our students and their district leaders and led to the creation of a multi-directional pipeline for increasing representation in a school leadership candidate pool through a more personalized approach to data-sharing and inquiry. We became the learners as well as the leaders in this process of systemic change and saw significant increases of Latinx students in our programs and leaders in the regions' schools.

Shore, Rebecca, Jim Watson, Debra Morris, and Jillian J. La Serna. "Equity through Inquiry: One Region's Effort to Provide Students and their Teachers with Leaders in their Schools that Look like Them." PDS Partners 16, no. 2 (2021): 69-74.



Rebecca Shore
Associate Professor