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Leading for Equity: Building an Incremental Equity Agenda

Thursday, January 28, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

Leading for Equity

Presented by Dr. Aaron Spence, Superintendent, Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VA), and Dr. LaQuiche R. Parrott, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VA)
Moderated by Dr. Valerie Truesdale, Assistant Executive Director, AASA, The School Superintendents Association

Hosted by AASA, The School Superintendents Association 
AASA’s Leadership Network, providing premier professional learning for educational leaders

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Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.
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Please watch Dr. Aaron Spence and Dr. LaQuiche R. Parrott as they share Virginia Beach City Public Schools’ strategic framework, Compass to 2025, a five-year plan focused on six goals: educational excellence; student well-being; student ownership of learning; an exemplary, diversified workforce; mutually supportive partnerships; and organizational effectiveness and efficiency. Developed with significant stakeholder input, Compass to 2025 is a true roadmap for teaching and learning in the school division. Dr. Spence and his team are staunch advocates of equity, emphasizing that every student—regardless of economic status, race or zip code—should be provided the learning experiences and the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to succeed. Equity is embedded across all six goals of Compass to 2025 as the school division strives to help achieve student, workforce and organizational success over the next five years.

Essential questions for discussion include:

  • Virginia Beach City Public Schools has a new equity policy. How do districts begin the work on adopting an equity policy?
  • What processes and procedures are needed for districts to ensure the success of ALL students?
  • What are the initial action steps for all school leaders to ensure staff have 100% ownership for ALL students learning?

Viewers will learn about strategies to address systemic disparities and inequities in order to benefit all students. This recorded presentation will be of particular value to school superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring leaders.


Aaron SpenceAbout the Presenters

A passionate and visionary leader in public education for nearly three decades, Dr. Aaron Spence is committed to ensuring that all students have access to the rigorous coursework, innovative learning opportunities and resources they need to prepare them for success in college, the military or the workforce. Dr. Spence has served as Superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) since June 2014, responsible for the instructional leadership and administrative operation of 86 schools and centers that serve more than 67,000 students. He is credited with creating and fostering a work culture where differences are celebrated, and the input and opinions of more than 10,000 employees are welcomed and valued.

During his time in Virginia Beach, Dr. Spence has led division efforts to systematically address equity and poverty issues and their resulting impacts on academic achievement, student engagement and discipline. In selecting Dr. Spence as the 2018 Virginia Superintendent of the Year, the Virginia Association of School Superintendents cited his strategies as a “textbook example of leadership necessary to make large-scale changes in an organization that produce significant changes and positive results.”

Examples of that strategic work include an intentional focus on equity at both the division and school level; an analysis of high poverty areas in relation to location of schools struggling to meet accreditation benchmarks; and the development of a new tiered school improvement support model. Additionally, Dr. Spence took a detailed review of disproportionalities in discipline data (specifically for African American students and students with special needs) and established a Student Discipline Task Force made up of teachers, administrators, parents and community members. This task force was charged with reducing the number of suspensions administered throughout the division; closing the disproportionate gaps that existed in the number of suspensions and/or expulsions; and maximizing instructional time for all students in the classroom.

As a result of these and other ongoing efforts, VBCPS has been 100 percent accredited for four consecutive years, discipline reports showcase a decline in referrals and suspensions, and more students are enrolled in and achieving at higher levels in honors and advanced classes than ever before.


Dr. LaQuiche R. Parrott

Dr. LaQuiche Parrott is the director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Virginia Beach City Public School. Dr. Parrott leads the development and implementation of proactive diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in support of the Division’s strategic plan to create a teaching and learning environment where all have an opportunity to succeed. She works across offices, departments, and community members to assess, identify, and address inequitable practices and procedures that have historically or are currently resulting in inequities of opportunities for students and staff. Dr. Parrott champions the value of diverse and inclusive teaching and learning environments and leads the development of a vision and effective strategy to create a culture for diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Prior to the role as director, she served as an elementary school principal and taught at the elementary level.

She is a proud graduate of a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Virginia State University. She completed her Master of Education degree from Regent University, along with an endorsement in Educational Leadership.  She earned her Doctor of Education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Dr. Parrott is active outside of the division in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and serves on the board of a non-profit organization focused on eliminating racism.


Valerie TruesdaleAbout the Host

Dr. Valerie Truesdale joined AASA early in 2019 as the assistant executive director responsible for guiding leadership development services and programs. With years of experience in the superintendency and roles in instructional technology, she knows that AASA’s Leadership Network can be a substantial resource for school leaders trying to keep pace with the rapidly changing delivery of K-12 education.


Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.

Join the Leading for Equity community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


The AASA Leadership Network drives superintendent success, innovation, and growth, shaping the future of public education while preparing students for what’s next. We are the largest, most diverse network of superintendents in America. Passionate and committed, we connect educational leaders to the professional learning, leadership development, relationships, and partnerships they need to ensure a long career of impact.



Thursday, January 28, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST
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