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Leading for Equity: The Petersburg City Public Schools’ Story – Using Practices and Partnerships to Move the Equity Agenda

Thursday, March 11, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

Leading for Equity

Presented by Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin, Superintendent, Petersburg 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

Watch the Recording Listen to the Podcast

Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.
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Petersburg City Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin, leads staff, parents and community members to answer one important essential question, “What would you want for every child?” Petersburg City Public Schools is an urban school district located near Richmond, Virginia with approximately 4,100 students. Though the school district has 75.26% of students who are considered economically disadvantaged, the school district does not see that as a barrier to access and opportunities for students. During this edWebinar,  hear about resources that have been provided to students and their families so that the “playing field” is leveled for in-school and at-home instruction. Also hear about the process used to ensure that high school graduates have a high school diploma and a “plus.” The goal of the Diploma Plus Initiative for Petersburg City Public Schools is to increase access to high-demand career pathways, to remove barriers to postsecondary success and to positively impact the area’s workforce development initiative.

Essential questions include:

  • What do students need in their homes to support their learning and how do districts leverage resources to meet those needs?
  • How do school districts ensure students are receiving access and support that they did not have before the pandemic?
  • Why is working with the community essential to finding missing pieces in student learning, filling the gaps, and celebrating student success?

This recorded presentation will be of particular value to school superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring leaders.


Maria Pitre-MartinAbout the Presenter

Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin was appointed Superintendent of Petersburg City Public Schools on July 1, 2019. With public education experience spanning three decades, she has served in leadership positions at the school, district and state levels and—before coming to Petersburg—served as Deputy State Superintendent for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Dr. Pitre-Martin served for three years as Superintendent of Thomasville City Schools, a North Carolina district with 2,500 students, 93% of whom qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. During her time in Thomasville, the school district was named to the College Board’s AP® District Honor Roll for increasing participation in Advanced Placement classes and improving student success on AP exams. During her tenure, Thomasville’s graduation rate increased 12% to an all-time high and the district saw double-digit gains in test scores.

Before Thomasville, Dr. Pitre-Martin was the state director of K-12 curriculum and instruction for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She has served as the chief academic officer for the School District of Philadelphia, which is one of the 10 largest school districts in the nation. She also served as an assistant superintendent for the East Baton Rouge Parish School System in her home state of Louisiana.

Earlier positions included Director of Research and Staff Development for the Fort Bend Independent School District in Sugar Land, Texas, and Principal of Oakwood Intermediate School in College Station, Texas. Dr. Pitre-Martin became one of the youngest principals to be named President of the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals and was named the Texas Middle School Principal of the Year.

She began her career teaching English, drama and speech at Northside High School in Lafayette, Louisiana, where she also coached speech and debate teams.

Dr. Pitre-Martin earned her Ph.D. in educational administration from Texas A&M University. She earned her master’s degree in organizational communication and her bachelor’s degree in speech education from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. She is a graduate of the Broad Academy for educational leaders.


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, March 11, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST
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