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AASA Leading for Equity: Equity-Based Strategic Planning – A Commitment to Racial and Educational Justice

Thursday, April 15, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

Leading for Equity

Presented by Dr. Michelle Reid, Superintendent, Northshore School District (WA), and 2021 AASA National Superintendent of the Year; Ayva Thomas, Assistant Director, Racial and Educational Justice, Northshore School District (WA); Dr. Srinivas Khedam, Assistant Principal and Asian Indian Coordinator, Northshore School District (WA); and Cathi Davis, Principal, Ruby Bridges Elementary (WA)
Moderated by Dr. Dan Domenech, 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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In this recorded edWebinar, AASA’s 2021 National Superintendent of the Year and Northshore School District Superintendent, Dr. Michelle Reid, shares how an equity-based strategic plan is the foundation on which an entire school district—students, staff, families, school board, volunteers and community partners—continues to develop its work, curricula, professional development, and plans for the future.

Joining Dr. Reid to discuss how the strategic plan holds the Northshore School District community accountable in its commitment to racial and educational justice are Ayva Thomas, Assistant Director of Northshore’s Racial and Educational Justice Department, Dr. Srinivas Khedam, Assistant Principal and Asian Indian Coordinator, and Cathi Davis, Principal at Northshore’s Ruby Bridges Elementary School. Viewers will learn Northshore’s approach to changing hearts and changing minds as they’ve continued to bring the commitment to racial and educational justice off the page even during COVID-19. The recorded panel will discuss an organized and strategic approach, including a school board policy, an equity framework, professional development, and engagement in every school and department in the district.

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


Michelle ReidAbout the Presenters

Dr. Michelle Reid is now serving in her 40th year in K-12 education. She was named Superintendent of the Northshore School District in June 2016 and is former Superintendent of the South Kitsap School District. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Superintendent, District Athletic Director and high school Principal in the Port Angeles School District. She has also served as a leadership facilitator at the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership and the Harvard Institute for School Leadership.

Dr. Reid received her doctorate in educational leadership and her master’s in educational administration from the University of Washington. She received her bachelor’s degree in natural science/chemistry from the University of Puget Sound. In November 2020, Dr. Reid was named 2021 Washington State Superintendent of the Year by the Washington Association of School Administrators. In February, she was named 2021 National Superintendent of the Year by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

In Dr. Reid’s five years of leadership in Northshore, the district has developed a more equitable screening process for the Highly Capable Program, consistently improved graduation rates, launched the process for an ethnic studies curriculum, formalized a department that focuses on racial and educational justice, increased community voice through a student board, strengthened partnerships, held regular meetings with diverse communities and expanded access to advisory committees and task forces.


Ayva Thomas

Ayva Thomas is the Assistant Director of the Racial and Educational Justice Department for the Northshore School District. As a representative of the Racial and Educational Justice Department, she and her team believe it is important for Northshore to shift and rethink power, diminish institutional barriers, build collaborative partnerships and solidarities, foster justice-driven adaptive change, and shift leadership and pedagogical lenses through scholar-practitioner frameworks. Through her work, Ayva grounds her praxis at the intersections of Black feminist thought, cultural studies, critical pedagogy, and educational leadership and policy.

Ayva holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in community psychology and Master of Arts degree in cultural studies from the University of Washington Bothell. She also obtained her Program Administrative Certification from the Danforth Educational Leadership Program at the University of Washington, Seattle. Through the graduate research she completed in her cultural studies program, Ayva theorized and examined the need to cultivate affinity-based spaces in school through Black girlhood studies as an approach to emancipatory love and education for and with Black girls.


Srinivas KhedamDr. Srinivas Khedam is an assistant principal and Asian Indian coordinator in the Northshore School District. He has been serving the Northshore School District community for the past four years. Prior to his current position, he was a teacher and administrator in South Seattle Catholic schools for 14 years. Before moving to the United States, he taught in New Zealand for seven years and for six years in India.

As a life-long learner, Dr. Khedam pursues academic and spiritual learning every day. He believes that young people have tremendous potential and educators can help them to become valuable and contributing members of society even during their K-12 education. For this reason, he works with community leaders to support and mentor youth, especially in academic, social, spiritual, and mental health areas.

Dr. Khedam is passionate about equity and social justice work. It is his passion that encouraged him to become the leader of a non-profit organization that serves the local and international community, mainly India, in education, health, and environment. He strongly believes that with hard work and dedication we can eliminate the inequities in schools and communities. He feels privileged to work for Northshore School District because he is able to do equity and social justice work under Dr. Reid’s leadership.


Cathi DavisCathi Davis is the principal of Ruby Bridges Elementary located in Woodinville, WA in the Northshore School District. This elementary school is a Washington State demonstration site for inclusive practices in partnership with the University of Washington Haring Center. The school opened officially during the 2020-2021 school year and serves approximately 500 students in a fully inclusive setting.

Cathi has served as an elementary principal for nine years. Prior to her selection as the founding principal of Ruby Bridges Elementary, she led Kokanee Elementary School, one of just a dozen schools recognized as inclusive practices demonstration sites in the state of Washington. As an experienced educator with close to 20 years of practice teaching and leading in the K-8 setting, Cathi has a breadth of experience specific to reading intervention, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, racial and educational justice and inclusive education. She has worked in classroom, interventionist, instructional coaching and administrator roles in a variety of school settings and with a diverse demographic of students and families.

Cathi has earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (2001), a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy with a focus on social and cultural foundations of education (2006) and a K-12 Principal credential from the University of Washington’s Danforth Educational Leadership Program (2008). She will complete her Superintendent’s credential in May 2021 and is currently earning her doctorate in educational leadership with a focus on the intersection of building and systems leadership with inclusive education practices.


Dan DomenechAbout the Moderator

Dr. Daniel A. Domenech has served as Executive Director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association since July 2008. Dr. Domenech has more than 36 years of experience in public education, 27 of those years served as a school superintendent.

Prior to joining AASA, Dr. Domenech served as Senior Vice President for National Urban Markets with McGraw-Hill Education. In this role, he was responsible for building strong relationships with large school districts nationwide.

Prior to his position at McGraw-Hill, Dr. Domenech served for seven years as Superintendent of the Fairfax County Public Schools (VA), the 12th largest school system in the nation with 168,000 students.

Dr. Domenech, an AASA member since 1979, served as President of AASA from July 1998 to June 1999. He is also a past president of the New York State Council of School Superintendents, the Suffolk County Superintendents Association, and the Suffolk County Organization for Promotion of Education. He was the first president and co-founder of the New York State Association for Bilingual Education.

In addition, Dr. Domenech has served on the U.S. Department of Education’s National Assessment Governing Board, the advisory board for the Department of Defense schools, the board of directors of the Association for the Advancement of International Education, the Board of Overseers for the Baldrige Award and the boards of the Institute for Educational Leadership, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Sea Research Foundation, and Education Policy Institute. Currently, he serves on the boards of the Learning First Alliance, National Student Clearinghouse, Center for Naval Analyses, Horace Mann Educators Corporation, ACT, and USAC, and as Board Chair for Communities in Schools of Virginia.

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.


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Thursday, April 15, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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