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AASA Leading for Equity: Innovative Action and Equity-Driven Processes for Student Success

Thursday, May 6, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

Leading for Equity

Presented by Dr. Darin Brawley, Superintendent, Compton Unified School District (CA), and Michele Dawson, Senior Director, Technology and Innovation, Compton Unified School District (CA)
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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Watch Dr. Darin Brawley, Superintendent, Compton Unified School District (CUSD), as he shares how his school district has eliminated the opportunity gap for students in the area of technology by focusing on STEAM initiatives with partners such as Digital Promise, Apple, Verizon, Boeing, Microsoft, and Google. Dr. Brawley is committed to continuous improvement in relation to the core mission of education. CUSD is building a pipeline of PreK-12 students who are prepared for STEAM majors and career opportunities. Learn how CUSD was able to pivot and create a virtual STEM program during the COVID-19 pandemic, engage in an equity-driven process to build a STEAM culture, develop STEAM learning pathways for engagement, and raise parents’ awareness through community events.

Viewers will be exposed to CUSD’s core beliefs and countering implicit bias that shapes the need for equitable STEAM pathways. Viewers will walk away with a deeper understanding of the impact of lower proportions of African American, Latino, and female students that are proficient in math and science, compared to their peers, and how that affects their opportunities to pursue higher education in these fields.

CUSD’s Senior Director of Technology and Innovation, Michele Dawson, discusses student engagement with an interactive AR/VR experience of STEAM pathways and parent engagement in community STEAM events. Viewers will experience how early and consistent exposure of STEM education creates college and career opportunities for students of color. Viewers will leave with models and ideas that can be implemented immediately in schools.

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


Darin BrawleyAbout the Presenters

Dr. Darin Brawley, Compton Unified School District’s (CUSD) Superintendent, has been with the district since 2012. He has led the turnaround in student performance in CUSD which has seen both test scores and graduation rates increase.

Dr. Brawley received his doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Southern California. He has a Master of Arts in educational leadership from California State University, San Bernardino, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Redlands.
He has served as a superintendent for the past eight years. His experience in education includes serving as a high school teacher, middle school assistant principal, elementary principal, middle school principal, director of human resources, executive director of human resources, deputy superintendent of student learning, and superintendent.

Prior to his appointment as Superintendent in Compton, Dr. Brawley served as a superintendent in the Adelanto Elementary School District for three years. In addition to this, he served as Deputy Superintendent of Student Learning for three years prior to his role as a superintendent.

Dr. Brawley has been instrumental in exiting several schools from program improvement. Under his leadership, two schools have been awarded National Blue Ribbon status. Several schools have received Title I Performing Schools recognition, as well as California Distinguished School Awards. He is committed to continuous improvement in relation to the core mission of education.


Michele DawsonMichele Dawson has 25 years of experience as a teacher, administrator, and technology director. She earned a master’s degree in leading for equity, achievement and democracy. Currently, she serves as Senior Director of Technology and Innovation for the Compton Unified School District (CUSD) where she leads 21st century learning, technology integration, and organizational management, as well as the CUSD Computer Science Initiative. As an accomplished grant writer, Michele was accepted to the League of Innovative Schools, awarded the VILS grant and wrote the EETT competitive grant for PBL with Multimedia, for which she garnered the CSBA Golden Bell Award. Recently she authored and received the RISE Award (Recognizing Innovative Strategies in Equity) for Compton from the National School Board Association (NSBA). Michele is committed to closing the achievement gap for underserved students through the lens of equity and social justice.


Valerie TruesdaleAbout the Moderator

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.


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Thursday, May 6, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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