KENTUCKY — Three teachers from across Kentucky have come together to bring more minority leadership opportunities to school districts across the Commonwealth.
What You Need To Know
- Three Kentucky educators hope to change the education system for the better
- Their group, Administors of Change, aims to increase diversity in Kentucky's education system
- Less than 5% of Kentucky educators are minorities according to the KDE
The Kentucky Department of Education reported that in the 2019-2020 school year, only 4.8% of teachers are minorities and even less are in leadership roles. Three teachers, including Marlow Hazard, Assistant Principal at Stevenson Elementary School in Russellville, decided to come together to be the change they were looking to see.
“Growing up I never saw a black male in any elementary school, so I never really thought that would be for me, until I begin to grown and really think about education, you know as a whole, I say I need to make some changes within the school system so you know the young men after me can aspire to be something great as well,” Hazard said.
Baron Darden, an Intervention Teacher at Stewart Academy in Jefferson County, and Neal Gibbs an Assistant Principal at College View Alternative School in Hardin County, joined Hazard in taking the School Leadership Licensure Assessment (SLLA) this past July.
The three started studying for the test with Dr. Stacy Leggett of Western Kentucky University via Zoom in March where they decided to get together to study on their own. Hazard and Darden had taken the test twice before, and they all figured that three minds was better than one.
Breaking down vocabulary words and focusing on the language of the test, the three men were able to pass the test in July and secure leadership positions by the 2020-2021 school year.
“When we started studying and we took the test, all three of us passed, so we knew we had something,” Gibbs said.
Once they passed the test they still kept in touch and after continuous conversation they decided to create Administrators of Change. The group's goal is to increase diversity in education around the Commonwealth. They mentor educators looking to take the SLLA and help them with test language as well as network about jobs and discuss the cultural issues surrounding diversity in Kentucky school districts.
“We just had to break those things down and learn the language and learn what words they were using, because a lot of times when we studied and looked up the words inside the test, we actually would look them up and figure out what they meant and bring them back to the test," Darden said.
"We want to see more of us you know not just cleaning the buildings, not just being security, not just being coaches and things like that, we wanted people to know that we can actually lead buildings. We can actually lead programs and we are more than the stigma and stereotype that's put on us."
All three men say they hope the A.O.C. will expand and grow through the years and their mentees will continue to pay it forward for years to come.
“We tell our mentees you know hey this is what you do, after you learn it, you go and you give back to help others so you won’t be continuing to be continually the only ones in our class,” Darden said.
The Administrators of Change is always looking to add new minority educators to their group. If you are interested you can reach out via e-mail.