Tyrone Howard is professor of education in the School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA. His research addresses issues tied to race, culture, access and educational opportunity for minoritized student populations. Professor Howard is the author of several best-selling books. He is a native of Compton, California where he also served as a classroom teacher. Professor Howard is a member of the National Academy of Education and has been listed by Education Week as one of the 30 most influential educational scholars in the nation on education practice, policy, and research. Professor Howard is currently the President-elect of the American Education Research Association, which is the nation’s largest organization focused on educational research and policy.
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Dionne Wells-Hedrington, Ed.D., is a distinguished educator from St. John, Virgin Islands, who has spent most of her career serving the island's children. During her more than 30 years in public education, she has held increasing leadership positions as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, interim superintendent, insular superintendent of schools, and chief operations officer at the Virgin Islands Department of Education. Presently, Dr. Wells-Hedrington serves as the Commissioner of Education.
Dr. Wells-Hedrington is guided by the belief that all children are inherently born with potential, and through the work of caring and skilled educators, each child can develop their gifts and talents.
Dr. Wells-Hedrington is a product of the Virgin Islands public education system and equally finds passion and purpose in ensuring students have safe, welcoming, and state-of-the-art school environments where they can learn and thrive. In her previous position as chief operations officer, she oversaw the development and rollout of the Department of Education's Educational Facility Master Plan and Industry Standards, a first in the Territory. The detailed documents will guide the new construction and modernization of U.S.V.I. public schools for years to come. In leading the extensive collaborative effort, Dr. Wells-Hedrington demonstrated her ability to work well with all facets of the local community, including subject matter experts, school and community groups, business owners, legislators, parents, and students.
As a life-long educator who understands and appreciates the power of education, Dr. Wells-Hedrington has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, a Master's degree in Education Supervision and Instruction, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.
Dr. Wells-Hedrington is a woman of strong faith who enjoys sharing God's Word and messages of hope and empowerment. She is the president of the Purposeful, Prayerful, Passionate Women's Empowerment Group and is an active member of the advisory council for V.I. Christian Ministries.