Columbus City Schools hires first Chief Equity Officer

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus City Schools has hired Dr. Dionne A. Blue, Chief Diversity Officer for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC), as its first Chief Equity Officer.

The position is newly created by Columbus City Schools (CCS) Superintendent and CEO Dr. Talisa Dixon. Dr. Blue will work closely with Dr. Dixon in leading the district’s efforts to address equity and inclusion for all students, families, employees, and community. 

“Equity is such an important issue, not just for our schools, but for our nation,” said Dr. Blue. “I look forward to working with administrators, teachers, and staff to improve outcomes for the district and close opportunity gaps for all CCS students and families. I am excited to join the CCS team.”

Dr. Blue will serve as a member of the superintendent’s cabinet participating in the creation and execution of the district’s vision, mission, and strategic plan priorities, including the following: Academic Performance; Culture and Climate; Talent Management; and Strategic Engagement.

“We must be forward thinking and proactive in addressing the equities and disparities that persist within our school district,” said Dr. Dixon. “Equity and cultural competency are priorities for Columbus City Schools and the Board of Education.”

Dr. Blue currently serves as the Chief Diversity Officer for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC), where she is responsible for creating and implementing a comprehensive and collaborative vision for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the third-largest school district in Indiana.

On a mission to create equitable outcomes for all students, she is focused on improving student opportunities and addressing disproportionality.

Before taking her role as Chief Diversity Officer at EVSC, Dr. Blue gained experience providing technical assistance to urban schools across Ohio as a program officer on the Gates Foundation’s Small Schools Initiative at KnowledgeWorks Foundation in Cincinnati.

As a previous higher education professional turned K-12 administrator, Dr. Blue has developed a unique perspective on ways to build more cohesive systems to help all students be more successful from preschool through post-secondary education.

Her work has influenced teachers, K-12 administrators, and other staff to broaden the definition of and approach to equity both inside and outside of the classroom. Aside from professional development for teachers and staff, she is also responsible for ensuring equity and inclusion within district policies and processes across all areas of the school corporation, including minority business utilization, curriculum development, teacher recruitment/retention, and family/community engagement.

Dr. Blue earned her Ph.D. in Integrated Teaching and Learning from The Ohio State University, where her research focused on racial identity development and the impact of social contexts on education. She received a Master’s Degree in Literacy Education from Washington State University, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Spelman College, where she majored in English and minored in Spanish. 

Dr. Blue has written a number of publications, serves on both local and national boards, including the YWCA Evansville and the National Endowment for Financial Education. She is a member of several organizations for professionals in educational research, multicultural education and diversity. 

Dr. Blue will begin her assignment with the district in August.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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