Diversifying Virginia’s Educator Pipeline

Secretary of Education Dietra Trent established the Teacher Diversity Taskforce in late 2016, because like the rest of the country, Virginia is facing a rapidly-growing teacher shortage and a shrinking pool of candidates that is increasingly less diverse. Formed in partnership with the National Governor’s Association, the Taskforce was charged with developing recommendations to increase diversity in Virginia’s teaching workforce. It comprised of educators, superintendents, human resource professionals, higher education teacher preparation program administrators, and state level policy staff.

Over the course of 9 months, the Taskforce met, discussed the nuance of this challenge and identified possible solutions. In August 2017, they approved a list of final recommendations and presented those to Governor McAuliffe, Secretary Trent, Dr. Billy Cannaday (Virginia Board of Education), Mr. Gil Minor (SCHEV Board), and Dr. Steve Staples (Va. Superintendent for Public Instruction).

The final report of the Task Force is now available here


Vision: All Virginia students benefit personally and intellectually when they learn from education professionals with a variety of racial, ethnic, socio-economic and religious backgrounds. We believe that there is value in all students learning from teachers with diverse backgrounds; and simultaneously recognize that research indicates there is a unique role teachers of color play in improving the lives of students of color.

The Challenge: Virginia’s educator workforce pipeline is becoming less diverse over time, a trend that must be reversed if our shared vision is to be achieved.  To achieve this, Virginia’s public education system must consistently offer students the opportunity to encounter and learn from education professionals representing racial and ethnic backgrounds that mirror that of the Commonwealth’s student population. 

The Goal of the Task Force: The Task Force will develop intentional strategies that will increase the diverse educator applicant pool, create strong professional pathways to licensure and employment, and support the retention of teachers of color, in particular African Americans and Hispanics, in the K-12 education workforce, which will in turn positively impact student achievement in Virginia.

Virginia Minority Educator Recruitment Pre-Summit

The inaugural Virginia Minority Educator Recruitment Pre-Summit was held on February 16, 2017 in Richmond in collaboration with the Virginia Education Associations Teachers of Color Summit. The event was held to highlight the importance of diversity in Virginia’s educator pipeline. Nearly 100 prospective educators attended the event – with most of them having been recruited from Virginia’s four HBCUs (Historical Black Colleges and Universities).

Representatives from more than 60 school divisions participated as well. A roundtable, moderated by Secretary Trent, was also held with Virginia’s HBCU presidents on the role they can play in helping to diversify Virginia’s educator pipeline. VDOE is planning to host a second Teacher’s of Color/Minority Recruitment Summit in the fall of 2017.

Other State Efforts to Address Teacher Shortages and Diversity

The Virginia Department of Education has joined with six other states on the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) Diversifying the Teacher Pipeline Action Group. This partnership is designed as a collaboration among states to develop a statewide implementation plan to increase diversity in the teaching workforce.

The Secretary has partnered with the UVA Curry School of Education and the UVA K-12 Advisory Council to host a statewide policy conversation about the teacher shortage on October 24, 2017 at the UVA Curry School of Education. Additional details can be found online here: http://education.virginia.gov/teacher-shortages/


Committee Resources Dropbox (Note: this link takes you to an outside website)

Past Meeting Documents


  • Dr. Rosa Atkins
    Charlottesville City Schools
  • Dr. Maurice Carter
    Call Me MISTER Program, Longwood University
  • Dr. Shandra Claiborne-Payton
    Coordinator of Program Admission, Professional Education Programs
    Virginia State University
  • Dr. Kawachi Clemons
    Special Assistant to the Provost
    Virginia State University
  • Dr. Bernice Cobbs
    Benjamin Franklin Middle School
  • Ms. Holly Coy
    Deputy Secretary of Education
    Governor's Office
  • Dr. Andrew Daire
    Dean, School of Education
    Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Mr. Juan Espinoza
    Director of Diversity and Access Initiatives
    Virginia Tech
  • Helen Fuqua Program Specialist
    Family and Consumer Sciences
    Virginia Department of Education James Monroe Building
  • Dr. Lynnell Gibson
    Granby High School
  • Dr. Laura Goe
    ETS Reseach Scientist, Teacher Assessment
    Educational Testing Service
  • Travis HolderM
    Licensure Manager
    Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Dr. Joan Johnson
    Director of Teacher Education
  • Ms. Brittany Jones
    John Marshall High School, Social Studies Teacher
    Graduate of Richmond Teacher Residency Program
  • Dr. Joy Lawson-Davis
    Chair, Department of Education
    Virginia Union University
  • Ms. Aida Lupe Pacheco
    Virginia Latino Advisory Board
  • Ms. Erin McGrath
    GEAR UP Senior Coordinator
    State Council for Higher Education in Virginia
  • Dr. Toney McNair, Jr.
    Virginia Teacher of the Year
    Indian River Middle School, Chesapeake City Public Schools
  • Dr. Missy Ogden
    Director, Educate VA
    Community College Workforce Alliance
  • Ms. Ethel Reeves
    Director of Engagement, Equity and Opportunity
    Lynchburg City Schools
  • Dr. Antoinette Rogers
    Director, Office of Teaching and Learning
    Virginia Education Association
  • Mr. Salvador Romero
    Virginia Board of Education Member and Coordinator of Family and Community Engagement
    Harrisonburg City Public Schools
  • Dr. Leon Rouson
    Executive Director, Teacher Preparation Support Program
    Norfolk State University
  • Bill Thomas
    Associate Vice President for Government Relations
    Hampton University
  • Mr. Frank Thornton
    NAACP, Henrico County
  • Ms. Leah Dozier Walker
    Community and Minority Affairs Liaison
  • Delegate Jeion Ward Delegate
    Retired Teacher, Hampton City Public Schools
    AFT - Hampton Roads
  • Derrick Womack
    Sandusky Elementary School
  • Ms. Kristen Young
    Monarch Teach
    Old Dominion University