Gaëtane Jean-Marie, Ph.D. a native of Haiti, previously worked as the Dean of the College of Education and Richard O. Jacobson Endowed Chair of Leadership in Education at the University of Northern Iowa. She has a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Cultural Studies and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, M.A. in Criminal Justice and B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers, The State of New Jersey. Her research focuses on educational equity and social justice in K-12 schools, women and leadership in P-20 system, and leadership development and preparation in a global context. She is the recent recipient of the Distinguished Career Alumni Award, School of Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Janet McLain Legacy Award, University of Northern Iowa.

Why did you decide to join Deans for Impact?

I wanted to engage and collaborate with dean colleagues in developing and sustaining a shared understanding and commitment to improve our ability to prepare high quality and diverse teacher candidates.

What most excites you about the opportunity to transform the field of educator preparation in the years ahead?

I am excited contributing to the national dialogue on addressing the critical shortage of teachers. My role as dean provides an opportunity to bring together people within my faculty and leadership team, district leaders, prospective funders, and community members to explore collectively how we can bridge the gap by preparing teachers who address critical shortages. It is energizing to create possibilities with others who are committed and believe we can do this work. That fuels my energy as a leader in higher education.

When did you first know you wanted to work in education?

Although I had my sights on a becoming a lawyer, working with students captivated me because of the connection I made with them. I was eager to teach and challenge them, and help them envision their future. This experience further exposed me to the disparate experiences of inner-city children in the educational system, something I could relate to as an immigrant who navigated schooling in urban settings (successfully, thanks to the support of wonderful teachers). I wanted my students to also experience what education makes possible, and that stirred in me a “fire in the belly” to make a difference through the field of education.

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