Randi Blair is program manager at Deans for Impact. Prior to joining Deans for Impact, she served as a teacher development specialist in a large urban school district and as a secondary science teacher. In addition to her work with Deans for Impact, she also leads diversity and inclusion training and workshops for church communities. Randi received her bachelor’s degree in science from Colorado College and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington.
I became intrigued with education as an undergraduate. I took a field study science education class where I worked with local schools to help implement field science. As a biology major, I hoped to become a medical doctor. However, when I saw my first cadaver, I had to reevaluate my entire life decision. As I continued to work with the local schools near my college campus, I became aware of the dismal representation of educators of color. My mission was to bring representation and a voice to help improve the BIPOC experience in the classroom. So, instead of going to graduate school, I became a teacher at a local public charter school called YES Prep in Houston, Texas, in 2004. My mission was to provide a place where students that looked like me could find peace, comfort and a positive societal mirror. I fell in love with teaching because I saw myself and my story in so many of my students.
I am excited to join DFI because I get to become a bridge builder in bringing understanding and passion to the ART of education by working with people who want to provide quality education to every child. I am excited that I get to work with other like-minded colleagues to help improve our education system by using science-based data to guide our work.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This quote from the great Nelson Mandela speaks volumes about the guiding principles of transforming the system of education. Our hope at DFI is to find solutions, use proven data, and improve educational practices through collaboration to help change the way our future teachers are being prepared.
My favorite teacher was my AP English teacher, Mrs. Jackson. Her teaching style empowered every student to find their voice. Mrs. Jackson helped me find a unique strength and passion for learning by making me believe in the potential that she saw. She cared deeply for her students, so much so that we wanted to work hard for her. Her example guided my personal method of teaching and interacting with students.
Yeti Sunshine is my favorite food truck. Not sure if snowballs count as food.