Professional learning and equity directors work hand-in-hand

By Caitlin Ahern and Johnny Cole
Categories: Collaboration, Continuous improvement, Equity, Implementation, System leadership
June 2021
In the Lexington Public Schools, outside of Boston, Massachusetts, we pride ourselves on being innovative. One of our core values encourages us to “embrace your revolutionary spirit,” harkening back to Lexington’s historic role in the American Revolution. Two years ago, we demonstrated that spirit by creating a director of equity role. Positions like this hadn’t previously existed in many districts like ours — small, suburban, well-resourced, high-performing, historically white, and recently diversifying. We developed the role in part to respond to equity issues that had long existed but were rising in our community’s awareness, like the trend of educators making disproportionate special education referrals and exclusionary disciplinary practices for Black students. But we also recognized we needed help dismantling the larger systems of oppression that

Read the remaining content with membership access. Join or log in below to continue.

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

Log In

Image for aesthetic effect only - Caitlin-ahern-e1621018322293
+ posts

Caitlin Ahern ( is director of professional learning at Lexington Public Schools in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Johnny-cole-e1621363955924
+ posts

Johnny Cole ( is director of equity and student supports for Lexington Public Schools in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Categories: Collaboration, Continuous improvement, Equity, Implementation, System leadership

The Learning Professional

Published Date


  • Recent Issues

    December 2023

    Professional learning can open up new roles and challenges and help...

    October 2023

    Both special education and general education teachers need support to help...

    August 2023

    Prioritizing professional learning time is an investment in educators and...

    June 2023

    Acceleration aims to ensure all students overcome learning gaps to do...

    Skip to content