Beauvoir’s Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Chéleah Jackson-Googe, received her PhD in education from Old Dominion University on September 6, 2022. “I’m honestly thrilled about the possibilities and want to continue exploring how who we are as people shapes our approaches to pedagogy and practice,” Dr. Jackson-Googe said. “I am excited to continue grappling with how we recruit, retain, and sustain excellent educators.”
Dr. Jackson-Googe’s dissertation, Work Beyond the Work: Amplifying How Black Women Educators Experience Teacher Preparation Programs, was inspired by her own experiences, as well as those of some important women in her family. The dissertation is dedicated to her grandmothers, Victoria Elizabeth Jackson and Leila Ware Jackson, and to her mother, Raynell Vesselles Jackson. Her mother and grandmother were both teachers, and as a Black woman currently in the field, Dr. Jackson-Googe hoped to explore the connections between past and present.
“I wanted to take a look at the historical roles of Black women educators to better contextualize our lived experiences presently,” Dr. Jackson-Googe shared. “My goal in my research was to amplify the voices and stories of Black women educators.”
Dr. Jackson-Googe earned a BA in educational policy from the University of Richmond and a MEd in counselor education from Virginia Commonwealth University. Since joining Beauvoir in 2019, she has helmed growth opportunities around equity and inclusion for parents and caregivers and served on the Board of Governors. Alongside a group of Beauvoir’s teachers and administrators, she reviewed and evaluated curriculum from the Early Learning Center to Third Grade, seeking to create culturally relevant and responsive lessons.
“My doctorate prepared me to be a researcher and was the foundation for how I approached the development of Beauvoir’s DEI curriculum research project,” Dr. Jackson-Googe said. “I am excited to see what we’ve collectively created to come alive in classrooms across Beauvoir.”
Dr. Jackson-Googe expressed her gratitude to Beauvoir’s administrative team for making her “feel seen, known, and valued as a member of the Beauvoir community” as she pursued her PhD. She noted that Head of School Cindi Gibbs-Wilborn was particularly encouraging throughout the process. “Cindi’s leadership is an incredible gift, and I’m truly grateful for all that I’ve learned and continue to learn from her.”
Reflecting on her experience, Dr. Jackson-Googe shared, “I’ve felt very affirmed throughout this process and know that my thoughts, ideas, and my expertise matter.”