Eanes ISD

Board Approves DEI Consultant

The Eanes ISD Board voted to hire Dr. Mark Gooden as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) consultant for the 2020-21 school year. In a presentation entitled, “Building a Community of Trust Through Developing Racial Awareness,” the Eanes ISD administrative team explained how Dr. Gooden will lead the process to enhance community, staff and student racial awareness and to cultivate an environment of understanding unique similarities and differences. Under Dr. Gooden’s guidance, the district will address social justice and racism in Eanes ISD as well as shape staff professional development plans throughout the school year. The district will also explore ideas around the selection of a community advisory group to help guide the district’s efforts.

Dr. Gooden will support Eanes ISD through needs assessments, staff development, working directly with focus/advisory group(s) and serving as a consultant to community/leadership/ staff/student meetings. To ensure continuity, consistency and longevity of purpose, each school will create an Equity Team whose charge will be to guide the work in this area on that campus.

“This is a great opportunity for Eanes ISD to listen, learn and be a leader in social justice and racial awareness,” said Dr. Tom Leonard, Superintendent of Schools. “Our community of students (current and former), staff and parents have expressed concern in this domain. We want to do better. We must do better. We are ready and willing to look inside ourselves and learn. Our students are amazing and want to change the world; we need to be ready to guide them.”

Dr. Gooden has worked with Austin ISD as well as numerous school districts throughout the U.S. and abroad to provide needs assessments, professional development and consulting around racial awareness and equity. In addition to writing several articles for various publications and speaking at conferences both nationally and internationally, Dr. Gooden is co-author on an upcoming book entitled “Five Practices for Equity-Focused Leadership.”

Dr. Gooden is currently the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Professor of Education Leadership and Director of the Endeavor Antiracist and Restorative Leadership Initiative in the Department of Organization and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he recently served as Program Director of Education Leadership and Director of the Summer Principals Academy-New York City. Additionally, he was the Director of the Principalship Program in Educational Administration and the Margie Gurley Seay Centennial Professor at the University of Texas before accepting the position at Columbia in 2017.

With the Board’s approval, Dr. Gooden will begin working immediately with the district’s Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment team to refine staff professional development before the opening of the school year.