George Lucas Educational Foundation
Aukeem Ballard

Aukeem Ballard

Dean of Students, Mentor, Teacher

While student teaching (and eventually full-time teaching) in Portland Public Schools, I quickly got involved in education policy at the city and state level. I worked with City Club of Portland and strategic policy partners to secure and bolster civic engagement and education in schools. After two years working in Portland, I found my way to Bay Area, California where I taught 9th grade social studies for 3 years while I supported faculty in developing their capacity to hold space for critical conversations around diversity, inclusion, and equity, as well as supporting social justice curriculum reform within the network. I currently hold a dual position as teacher of a course on emotional wellness, identity development, and cultural competence, responsiveness, and (Habits, Community, and Culture), as well as Dean of Students for both 9th and 12th grades. I also work with a non-profit network called Young Dreamer Network where I support chapters in U.S. schools that are seeking to cultivate a sense of leadership and service (global and local) in their students through a social justice lens. My passion lies at the intersection of rigorous curriculum and schools being a place where students, parents, and teachers are proud to call a "second home". Where there is a student, there is a fountain and fund of knowledge waiting to sprout wings and fly.

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