Born and raised in New York, LaShaune Stitt has over 20 years of teaching experience, having taught in Baltimore, New York and Virginia. LaShaune’s career path demonstrates her commitment and passion to ensure all her students fulfill their potential. One of her main goals is to educate and inspire young women. It was truly a joy listening to someone who has found their purpose and continues to strive for greatness.
May 2014 Edition
Question 1: What’s your educational background?
I graduated from high school at a fairly young age, and was accepted into Hampton University. At that time, I had too much freedom and fun resulting in me being expelled in my freshman year. Consequently, I returned back home to New York where I took some classes at community college. At the age of 23, I returned to university full time to complete my BA degree in English with a minor in Secondary Education. Moving forward, I obtained a Masters degree in Secondary Education from Mercy College. Additionally, I achieved a Masters in Education Administration and Supervision from the University of Scranton. Presently, I am awaiting my acceptance letter for the Doctorate of Education program at Northeastern University.
Question 2: What has been your career path to this point?
I have been working since the age of 14. After finishing my BA, I started my career in education. I started as a classroom teacher at an elementary school, eventually moving on to middle school. I worked my way through the ranks holding various positions including assessment coordinator, curriculum writer, dean, instructional coach, lead teacher, mentor, team leader and eventually became a school administrator (assistant principal). My moral and personal challenges with the education system led to me resign from my position as assistant principal. I had a few conversations with God and that was the best decision for me at that time. In 2009, my mother and I started an educational consultancy company that supervises, organizes and implements workshops for educators. Also, the company creates educational reform policies and programs.
Question 3: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your career?
In the beginning stages of my career, I was fairly young with plenty of innovative ideas, which was viewed as a threat by some of my peers. Regarding overcoming my challenges, my leaders saw the leader in me, consequently I was supported every step of the way. As a result, I was given a number of leadership positions that allowed me to grow which made it easier, for me to navigate the educational system. My supervisors gave me the most challenging students because they knew what I could handle. The experience made me stronger and forced me to hone my craft.
Question 4: What motivates you to excel?
Money has never been my driving motivation; throughout my career at times I have taken pay cuts. I have three children. I have children who have gone through the public school system and I was fully aware of the potential pitfalls. I never wanted my children to be anybody’s statistic. Therefore, I made a conscious decision to deliver the best educational experience to my students. My past and current students motivate me.
Question 5: What's one thing you wish you could tell your 16 year old self?
1. It’s cool to be intelligent, also appreciate your blessings and gifts.
2. Never be afraid to do what’s in your heart.
3. Choose your friends wisely.
Question 6: What's the best piece of advice you have received?
Defining, understanding and walking through your purpose. Several people say this, but to understand and to internalize this message is major. Also, always trust in God.
Question 7: What advice do you have vor women who want to follow in your footsteps?
You don’t go into education for the money; you go into education because that is your passion and that’s in your heart. I started my career in education at 26; I achieved my goals in my own time. Follow your heart. Do what is right to ensure young people have the appropriate tools to become dynamic leaders.
Question 8: What is your plan for the next 5 years?
Firstly, obtaining my Doctorate of Education before my 50th birthday. Secondly, opening an all-girls school as I think at times women, particularly young black women, are overlooked. I strongly believe our young girls need a place in which they can be supported and nurtured. Thirdly, I would like to continue writing with the hope of publishing additional work. Also, I want to grow and expand my consultancy company. Finally, one of my main goals is to become a college professor, I want to educate future teachers and share my experiences. My aim is to ensure new teachers are informed about the profession. Most importantly, the overall goal is to make teachers more effective educators, utilizing a bottom up approach.
Question 9: What's your definition of success?
On a personal level, seeing my children happy and knowing I am able to collect my children from school; and able to converse about their day is success to me. Having more time to spend with my partner is important. Currently, I am on a journey of learning how to love again and being loved again, this encompasses my definition of success. On a professional level, it’s focused on how many lives I've touched and my legacy in education. Korinn (Co-founder of CDNB) is one of my previous students; having watched her grow and mature into an amazing and inspiring young woman is success to me. Lastly, success is being able see my students who have defied the odds and who are on track to achieve great things.
Question 10: How are you empowering young girls and women in your environment?
In 2013, I created an organization called Women of World in order to educate, expose, enlighten, and prepare young women aged 12-16 years old in urban Baltimore, Maryland. This organization aims to give young women the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone by travelling internationally. Participants engage in theme specific workshops to explore and identify self, community, and the world. Additionally, I am a radio co-host of the weekly show called WOW Inspiration. This show is dedicated to women of all ages and backgrounds discussing various topics including business, education, health and wellness, finances, and parenting.