Arizona Alliance of Black
Dr. Michele Thomas is from the Bronx, New York and currently resides in Chandler, Arizona. She is as an Assistant Director at Arizona State University (ASU) with Access ASU under the Education Outreach and Student Services umbrella. She is responsible for developing partners with the Faith-Based community, community organizations, and non-target districts to prepare students and families for college through a variety of college preparation initiatives, events and programs offered throughout the year. She was married to the late Bishop Alexis Thomas, former pastor of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, Arizona.
Dr. Thomas enlisted in the United States Air Force in December 1990. After enlisting, she trained as a Communications-Computer Systems Control Specialist. In September 2000, she earned her commission through Officer Training School. As a Communications Officer, she has held various positions to include Officer-in-Charge of Network Infrastructure, Mission Support Group Executive Officer, Command Post Chief, Cognitive Models and Agents Branch Chief, and as an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Assistant Professor at Arizona State University. While assigned in Arizona, she deployed to Herat, Afghanistan as a Communications Officer mentor to the Afghan National Army. Her final assignment was at the United States Cyber Command in Maryland where she held the positions of Joint Plans Analyst and Executive Assistant in the Plans and Policy Directorate.
Her military career has taken her abroad to various countries such as Afghanistan, Belgium, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Okinawa, Republic of South Korea, Saudi Arabia, the State of Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. She is a retired Major after almost 25 years of service to her country.
Dr. Thomas has a Doctorate in Counseling Studies through Capella University; a Master’s in Human Relations through the University of Oklahoma; and a Bachelor of Science in Workforce Education and Development through Southern Illinois University.
Dr. Thomas is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, a non-profit organization of college-educated women with an emphasis in public service primarily serving the African-American community. Within the organization, she is an active member of the Tempe Alumnae Chapter in Arizona where she serves on the fundraising and scholarship committees. During her assignment in Maryland, she was a member of the Columbia-Maryland Alumnae Chapter. Since her retirement and transition back to the West coast, she received an appointed to the Far West Region Chaplain Council.
Dr. Thomas is a licensed minister currently working on the ministerial staff at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona. During her tenure, she has served in various capacities within the ministry. She is the founder of Ladies Empowered to Embrace Destiny, a mentoring program for young adult women to reinforce life skills and character development. She was the coordinator of I4NewU, a Christian Charm school designed to coach girls, ages 12-17, on etiquette accompanied with practical life skills training and spiritual education. In addition, she was the director of the Discipleship Training Institute, a program designed to promote excellence in mind, character, and behavior through Christian education. A major accomplishment was organizing three retreats and two conferences supporting over 3,000 women.
"Closing achievement gaps is a critical issue. The performance of Blacks is systematically different from that of other racial and ethnic groups. Decreasing gaps in student achievement means that we must increase the learning gains of Blacks."
- National Education Association
"The gap between teachers and students of color continues to grow. Over the past three years, the demographic divide between teachers and students of color has increased by 3 percentage points, and today, students of color make up almost half of the public school population. But teachers of color are just 18 percent of the teaching profession."
- Center for American Progress
"African-American students, particularly males, are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers. Black students make up 18% of the students in the CRDC sample, but 35% of the students suspended once, and 39% of the students expelled."
- U.S. Department of Education
AzABSE pledges to continue serving as educational advocates for children who have been poorly served in the past. We further pledge to ensure that African-American and all other diverse students are effectively educated in the present and are accorded priorities for the future. We pledge to lead the way through the creation of a concrete model that demonstrates the goals of academic and cultural excellence.
Arizona Alliance of Black School Educators
1334 E. Chandler Blvd., Ste. #5-D32
Phoenix, AZ 85048
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