Arizona Alliance of Black

School Educators

“Your future does not lie in front of you… it lies deep inside of you…because life is not about finding yourself… it is about creating yourself…”


The quote above captures Lillian’s passion and non-conventional approach to meeting the ever-changing demands facing today’s educational leaders Lillian’s passion for equipping students and educators with the confidence, knowledge, and skills to take risk and not be afraid of failure is founded on the expectations and values modeled by four generations of public school educators. Growing up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, at a young age, Lillian was instilled the valued of learning and not just going to school. After school and during the summer break, you would find her gathering all of the children in the neighborhood to play school. Of course, she was always the teacher, giving directions, commanding order, and demanding expectations, beyond most of her students’ grade level abilities. This was Lillian’s first opportunity to develop her educational leadership skills, even though, it was at the expense of those who only wanted some of her frozen strawberries.

Lillian earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education from Arizona State University. She was later selected and participated in a three year, Arizona State University, Learner Centered Leadership Project, emphasizing Educational Leadership and Mentoring in Education.  Lillian dedicated more than thirty years to working in culturally, linguistically, and socio-economically diverse elementary, middle, and high school communities. Her success as an educational administrator is validated by the significant gains students made in academic achievement, reduction in discipline referrals and subsequently, out-of-school suspensions, and retention of professional and para-professional staff under her leadership. Lillian’s tenure includes thirty years in traditional, urban, public school communities, and most recently, experience in a charter and small rural school community.

As a transformational educational leader, Lillian has accepted the ever-changing role of today’s school leader by expanding and reframing her definition of school culture to ensure physical and emotional safety is equally as important as academic safety. As a result of ensuring a comprehensive safe school culture that embraces an academically and physically safe teaching and learning environment, she has been rewarded by students exceeding beyond academic expectations and demonstrating tolerance and acceptance of others, thus resulting in less occurrences of bullying. In spite of the negative reports regarding low student achievement and issues related to teacher retention, Lillian credits ensuring a comprehensive safe learning environment as the single most important factor for creating and sustaining a high performing teaching and learning school environment.  

​​​​Creating and Sustaining a Safe Teaching and Learning Environment by Ensuring an academically, physically, and socially driven school community​​

Due to the complexity of this topic, the workshop will be divided into two parts. Part one will focus on fostering a school culture that ensures a safe and academically driven teaching and learning environment. Part two will focus on developing a comprehensive School Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.

Part one of the workshop will focus on fostering a safe and healthy school environment to ensure a respectful, high academic performing, teaching and learning community. Grade-level strategies and research-based programs proven to reduce socially irresponsible behaviors and incidents of bullying will be presented. Case studies illustrating how planning and preparing for crisis and emergencies, not only save lives, but reduce student and staff absences and lessen teacher “burn-out” and “bail-out”, while increasing academic achievement and mutual respect.

Part two of the workshop will focus on the development of a school-wide Emergency Response Plan with the minimum requirements mandated in ARS 15-341 (A) (32). Emphasis will be on the potential types of threats facing our schools and the three essential components required to be included in the Emergency Response Plan:  (1) Direction, (2) Control, and (3) Coordination. Group discussions, video clips, and a PowerPoint presentation will be used to present the material. Hand-outs will also be provided for each workshop participant. By the end of the workshop, participants will:
√    Develop an inclusive vision statement to reflect academic, emotional, physical, and social
safety as equally important tenets for ensuring a healthy and academically focused teaching and learning school community.

√    Identify site-specific, inhibitors and risk factors challenging the vision.
√    Prioritize potential risk factors and threats, specific to your site.
√    Review the Arizona Emergency Response Plan Template to identify financial, human, and technical resources required to complete and implement the mandated school-wide plan.