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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Dr. Charles Herring, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director

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Dr. Charles Herring is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the South Fayette Township School District, McDonald, PA. 

Dr. Herring has worked in the field of education for over 25 years. He started his career in the Wilkinsburg School District in a 3/4th multi-grade classroom. While working in Wilkinsburg, Dr. Herring created America’s First Hip-Hop Superhero – GRAMMAR MAN!™ an educational program that uses rap music and storytelling as tools to teach students the parts of speech. In 1999, after being asked to be the keynote speaker for Princeton University’s first-ever, Hip-Hop in Education Conference, Dr. Herring left K-12 education to become a professional speaker and trainer. During that time, Dr. Herring traveled the country to speak for organizations such as Kroger, Giant Eagle, the State of Arizona, the State of New Jersey, and many others. Additionally, Dr. Herring created two additional educational programs, Black History is Not Just a Month and The Mathematics Magician. Dr. Herring is also the author of a memoir in essays titled, YOU CAN ONLY HOPE TO CONTAIN ME: It’s Impossible to Stop a Person Who Won’t Quit.   

Upon returning to the classroom in 2012 as a faculty member in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education’s Falk Laboratory School, Dr. Herring taught Kindergarten, mentored future teachers, acquired his Reading Specialist Certification, and began work on his Doctorate in Language, Literacy, and Culture. In August 2015, Dr. Herring began working at South Fayette as the K-5 Gifted/Enrichment Coordinator. In that role, he was tasked with transforming the program from a more traditional Gifted/Enrichment model to one that was primarily, project-based.  This led Dr. Herring to initiate a partnership with Carnegie-Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center to provide a real-world perspective for students on how to craft storylines and to write scripts as the introduction to his annual filmmaking venture, Project Green & White. Dr. Herring is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh’s LDI 8. Additionally, he enthusiastically participates in events hosted by Trying Together, the Remake Learning Network, the Green Building Alliance, and several other organizations in the region.

Phone: 412-221-4542 x 572

Past, Present and Future of DEI at South Fayette

The South Fayette Township School District’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is committed to maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community – one where every member of our school community feels seen, heard, and their contributions valued.  Our goal is to create educators and student leaders who are grounded in the understanding of how diversity, equity, and inclusion improves the way we experience the world and who are dedicated to promoting equity and justice.  In other words, our goal is to make our campus a culturally-responsive, safe space for all students, faculty and adults. 


Past:
* Established a strategic plan that prioritizes curriculum, policy, professional development for faculty and staff
* Hired a full-time Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
* Initiated a call to action to prioritize the education and training required to fully embrace culturally-responsive pedagogical practices 
* Began training faculty and staff in culturally-responsive education
* Created and established a student-led, diversity, equity, and inclusion program, that provides students with the agency to lead the region in helping our communities become culturally-responsive, safe spaces for all students, faculty, and staff.
* Authored a book with the students to expand our reach and to teach others how to duplicate our program in their school districts

 Present:
Reviewing curriculum with administration and faculty to ensure that content is inclusive and culturally responsible
* Implementing a diversity, equity, and inclusion tool that provides a filter through which the faculty and staff can view their  lessons in order to determine if they are culturally-appropriate
* Began working with faculty to develop district-wide, grade-level unit plans for themes (e.g. Black History Month, Women's HERstory Month, etc.)
* Establishing relationships with HBCUs and other universities to create a pipeline for recruiting educators of color

Future:
*  A district-wide climate survey to properly identify our areas for growth
*  DEI-focused orientations for all incoming members of the community
*  Expanding DEI expertise around campus in order to build the district’s cultural capacity more efficiently and effectively
*  Host leadership development opportunities for faculty and staff
*  Host workshops for parents and caregivers
*  Host an annual conference on diversity, equity, inclusion and, social justice



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