AACTE Welcomes New Holmes Scholars

AACTE is pleased to welcome new Holmes Scholars from the University of Louisville and the University of North Florida. These institutions’ expansion of their Holmes Program signals their continued commitment to investing in initiatives that seek to advance equity in the education profession.

Easter BrownEaster Brown is in her second year in the pursuit of her Ed.D. Brown served as a classroom teacher for six years and three years as resident clinical faculty for a professional development school in partnership with the University of North Florida (UNF) before becoming an elementary school administrator. In continued efforts to bridge the gap between higher education and K-12 education, Brown serves as a member of the Business and Industry Leadership Team for Education and Human Services at Florida State College at Jacksonvilleand UNF’s Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Advisory Board. Brown is passionate in culturally responsive pedagogy in elementary school curriculum and the leadership journeys of Black female educators in predominantly white institutions, specifically K-12 education.


Silas TommySilas Tommy is a school-based administrator at an academic acceleration school a doctoral student at UNF. A native of Orlando and a graduate of public schools in Jacksonville, FL, Tommy received a B.A. in Psychology from UNF and an M.A. in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. Tommy is also an athletic coach and holds several recognitions in track and field, including a Level II USATF Track & Field Certification and Coach of the Year Award at Raines High School. Throughout his career as an educator and student advocate, Tommy has worked to make the inclusion of marginalized students in academically rigorous events the norm and have inspired students to excel. His research interests focus on the impact of teacher bias on students at academic remediation schools.



Jeania JonesJeania Jones is a second-year doctoral student in the Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction Program at UNF. She received her bachelor’s degree from UNF in Pre-K/Primary Education and master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Teaching and Learning. Jones has 8 years of teaching experience in Title I urban elementary settings. She currently serves as the co-curriculum area director, lead field I instructor, clinical supervisor, and faculty in residence at the University of North Florida in the Elementary Program of the College of Education and Human Services. She serves as a mentor to recent graduates and aspiring educators that are current students at UNF. Her research interest focuses on the influence that Professional Learning Communities for Culturally Responsive Teaching have on teacher’s self-efficacy within a professional development school.

Read more about UNF Holmes Scholars.

Peter AzmaniPeter Azmani is a current doctoral student at the University of Louisville. As a former middle school science educator, he has a deep passion for providing students of marginalized groups with the opportunities to succeed in science and mathematics. He earned his first M.Ed in Urban Education from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, WI. After teaching for 2 years, he went on to earn a M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction, as well as a M.Ed in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education. Azmani spent 7 years in middle school education before setting his sights on a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, with a focus on STEM education from the University of Louisville. He is currently nearing the end of his coursework and hope to begin work on his dissertation in the coming year. His research interests are focused on project-based learning strategies in urban, middle school science classrooms.


Lorita RowlettLorita Rowlett is a doctoral student in the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction program at the University of Louisville. Rowlett is a member of Project PURPLE, which focuses on both rural and urban learning environments. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s in Teacher Leadership and Autism from the University of Louisville. Rowlett is an experienced educator for students with moderate to severe disabilities.

Read more about the University of Louisville Holmes Scholars and alumni.




Weade James

Vice President, Organizational Advancement