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Congratulations and Best Wishes, Weadé James 

AACTE is grateful for the service and contributions that Weadé James, Ph.D., vice president for organizational advancement, brought to AACTE during her four-year tenure. She will complete her time with the Association at the end of this month.   

Through her service, James has expanded AACTE’s impact and non-dues revenue through grants and contracts and has strengthened relationships with education partners. Under her guidance, the AACTE Holmes Scholars Program has flourished, providing invaluable support and opportunities for emerging leaders of color in the field of educator preparation. 

“Dr. James reinvigorated the Holmes Scholars program with her enthusiasm and passion for supporting the next generation of scholars and leaders,” said Monika Williams Shealey, Ph.D., immediate past chair of AACTE Board of Directors and a Holmes alumna. “She provided leadership that resulted in stronger connections between current Scholars and alumni and strengthened infrastructure that resulted in more effective data collection efforts. I am grateful that the Holmes Scholars community, of which she will always be a member, benefited from her grace, integrity, and commitment during her time at AACTE.” 

Holmes Coordinator Rangasamy Ramasamy, Ph.D., of Florida Atlantic University, shared similar sentiments. “In four years, Dr. James elevated and expanded the Holmes Scholar program to the next level despite the DEI pushbacks nationwide. She introduced the quarterly Holmes Coordinators’ meetings and kept us updated on the program’s advancements, brought back dissertation retreats for the Holmes Scholars, and introduced the Outstanding Holmes Institution Program Award two years ago. The program will miss her, and I will miss her dearly.” 

AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D., CAE notes, “Weadé’s upward movement through AACTE, from director to vice president, has been important to the work of AACTE. I am pleased that she can focus now on K-12 policy, which will further elevate education nationally, and I wish her all the best.“I am thankful for the many opportunities afforded to me during my time at AACTE and particularly grateful to AACTE members and Holmes Scholars who are at the forefront of empowering educators and shaping the future of learning,” James said. 

James will work on advancing PK-12 policy at the Center for American Progress (CAP).   

For the next few months, Shari Baker, Ed.D., who has been working with AACTE since November, will work as the Association’s interim vice president for organizational advancement. Baker is a former high school social studies teacher, DEI Strategist, and executive coach who holds an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Florida, an M.Ed. in minority and urban education from the University of Maryland, and a BA in cultural anthropology and education from Duke University. She also has certifications in Human Resources Management and Diversity & Inclusion Training.