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Traci Teasley

My fondest HUB memories are the gateway of friendship and winning the scholarship to Cranbrook Kingswood.
Dr. Traci Elizabeth Teasley
Feeder school
Lincoln Junior High School
What year did you graduate from HUB
High School you attended and graduated
I attended Pontiac Central High School (1983-1985) and graduated from Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School (1985-1987).
What are your fondest memories of HUB?
My fondest HUB memories are the gateway of friendship and winning the scholarship to Cranbrook Kingswood.
Who was the most influential person to you at HUB and why?
Ben Snyder was the most influential person to me at HUB because he spent countless hours encouraging me to do my best and be my best! He drove me and my cousin Shelby to HUB Saturday sessions when we were boarding students at Cranbrook Kingswood. What a blessing to be in the presence of a visionary who fully commits to His vision everyday! Pamela Herbert’s (R.I.P. HUB ’86) spirit of excellence and joyfulness were truly an inspiration to me as well.
Who are other influential people in your life and why?
I am deeply influenced by my paternal grandmother, Mary Josephine Preston Teasley, who despite never having received her high school diploma, encouraged me to go as far as I could in school. My mother, father, and five older brothers also encouraged me to excel academically and to honor the brilliance in myself and in others!
Ed.D., Urban Superintendents Program, 2006
Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA
M.Ed., Administration, Planning & Social Policy, 2000
Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA
M.Ed., Elementary Education, 1995
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
BA, Sociology, 1991
Duke University, Durham, NC
Are you a first generation college graduate?
Yes and the first doctorate in my family!
Background information on yourself and your career
Dr. Traci Elizabeth Teasley, a native of Pontiac, Michigan, is a 1987 Horizons-Upward Bound (HUB) graduate of the Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School. She fully participated in all aspects of the HUB program throughout her high school career, except the summer of 1986 when she attended the Leadership, Education, and Development (LEAD) Program in Business at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Teasley subsequently attended Duke University as an undergraduate to support her career focus of obtaining a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and working for and owning a marketing and public relations firm. During her sophomore year in college, she decided to modify her career goal and pursue her childhood aspiration of improving the world by rethinking and improving educational systems. As a result, she merged her interest in business with education by completing the requirements for a concentration in sociology, the major that offered the most business-related courses, while also completing the elementary level teaching certification requirements for the state of North Carolina.
After graduating from Duke in 1991, Dr. Teasley taught first grade for five years and third grade for nearly two years at Morrisville Year-Round Elementary School, the first multi-track year-round school in North Carolina. All of her unit lessons incorporated the four modes of learning and right and left-brain strategies to address diverse learning styles and provide opportunities for students to share their cultural knowledge and experiences in various forms. While working full-time for the Wake County Public Schools, Dr. Teasley earned a Master of Education degree in elementary education from North Carolina State University. Later on, she served as a reading specialist to low-performing, elementary-age students and consultant to teachers on improving language arts at Lynn Road Elementary School. Approximately a year and a half later, she decided to expand her vision, enhance her skills, and engage on a larger scale with the issues of access and adequacy of educational experiences for children and youth who too often are neglected and underserved.
In 1999, Dr. Teasley began her career as a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) as a member of the tenth cohort of students in the Urban Superintendents Program (USP). She completed her coursework in eleven months; earned a Master of Education degree in educational administration; participated in a full-time, six-month internship with Dr. James A. Caradonio, superintendent of the Worcester Public Schools in Worcester, Massachusetts; and completed a three-month internship with Dr. Judy F. Finkel, principal of the Flagg Street Elementary School in Worcester. Upon completion of the certification requirements for the superintendency in Massachusetts and North Carolina, Dr. Teasley worked as the graduate assistant and teaching fellow for USP while finishing her dissertation research study on distributed leadership, examining school leadership practice in two urban K-8 schools recognized for their collaborative efforts to improve teaching and learning. She earned several HGSE fellowships and grants, as well as the 2005 Forrest E. Connor Scholarship awarded by the American Association of School Administrators. On a rainy Thursday in June 2006, she became the first person in her family to earn a Doctor of Education degree. Dr. Teasley’s paternal grandmother could only attend school on rainy days, since, during her era, working in the fields in North and South Carolina on a sunny day was deemed more appropriate for a colored girl than going to school to learn.
Dr. Teasley has worked part-time as an education consultant and as a leadership coach to a principal of an urban, K-8 school with a large population of English Language Learners. In her persistent pursuit of improving teaching and learning, she is currently working as the special assistant to the superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia, the eighth largest urban public school district in the United States. Along with a relentless focus on education, Dr. Teasley enjoys reading, cooking, exercising with her jump rope, singing, serving on various ministries at church, listening to gospel and jazz music, watching Law & Order episodes, and cheering for various sports teams.
Dr. Teasley is forever committed to: providing all students, despite their zip code, a proper balance of high standards, quality instruction, and support; participating in the Cranbrook Horizons-Upward Bound Alumni Association; and, encouraging HUB scholars to be excellent in their efforts to improve and influence the world now and later!
Current Occupation
Special Assistant to the Superintendent, The School District of Philadelphia
Current Residence (City, State)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Favorite Books
The Holy Bible
Amazing Grace
Mantras on keys to success
You cannot live a horse and die a cow!
Your destiny is a direct result of your next decision.

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