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Idaho Team Attends Equity Leadership Academy

April 10, 2023

Education isn’t always equitable, which isn’t ideal as both students and teachers deserve to have their voices heard. This is a lesson that a team from Idaho State University’s College of Technology learned at the recent Equity Leadership Academy (ELA).The National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) is a consortium that focuses on this issue and its ELA is a prestigious opportunity for those chosen to attend.

NAPE has a vision to make sure every person is able to fulfill their potential through equal access to and equity in educational options that lead to the entire spectrum of career choices. As the nation's leading professional alliance for access, equity and diversity in education, NAPE works towards those goals in several ways. One of the most important of these methods is the cohort formed from teams originating in seven different States.

"I am so thankful for this experience provided by NAPE,” said Katie Leishman, the ISU College of Technology special populations coordinator. “It was an honor to be selected and to learn from other state teams as we work on initiatives that increase access to education. Knowing that the issues we are working on in our educational programs here in Idaho are also the focus for people in similar positions, with similar values and missions, in many other states across the country makes me feel encouraged and energized to continue this good work."

This year, the Idaho Equity Leadership Team was formed by Leishman after her application was selected by NAPE. Leishman primarily filled her team with members of the College of Technology as well as the Career and Technical Education Director of Perkins and MOA out of Boise Jennifer Pope. The College of Technology members included: Special Populations Facilitator Shannon Phelps, Director of Student Services Tiffany Mitchell, Director of STEM and Industry Relations Chris Guthrie, as well as Karina Eager, a student in the Energy Systems Nuclear Operations Technology program.

This team, along with six others, attended workshops, training and in person presentations virtually starting in the previous November and then they went to the ELA held in Atlanta, Georgia on March 28th, 2023. There, the finale for this year's ELA consisted of presentations by each of the seven teams. The Idaho teams presentation focused on student voice as well as creating healthy systems of support.

“I learned a lot participating with NAPE, particularly about how people all across the country are struggling with the same equity issues in their schools,” said Eager. “It was comforting to see a bunch of people working to achieve a common goal. My team helped me in a lot of ways and still made me feel included even when there were scheduling conflicts.”


NAPE provided the airfare, hotel accommodations and a stipend for each team. Applications for the next Equity Leadership Academy will open this summer. For more information about NAPE, visit napequity.org, contact the organization at nape@napequity.org or subscribe to the NAPE newsletter.


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