DHS Assistant Principal receives prestigious award

Staff Report

Charie Worley. PhD is a Donaldsonville native and assistant principal at Donaldsonville High School. A lifelong learner and devoted educator, she went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in secondary education from Southern University, her Masters of educational leadership from Nicholls State University, and her Doctorate of education from Southeastern Louisiana University. She published the now award-winning dissertation titled Black Female Superintendents in Louisiana: Professional and Personal Experiences that Impact and Impede the Advancement in Educational Leadership.

The study examined the lived experiences of black women as professionals as they aspire to lead in top educational leadership positions. Her findings suggested that race and social status was a major factor when determining who were promoted and under what circumstances. Many times blacks, particularly black women, who advanced to high level positions were from elite families.

In a nutshell, it came down to who you knew and who you were affiliated with socially, with economic status being the biggest influence,” Worley said.

Worley’s dissertation earned the Dr. Preston B. Allison Outstanding Dissertation Award at SLU. The award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated Excellency in conducting and writing research.

Worley’s research has a history component. It explains how the social construction of race is still affecting society today. It explains how some individuals are given promotions and chances to make mistakes and learn the job, whereas others have to stand out and work three and four times harder to prove competency. Her research was conducted through the lens of Critical Race Theory, which allowed her to analyze the stories of black women superintendents in Louisiana and their lived experiences. One of the most amazing stories, she said, was told by an educator who was the first black female superintendent in Louisiana. She had been in education during segregation and desegregation.

According to Worley, this is only the beginning. She plans to spend her free time working on future publications and presenting on topics relevant to culturally responsiveness in education, social justice, and teaching with poverty in mind.