By Heather Anerino
Detroit Public Schools Superintendent Connie Calloway visited the Athens campus late last week, meeting with students, faculty and staff in the College of Education and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.
Calloway, who earned her doctorate at Ohio University in 1986, was on campus for the College of Education's quarterly McCracken Education Lecture Series. The series is aimed at presenting speakers from all fields of education who either hold a degree from the College of Education or who advocate for education.
"I was thrilled to return to my alma mater and share my experiences with up-and-coming educators," said Calloway, who took over as superintendent of the nation's 15th largest school district last year.
Calloway delivered the lecture series' keynote address, spoke in an introduction to teacher education class and met with College of Education faculty, staff and students.
"As a future teacher, it was a very enlightening experience, and I learned a great deal," said student Jaci Lewis, a College of Education ambassador who escorted Calloway during her time on campus Thursday and Friday. "Dr. Calloway's words were very helpful to me, and she had many great experiences to share."
Calloway spent Friday discussing strategic leadership in the public sector with Voinovich School students and project staff members. She shared her experiences in leading an urban school district, while Voinovich representatives conveyed their perspectives relating to education in a rural environment.
As Detroit's public school superintendent, Calloway oversees a student population of more than 116,000 and manages a $1.4 billion budget. The school board search committee members who endorsed her cited her "extensive curricular background, strong leadership skills and no-nonsense style."
Detroit is Calloway's third assignment as superintendent. While with the Trotwood-Madison (Ohio) City School District, she moved the school system out of academic emergency for the first time in its history. More recently, she led Normandy School District in Missouri, where she supervised 700 employees and a student population of 5,700. In 2004, she oversaw a $17 million bond issue that passed with more than 70 percent of the vote.
Originally from Alabama, Calloway was raised on the family belief that education changes the course of one's life. She is the first college graduate in her family.