Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee

- Share This Page

During the 2020 legislative session, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation (HB916) which charged the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to establish and appoint, in consultation with the Governor’s Office, members to a Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee. 

The Advisory Committee is to provide:

  • Standards recommendations to the Department of Education that shall be considered by the Board of Education during the 2021-2022 review of the History and Social Science Standards of Learning; and
  • Recommendations for the issuance of Board of Education guidelines for local school division staff, including teachers and school counselors, to offer age-appropriate anti-bias education to students; and
  • Recommendations on meaningful professional development with school personnel related to culturally relevant and inclusive education practices.

The bill requires the Committee to report its recommendations to the Board of Education, the Governor, and the Chairs of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health no later than July 1, 2021. 

Meetings Schedule

Meeting Dates*

Meeting Objectives

January 6, 2021

  • Commission Charge, Roles and Responsibilities
  • Virginia’s History Standards Review Process 
  • Vision for Redesigned Professional Development
  • Review of AAHEC Report Recommendations
  • Visioning Exercise – what does success look like?
    • Subcommittee work between meetings
  • Public Comment (Registration Required)

February 19, 2021

  • Review of VDOE Timelines (Standards and Professional Development Revisions and Review)
  • Subcommittee Discussions – Develop Committee Work Plans
  • Public Comment (Registration Required)

March 16, 2021

  • Subcommittee Work Session
  • Public Comment (Registration Required)

April 2021

No formal meeting scheduled. Subcommittees may schedule work sessions independent of the full committee.


New Date: June 10, 2021

  • Subcommittee Discussions
  • Full Committee Report Out 
  • Public Comment (Registration Required)

New Date: August 2, 2021


This meeting will take place in person in Richmond. Specific meeting information will be provided here as it is confirmed. 

Each subcommittee will present their final recommendations to the full committee for a final vote and discussion.

  • Subcommittee Presentations
  • Full Committee Report Discussion and Vote
  • Public Comment 
Those wishing to provide public may do so at the meeting. Advance registration is required, please write to to sign up. Those unable to attend the meeting, may provide public comment in writing to


Members of the public are welcome to watch the meeting via livestream on VDOE’s YouTube channel


Presentation to Governor Northam

  • Presentation of Report Recommendations:
  • Public Comment (Registration TBA)

*All meetings are scheduled to take place virtually from 2:00-4:00pm and will be live streamed on the VDOE YouTube Channel.

Meeting Materials   

The Committee’s meeting materials, including agendas and meeting recordings, can be found online in this public folder please note this takes you to an outside page). 

Public Comment

The Committee will provide an opportunity for members of the public to address the Committee at its meetings, as appropriate, during the public comment portion. Those wishing to provide public comment must register for the meeting in advance using the links provided. Please note that speakers will be limited to two minutes of speaking time.  

The Committee requests that members of the public only address the Committee on matters published on the agenda and any matters added to the agenda during the meeting by the Committee. You may access the Committee’s meeting agendas online in the public dropbox.

Those wishing to submit written comment may do using this google form, or by emailing


Please direct all inquiries to the Office of Equity and Community Engagement via email at

Members of the Committee

The Committee is chaired by:

  • The Honorable Jennifer Boysko of Herndon, Member, Virginia Senate
  • Dr. Andrew Daire of Richmond, Dean, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education  
  • Dr. Francisco Durán of Richmond, Member, Virginia Board of Education; Superintendent, Arlington Public Schools 

Committee members:


  • Chief Ken Adams of Newport News, Virginia Tribal Education Consortium (VTEC); Chief Emeritus, Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe
  • Kathryn Adkins of Bassett, High School History Teacher, Henry County Public Schools 
  • Elena Baum of Virginia Beach, Director, Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater
  • Seyoum Berhe Richmond, State Refugee Coordinator, Department of Social Services, Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Kristin Bolam of Yorktown, Elementary School Principal, York County Public Schools 
  • The Honorable Jennifer Boysko of Herndon, Member, Virginia Senate
  • Maria Burgos of Dumfries, Supervisor of Global Learning and Culturally Responsive Instruction, Prince William County Public Schools; Member, African American History Education Commission (AAHEC)
  • Dr. Angela Byrd-Wright of Newport News, Mathematics Curriculum Leader, Hampton City Public Schools
  • Steven H. Cregger of Bristol, Elementary School Art Teacher, Washington County Public Schools 
  • Dr. Amaarah DeCuir of Sterling, Professor, American University School of Education
  • Colleen Eddy of Annandale, History and Social Science Content Coordinator, Fairfax County Public Schools 
  • Dr. Veleka S. Gatling of Norfolk, Director of Diversity Initiatives and Assistant Professor, Old Dominion University
  • Dr. Rachel Gomez of Richmond, Assistant Professor of Teaching And Learning, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education
  • Jennifer Goss of Staunton, Teacher, Staunton City Public Schools; Teacher Fellow, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Alfred J. Lerner Fellow, Jewish Foundation for the Righteous 
  • Dr. Tameshia Grimes of Nottoway, Superintendent, Nottoway County Public Schools; Member, African American Superintendent’s Advisory Council 
  • Austin Houck of Alexandria, Student, University of Virginia; LGBTQ+ Activist, Homoglobin 
  • Hyun Lee of Centreville, Member, Virginia Asian Advisory Board; Adjunct Professor, IGlobal University
  • Steve Legawiec of Williamsburg, Coordinator of Social Studies,  Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools
  • Divya Lobo of Sterling, Student, Dominion High School and the Academy for Engineering and Technology
  • Dr. Deborah March of Reston, Division Administrator, Fairfax County Public Schools 
  • Dr. Herbert Monroe of Glen Allen, Assistant Superintendent, Caroline County Public Schools 
  • Jared A. Morris of Barboursville, Division Curriculum Innovation Lead, Madison County Public Schools 
  • Jessica Morris of Pearisburg, Director of Special Education, Giles County Public Schools 
  • Dr. Monica Motley of Danville, member, Virginia African American Advisory Board
  • Kirk Moyers of Rockingham, Social Studies Coordinator, Harrisonburg City Public Schools; Virginia Social Studies Leaders Consortium
  • Brenda Muse of Rocky Mount, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Franklin County Public Schools 
  • Dr. Ilham Nasser of Falls Church, Senior Researcher and Director, International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)
  • Dr. Megan de Nobriga of Bristol, Director of Special Education, Bristol Virginia Public Schools
  • Carla Okouchi of Fairfax Station, Education Subcommittee Chair, Virginia Asian American Advisory Board
  • Dr. Monica Robinson of Virginia Beach, K-12 Academic Support Programs Coordinator, Virginia Beach City Schools
  • Lyons Sanchezconcha of Richmond, Spanish Teacher, Richmond Public Schools; Member, Virginia Latino Advisory Board
  • Dr. Jennifer Santiago of Herndon, Director of Equity and Excellence, Falls Church City Public Schools 
  • Patty Smith of Chester, English Teacher, Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology
  • Monica Starkweather of Sandston, ESL Teacher, New Kent County Public Schools; Member, Virginia Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (VATESOL)
  • Dr. Ghassan Tarazi of McLean, Independent Consultant; Member, Virginia Coalition for Human Rights; Retired, Fairfax County Public Schools
  • The Honorable Schuyler VanValkenburg of Henrico, Virginia House of Delegates; High School History Teacher, Henrico County Public Schools 
  • Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez of Arlington, Retired Division Administrator, Arlington Public Schools 
  • Dr. Carolyn Waters of Richmond, ESL Teacher, Chesterfield County Public Schools 
  • Thelma Williams-Tunstall of Sandston, Content Specialist, Richmond City Public Schools-Retired 

Virginia Department of Education Staff:

Staff Leads

  • Christonya Brown, History and Social Science Coordinator, Office of Humanities  
  • Christine Harris, Director, Office of Humanities 
  • Jenne Nurse, Equity Coordinator, Office of Equity and Community Engagement
  • Leah Walker, Director, Office of Equity and Community Engagement  

Staff Support

Virginia Department of Education Staff Support:

  • Kelly Bisongo, Coordinator of Fine Arts, Office of Humanities
  • Michael Bolling, Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Innovation
  • Dr. Jessica Costa, Specialist for English Learner Instruction, Office of Humanities
  • Holly Coy, Assistant Superintendent for Policy, Equity, and Communications
  • Andrea Emerson, History & Social Science Secondary Specialist, Office of Humanities
  • Brandi McCracken, Elementary History & Social Science Specialist, Office of Humanities
  • Elizabeth Morris, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Policy
  • Patricia Pitts,  Assistant Superintendent for Teacher Education & Licensure
  • Kristin Williams, Mathematics & Special Education Specialist, Office of STEM & Innovation

Sign Up For Education Updates

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Virginia Department of Education.

Keyboard with email button