Deanna Townsend-Smith, the director of Board policy and operations for the North Carolina State Board of Education is leaving her role to become the Senior Director of the Dudley Flood Center for Educational Equity and Opportunity at the Public School Forum of North Carolina.
According to a press release from the Public School Forum, “the Flood Center tackles issues of equity, access, and opportunity in education across North Carolina by serving as a hub to identify and connect organizations, networks, and leaders; informing discussions on policies impacting equity & social justice; and supporting and advancing equity-focused educator programming and promoting discussions around how schools are funded at the local and state levels.”
“Throughout my career, my mission has been to serve, transform, empower, and inspire,” Townsend-Smith said in a press release. “It excites me that the mission of the Flood Center and my personal mission are closely aligned. Through this alignment, we will be able to influence equitable educational outcomes for children at the state and national levels.”
In her role with the Board, Townsend-Smith was in charge of managing the Board’s day-to-day, as well as spearheading Board agendas and strategic planning.
She said in an interview that she is most proud of her work helping the Board establish an equity agenda for the state.
“Even when I was nervous and scared, I pushed the Board to consider equity and whole-child as guiding principals, and to me that is one of the reasons their strategic plan is held up across the nation as a shining example,” she said.
The press release says that in her new role Townsend-Smith will “advance and expand the current programmatic and policy efforts of the Flood Center in an effort to achieve its mission of addressing issues of systemic racism by advocating for structural changes in policy and practice to build an equitable education system that meets the social, emotional, and academic needs of NC’s diverse student population.”