Portrait of Dr. Latonya M. Goffney in the classroom helping a young boy as he writes.
Dr. Latonya M. Goffney Credit: Courtesy Aldine ISD

Nationwide, Black women only make up 1.4% of people leading school districts.

“We know that there aren’t as many of us as there should be, that the ranks of superintendents across our country need to be more diverse to reflect the student populations that we serve,” Dr. Adrienne Battle, superintendent of Metro Nashville Public Schools, says in The Education Trust’s conversation Black Women Superintendents Leading With Excellence.

“We need to be more diligent and vigilant about bringing more Black women into leadership roles in our districts,” Battle says, “pulling them up when they’ve earned promotions, and helping them advance their careers.”

During the candid and wide-ranging conversation, four Black women superintendents discuss everything from supporting students’ mental health, the pressures of leadership, diversifying the school leadership pipeline and how to support Black women school leaders new to the job.



  1. Dr. Latonya M. Goffney, Superintendent, Aldine Independent School District (TX)
  2. Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools (MD)
  3. Dr. Melanie Kay-Wyatt, Superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools (VA)
  4. Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell, Superintendent of Oakland Unified School District (CA)


  1. Arthur Jones II, ABC News Producer/Reporter

Featuring a discussion on the research of the experiences of Black women superintendents with:

  1. Denisa R. Superville, assistant editor at Education Week, focused on principals and school leadership.
  2. Dr. Angel Miles Nash, program officer at the Wallace Foundation

With remarks by:

  1. Kamau Marshall, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Education
  2. Dr. Monifa B. McKnight, Superintendent of Montgomery County (MD) Schools
  3. Dr. Christina Grant, State Superintendent of Education for Washington, DC
  4. Dr. Adrienne Battle, Superintendent of Metro Nashville Public Schools

YouTube video

– Article by Maya Pottiger for Word In Black