Arielle Hammond is one of five recipients nationwide to receive the AASA Educational Administration Scholarship for aspiring superintendents.
Arielle Hammond, a current student in the Education in Leadership doctoral program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education, is one of five recipients nationwide to receive the AASA Educational Administration Scholarship for aspiring superintendents.
The AASA Educational Administration Scholarship was created in 1949 to provide incentives, recognition, and financial assistance to outstanding graduate students in school administration who intend to make the school superintendency a career. AASA selects recipients on the basis of their experience and excellence in school administration, personal essays and recommendations from university faculty.
Currently in her second year of the Education in Leadership doctoral program, Hammond plans to use the resources provided by the AASA Educational Administration Scholarship to continue her journey as a social justice-oriented administrator.
“I plan to develop, implement, and analyze a culturally relevant financial literacy curriculum for Black high school students,” says Hammond, outlining the basis of her dissertation work. “For Black students, Black net worth is the least impacted by degree status, and Black students are overrepresented in the lowest paying college majors. These factors prepare Black college graduates for futures with higher unemployment, fewer employment opportunities, and higher debt burdens than their peers. The disparate financial outcomes for Black college graduates have been attributed to incoming Black students having relatively lower financial literacy skills.”
Hammond notes the lack of education provided for African American students in the K-12 system is at the core of this disparity, explaining that her research aims to interrupt the deficit-based approach to teaching Black students about personal finance.
“My goal for this research is that it will serve as a resource for K-20 school leaders who are working to improve outcomes for Black students, enabling those leaders to provide an educational experience that affirms the students’ culture while providing tools to prepare them with skills to navigate financing their lifestyles in post-secondary education and beyond.”
Hammond is currently the principal at an alternative high school in the North Clackamas School District (NCSD), where she describes her approach to work as one of servant-leadership.
“I learn every student’s name and greet them individually on a daily basis. I call parents to celebrate student growth and success. I meet with anyone who wants to chat, and I put away all distractions so that I am fully present for the person in front of me. I treat my community with love, compassion, and respect. I believe it is this love that drives my work every day.”
Hammond attributes her decision to pursue the superintendency to her own superintendent, Dr. Shay James, describing James’ commitment to the North Clackamas community as motivating and awe inspiring. James is a 2021 alum of Lewis & Clark’s Education in Leadership doctoral program, taking over the role of North Clackamas superintendent from fellow alum Matt Utterback. Utterback was named National Superintendent of the Year in 2017.
“Every day, I see Dr. James address challenges with racial equity at the core of her decision-making process. She made history as the first African American superintendent of NCSD, and has used her knowledge of educational leadership, critical pedagogy, and systems thinking to successfully navigate an increasingly complex and challenging educational landscape.”
Hammond is now eight years into her tenure as an educator and leader, and is a quickly rising star in her profession. She notes that her experience as an educator and principal at the elementary, middle, and high school level has prepared her to serve all levels of schools from an informed perspective, and her experiences as a biracial Black woman from a low-income background have prepared her to champion underserved families and consider issues from a nondominant perspective.
Hammond is clear, however, that her commitment to eliminating disparate outcomes for Students of Color is not just a professional goal, but a deeply personal one as well.
“I think of my own daughter, my nieces and nephews. My goal is to be the principal, and eventually the superintendent, that they need me to be.”
Lewis & Clark’s doctoral program in educational leadership encompasses the P-20 (preschool through baccalaureate) spectrum, affording students the unique opportunity to learn how educational pathways from pre-K/K to the significant transition into higher education play an evolving and ongoing role in educational outcomes. Noted for preparing scholar-practitioners who create transformational change in their educational settings, our innovative, cohort-based doctoral program in leadership is committed to developing extraordinary leaders committed to social justice and equity.