SARASOTA, Fla. (Aug. 7, 2017) – Dr. Marie Byrd, who joined USF Sarasota-Manatee 10 years ago and worked for several years in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, has been named Director of USFSM’s School of Education.
She starts her new position today, replacing Interim Director Dr. Jane Rose, who serves as dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences. The School of Education is part of that college.
“I’m honored to receive the support of my colleagues and I look forward to working with them,” Dr. Byrd said of the appointment, adding, “A colleague encouraged me to apply for the position, considering my leadership with Initial Teacher Preparation and my previous faculty background in educational leadership. I then conferred with each resident faculty member in the School of Education and they each supported the idea.”
Dr. Byrd has served as associate director the school’s Initial Teacher Preparation Program since 2012 and has overseen the Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program since 2007.
In addition to the support of colleagues, she received encouragement from Dr. Rose, who served as a mentor to Dr. Byrd this past academic year.
“I am totally confident that Dr. Byrd will be a capable and inspiring director, enabling the School of Education to continue doing the fine work it is known for throughout the region and leading her colleagues in finding ways to make the program even stronger,” Dr. Rose said.
Dr. Byrd said she doesn’t foresee major changes at the school, but noted she’s eager to launch a USFSM chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the national honor society for educators, and to induct student members starting this academic year. Members must complete at least 30 hours of coursework and maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average.
“This is something that will be good for our students, and it’s something that they can include on their resumes,” Dr. Byrd said. “Both USF St. Petersburg and USF Tampa have chapters of Kappa Delta Pi.”
Dr. Byrd has taught undergraduate and graduate course at the School of Education since coming to USFSM in 2007. Under her new position, she will teach graduate-level classes only.
An associate professor, Dr. Byrd has written extensively about cultural, ethnic and racial inequities in U.S. public schools. Frequently, she’s been called on to advise school districts about in-house training programs to help teachers understand and overcome biases.
Well-respected by peers across Florida and the Southeast, she has also served as president of both the Florida Association of Teacher Educators and Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Educators.
Dr. Byrd is a native of Florida and worked as a teacher and administrator in Miami-Dade County Public Schools for several years before pursuing her university career. In addition to teaching, she was a reading curriculum specialist for two years and an assistant principal for five, both in the Miami area.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Florida State University and both her master’s degree and Ed.D from Florida International University. Before joining USFSM, she was an assistant professor at the University of Memphis and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
“I think that the positions I’ve held in education since the beginning of my career have helped to prepare me,” she said of her new position. “I had been employed in Miami-Dade County Public Schools as a teacher, curriculum specialist and as an assistant principal. That gave me the experience in practice I needed as I transitioned into higher education.
“My first two positions in higher education were in educational leadership as an assistant professor, so my foundation is in teacher education as well as leadership education, which is what this position is about,” she said. “I’m very excited and honored to serve as director of the School of Education.
To learn more about USFSM’s School of Education, visit usfsm.edu/school-of-education.