Dr. I. Sue Shepard, interim dean of the College of Education at Southeast Missouri State University, will be awarded the Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award Feb. 19 at the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) 136th Annual Conference.
The award recognizes AASA members who exemplify the professional qualities espoused and modeled by the late Dr. Effie H. Jones, a champion of women and minorities in educational leadership. Jones was a school administrator, teacher, counselor and organizer of the Office of Minority Affairs at AASA. She was profiled in “Women at the Top” for her groundbreaking work with women who aspired to be superintendents. Jones planned, organized, lectured, wrote grants and petitioned to elevate the status of minorities and women in education. Because of her commitment to diversity, school system leadership has become richer, more complex and more accessible to a range of qualified educators.
Dr. Ron Anderson, superintendent of Jackson Community Schools, nominated Shepard for the award. She was selected by the AASA Minority Affairs and the Women Administrators Advisory committees.
“Dr. Jones was a great role model in her support of women and minorities in educational leadership. I worked with Dr. Jones, better known as Effie, in 1982-1983, when I was with the American Association of School Administrators,” Shepard said. “Effie was a caring and compassionate person and held very high expectations for all. There are many individuals that believed in her work and wished to see this work continued. I am very honored to have been designated as one of the recipients of this award in her name.”
Shepard has been active in the development of networks that support women and minorities in educational administration since entering educational administration in 1982. She has assisted in the organization and support of thee networks locally and on a statewide basis in Iowa and Missouri. Nationally, she was active in the National Council of Administrative Women in Education from 1982 to 1997, serving on the executive board as director-at-large. As a member of the American Association of School Administrators, she has been active as a member of the Women’s Caucus since 1982 and served as secretary of this group from 1998 to 2001. She also served as a member of the AASA Leadership Committee from 1999-2002.
Since entering higher education in 1992, Shepard has continued to mentor women and minorities when she was a professor of educational administration and now as interim dean. Currently, nearly 100 women and minority individuals, who have been former students of Shepard, are serving as building level principals, central office personnel, assistant superintendents, superintendents, or are faculty in higher education departments or educational administration.
Shepard has conducted research that has resulted in publications and presentations to promote awareness of the issues impacting women and minorities in educational administration. Her research and publications have focused upon the barriers to entering administration and the attitudes of superintendents and school board presidents toward women as administrators. In addition, she has written on gender differences in communication and gender differences in aspiration, mobility and persistence in seeking administrative positions.
In 1992, Shepard was the first woman to be hired in the educational administration program at Southeast. She continues to encourage women and minorities since entering higher education. Shepard has served as a liaison from the University to the superintendent’s group in the region while a faculty member and chair of the department. She has reported on the activities of AASA and encouraged membership in the organization at both the state and national level.
She has her bachelor of science degree from Iowa State University, master of science in education degree from Northern Illinois University and doctoral degree in educational administration from the University of Iowa.