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Shaker Heights Schools Names Dr. Lawrence Burnley Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

November 10, 2021 - Shaker Heights Schools has named Dr. Lawrence Burnley (SHHS ‘74) as its Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, effective January 3, 2022. The appointment of Dr. Burnley is the result of a nationwide search to fill this position.

Dr. Burnley brings a host of expertise and experience in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work, joining the District from the University of Dayton, where he established the position of Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion. There, he developed a comprehensive strategic plan to advance diversity, equity and inclusion goals and objectives for the university. He also created a permanent, campuswide council to advise senior leadership on matters relating to DEI. His work included a campus climate survey; a one-year study to develop a strategy for achieving greater racial, ethnic and gender equity among faculty, staff and administration; and several initiatives to create and increase dialog among administration and the community.

Dr. Burnley has also spent the last seven years consulting individuals and organizations in the areas of team building, strategic planning, outcomes assessment, teaching and workshop facilitation on various topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“We are elated that Dr. Burnley will join us as our Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer this winter,” said Shaker Heights Schools Superintendent Dr. David Glasner. “We are confident that his experience, leadership and expertise will drive forward the Strategic Plan and Educational Equity Policy created by the District. The DEI Department under Dr. Burnley’s leadership will continue the important work to disrupt societal and historical inequities and eliminate disparities within our District so that all students and staff can thrive.”

“The Shaker Heights Schools' decision to make educational equity for all students across the District a strategic priority positions Shaker to be a national leader in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within the K-12 space,” said Dr. Burnley. “This commitment by the District is compelling for me because I believe deeply that, when it comes to the education of our children, diversity, equity and inclusion is not an option; it is a mission-driven imperative. Educational excellence for all children simply cannot be achieved without such a commitment. I consider it an honor and blessing to be afforded the opportunity to serve the school district that played such a critical and formational role in laying the foundation for my career as a scholar, administrator and inclusive excellence practitioner.”

Dr. Burnley earned his bachelor’s degree in African American studies with a concentration in history from the University of Cincinnati and his Master’s of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary. He earned his Ph.D. in History of American Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Burnley graduated from Shaker Heights High School and has served on the Shaker Schools Foundation Board of Trustees.

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