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Meet our Interim Superintendent

Judith K. Berry, Ph.D. has served the Tukwila School District since April 2015. She was named interim Superintendent of Schools in September 2017. She was initially contracted to assist with federal Title Grant Compliance and then as assistant superintendent for finance and operations. In March 2016, Berry assumed an employee role as deputy superintendent, a senior administrative position where she oversaw just about every aspect of the district to guarantee comprehensive plans were developed and implemented effectively for all central office departments. This ensured the district remained competitive and guaranteed the focus of resource allocation was on student development and achievement.

Prior Experience

General Background. Judith K. Berry is a versatile leader with extensive experience in K-12, community college, and university teaching. She is a resourceful administrator with history of maximizing resources and continuously-improving program delivery as an educational administrator. Berry fosters the identification and promotion of emerging programs to address economic needs of families and students. She performs well in shared-governance environments where she is able to encourage and inspire individual growth and development. She has a reputation for engaging employees, students, and external stakeholders.

Early Education and Transition from K-12 Teacher to College Administrator

Berry was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and attended Detroit Public Schools. Following high school, Berry attended Marygrove College and received her bachelor’s degree in business education and served as a business education teacher for Detroit Public Schools. After relocating to East Lansing. Berry enrolled in the College of Education at Michigan State University where she studied and graduated with a master’s degree in educational administration with a concentration in K-12 leadership. During this time, she also was employed full-time at Davenport College (now Davenport University) as director of instruction and later as academic dean. This was Berry’s first experience in helping to open a new academic institution. She was responsible for all aspects of the college including, but not limited to, the hiring of faculty and staff, registrar responsibilities, curriculum development, job training partnerships, budget, course scheduling, apartment management, facility and equipment purchases and maintenance, and student advising. Given her myriad responsibilities, the college sent Berry to New York for an extensive period of time to work with experienced corporate technology experts to gain an understanding of computer hardware and software needs for the classroom. She came back to Lansing and installed the first instructional computers for Davenport College.

Business Owner, College Administrator, and State Department of Education Experiences.

Berry was later recruited by State Farm Insurance where she briefly owned an agency before returning to education at Lansing Community College. She worked as a department administrator at the community college for a short period and was recruited to work at Michigan Department of Education as the state supervisor of business services and technology. Berry worked at the department of education for years providing technical assistance to administrators and teachers in career and technical education in K-12 and teacher education at Michigan universities that recommended business education and career and technical education teaching certificates. In this role she led the nation in implementing career pathways or clusters, facilitated the process for local schools to implement computer technology in K-12 classrooms, provided extensive professional development opportunities for business education teachers to become certified technology teachers. She was first in the nation to implement technology certifications in K-12 education. Some of these certificates were the Oracle Networking Certificates, the Microsoft Office Certificates, and the Cisco Networking Certificates.

Involvement in Education at the National Level

Berry went to Washington D.C. to speak to legislators at a public hearing on the importance of technology in education. As a result of her Washington efforts, she believes she was a major influence in getting funding to integrate instructional technology in K-12 public education.
She continued to use her influence at the national level where she became active with the National Business Education Association. She helped write the first set of national standards for business education, which incorporated technology standards. She served on the Strategic Planning Committee for the association for six years where she had a large influence on the direction of business education in the nation.

Berry served on the national Business Professionals of America Board of Directors. She was chairman for six years. Business Professionals of America is a student organization for K-12 and college students who want to excel in business management and leadership. Students have the opportunity to compete in national competitive events such as entrepreneurship, emblem building, web design, computer programming, employability skills, computer-aided graphics, and more.

Student Organizations Monitor, Civil Rights Monitor, Auditor, Propriety Schools Committee Member

Back in Michigan, Berry’s state supervisor job at Michigan Department of Education also included being the monitor of all career and technical education student organizations including BPA, DECA, SkillsUSA, HOSA, and FFA. Other job responsibilities included serving as a civil rights monitor, program auditor, and propriety school licensing committee member. While serving in this role she had the opportunity to attend and graduate from the Education Policy Fellowship Program through the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington D.C.

Understanding the Business of Education and Curriculum Design Consultant

Berry was recruited to work for EduTech, LLC while working for the department of education. At EduTech, LLC, she honed her understanding of the business of education. As president of this computer training company, she was responsible for hiring sales personnel, technology trainers, writing curriculum, working with publishing companies for just-in-time delivery of instructional materials to sites throughout Michigan and Illinois, scheduling trainers, and setting sales quotas.

Berry opened her consulting business out of necessity to accommodate the numerous requests from school districts for technology plans and curriculum. She has written curriculum for Lansing, East Lansing, Flint, and Detroit Public Schools. She has written curriculum for out of state school systems such as Liverpool Central School District in New York, the Ohio Department of Education, and New Mexico Department of Education. She has written travel and tourism curriculum for American Airlines. In addition to writing curriculum, she has written course description guides, student handbooks, designed a course numbering database, and assisted with the design of new education facilities for business education programs.

Community College Executive Leadership Experience, PhD Program, National Board Experiences, Development of Two College Divisions, and Community Engagement

In 2001, the provost at Lansing Community College recruited Berry to be the Dean of Business, Media, and Information Technologies (BMIT), a new academic division that was to open at the college. Berry served in this position for nine years. She increased student credit by 20,000 credits over a 2-year period. She revitalized all BMIT programs to increase return on investment to above .90 cents. She right-sized associate degree programs to 60 credits from 65-77 credits. She enhanced student success by implementing supplemental instruction programs in courses where less than 80% of students passed. She fortified faculty and student skills and knowledge base by partnering with national vendors to implement multiple certified training and assessment programs, including testing centers. She reinforced accountability by initiating monthly administrative reporting process called the Second Friday Report. Berry guided initiatives resulting in recognition of BMIT quality management system as a national best practice and successful International Standards Organization (ISO) registration.

She facilitated a major renovation project to consolidate division programs in 1 building rather than 5. She co-developed a museum-quality traveling exhibit, depicting 6 decades of changes in various industries and the impact on community colleges and society. She created an on-campus Stellar Design Center for internship opportunities for art, design, and multimedia students. She oversaw implementation of i3D, immersive, simulation-based learning throughout occupational programs, including the creation of an i3D learning theater, student production lab, and design center. She provided oversight for the convergence of the photography, film, and media programs to digital format, using the DaCUM system.

While serving as dean, Berry enrolled in the PhD program at Walden University, College of Education and received her PhD in Education, with a concentration in community college leadership in 2013. Berry was active on the Board of the National Council on Black American Affairs (NCBAA), an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges. She served as the North Central regional president of NCBAA. Berry also served on several community boards including the Black Child and Family Institute Board, the Lansing College Area Network Board, and the Superintendents’ Roundtable. She was a reviewer for the National Science Foundation and has been a principal investigator on two NSF grants related to IT Apprenticeship for computer information technology students.

Between fall 2010 and spring 2012, Berry has served as Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives in the Office of the Provost at Lansing Community College. In this role she led the development and operations of all college readiness partnerships with 15 secondary school districts spanning the college’s service area. The division comprising K-12 Relations, The Early College, HOPE and Promise Scholars, and High School Diploma Completion Initiative. During the 2011 academic year, she and her team have designed and launched The Early College as a shared educational entity within the state of Michigan. The STEM-focused College opened fall 2011 with 90 high school juniors from 12 school districts through a public lottery process. Curriculum needs were addressed for students with severe learning deficiencies and for students excelling academically. A healthy food vending service that served all students was installed spring 2012, and the renovation of the facility was completed. Life size graphics of famous people with their most famous motivational quotes grace the walls of the first floor of the building to help inspire students to achieve and to help set a positive tone in the building each day.

School Accreditation Experience and Professional Development Activities

Berry is a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission, the North Central Region accreditation agency for schools, colleges, and universities. She has served on two accrediting teams during the 2011-12 school year.

During her tenure at Lansing Community College she has completed the following professional development activities: graduate of the Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership, an institute sponsored by the Presidents’ Roundtable of the American Association of Community College. She has become a certified DACUM (Develop a Curriculum) facilitator and a certified SCID (Systematic Curriculum and Instructional Development) trainer. Training and certification were completed at The Ohio State University. She has become a certified virtual/online instructor. Berry has become a certified dialog specialist and performance coach for VitalSmart, Inc., a national communication organization.
A Call to Serve in a First of Its Kind Innovated Educational Entity. In May 2012, Berry joined the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan (EAA) as the Assistant Chancellor for Instructional Support and Educational Accountability to help design an educational structure that would radically change the way persistently low achieving schools manage teaching and learning systems to help close the achievement gap of PreK-12 students. This Authority was the first of a kind in the United States. EAA opened its doors to approximately 10,000 students fall 2012 within 15 buildings in Detroit, Michigan. Berry was honored to serve EAA as a senior executive until January 2014 after serving as a governor appointee on the board for one year.

In January 2014, Berry resumed her role as President of Technical Education Services and Training, LLC to assist school districts and business and industry in the implementation of career and technical education programs and apprenticeship opportunities for K-12, adults, and individuals who need retraining and job coaching to secure viable employment opportunities. She assisted with revitalizing career and technical education center programs in Detroit with the support of business and industry. She also designed the academic component of a residential school for low-level felons as a diversion program in Wayne County, Michigan. She, furthermore, was assisting a workforce development agency in developing a training and employment program where K-12 students would receive a high school diploma, up to an associate degree, and related job placement just prior to coming to Tukwila School District in the state of Washington.

Personal

Dr. Berry is married to Mandeville Berry, Jr. who works at General Motors in Lansing, MI. Ebony and Randy are their adult daughter and son.

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