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Meet Kathy Wright – Director of Educator Experiences (STEMinista)


Kathy refers to herself as a serial entrepreneur. Taking after her dad who grew up on a farm, she has many varied interests and experiences.


Born and raised in Chicago in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, her family relocated to Jackson, Mississippi. Suddenly, Kathy found herself in a very different world. Her family was the only black family on their street. It was during this experience that she witnessed first-hand the equity and access imbalance and its effects on education and opportunity.


After high school, she attended Howard University in DC. While there, she considered joining the US Naval Academy in Bethesda, but her husband took a job in Cincinnati, so she moved with him. Kathy’s experience is steeped in STEM education in the curriculum for Hughes STEM High School and at NSTA as Division Director of Multicultural Equity before moving into administration as a principal for Cincinnati Public Schools, where she worked for 26 years. After that, she created SBSC Consultants – aka She Believed She Could; as the organization’s President & CEO, she works as a leadership coach and consultant.


“I came to PAST through Marcy Raymond. Marcy and I had worked together for many years on different projects. Over the years, I followed the work of PAST and OSLN (Ohio STEM Learning Network), so when I had the chance to work with PAST, I said yes.” Initially, Kathy worked as a consultant before officially joining PAST as Director of Educator Experiences last August.


What does Kathy enjoy most about working at PAST and being part of the tribe? “People at PAST understand education in ways that others do not. They utilize intentional design, the things that learners can link to real life, and they understand how to design for the needs of individual learners. 


Kathy continues that she believes PAST is doing the right work of designing, implementing, and supporting STEM  programs. “Solution finding, problem-solving and inquiry utilizing and the design cycle is the right work. There are not enough people talking about the necessity of a shift in pedagogy. There is a recognition that teachers need to be facilitators of knowledge, and part of that is allowing students to engage in productive struggle because learning is in the doing.  Researchers have identified where we need to go in education in the 21st century. The question is how can we continue to be relevant, helping them to move forward. PAST is on the leading edge of the innovation curve and we champion what we hold as important. I am glad to be planting a flag in that space.”


Kathy most enjoys the people at PAST and the space. “PAST’s people are super smart.  PAST’s non-profit heart is in the right place doing the right work. By providing the space for research, it further impacts the experiences our students are able to have.”


One of Kathy’s favorite projects has been Amp-ITT-up, an endeavor of strategic collaboration with leaders from across the state. This program intends to impact, support, and create frameworks for STEM identity formation in school districts and buildings. This year of discovery explored what is available in the career pathways of Advance Manufacturing, Information Technology, and Telecommunications. 


What lies ahead for Kathy! “I want to hold true to helping students discover their STEM identities to secure high paying STEM careers. This will provide equity and opportunity for all.” As you can tell from Kathy’s experiences, they are all very STEM focused, so STEMinista just seemed like the perfect meta title.

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