Superintendent Dr. McDade Q&A with Hylton Students

PWCS superintendent Dr. McDade makes an appearance at CISL’s January general meeting.

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Superintendent Dr. McDade answering students’ questions.

What happened? 

It’s the end of January, and CISL hosted their monthly general meeting where they gave global updates. However, for this general meeting, CISL invited a special guest.

While the county did experience its first code orange preventing the CISL meeting from happening in-person, PWCS superintendent Dr. LaTanya McDade nonetheless joined the CISL zoom meeting where she shared more about herself and her background.

CISL asked students to send in questions they wanted Dr. McDade to answer, and she gave some interesting and in-depth responses.

What makes a successful school system?

Dr. McDade: “The success of any county or any school division…is understanding within the school system that we serve students and families. The only reason we are in business is because our students and families trust us to provide a service and that service is education.”

What was it like growing up as the daughter of immigrants? How have those struggles/benefits impacted your life?

Dr. McDade: “I grew in a time where public education didn’t value diversity…and so it was more about assimilation…I went to school growing up ashamed of my background and my culture…I did not come to a place of self-actualization…until I got to college and that’s a tough place to be…and what I learned from that is I have a responsibility to make sure as an educator we don’t perpetuate that same cycle in education today and that every single student in our classrooms has an opportunity to have a sense of identity and affirmation of who they are…I have a phrase that I use that our classrooms, schools, and communities should be both mirrors and windows: places where our students can see themselves as well as the world around them.”

Do you feel you are treated any differently as an African American woman now that you are the superintendent of PWCS? 

Dr. McDade: “…it [the superintendent position] is a male-dominated field…and when you think about this it’s interesting because the classroom is predominantly female but by the time you get to the highest levels of leadership it gets lower and lower [the women in leadership positions]…I have had experiences where I have been treated differently because I am a woman. I have had situations where my intellect has not been considered if I am speaking with a male counterpart. ”

Final words 

With many questions asked, Dr. McDade was excited to talk with the Hylton student body. She says she hopes to meet Hylton students again (and in-person). While Dr. McDade got to meet with CISL members, many more like the Hylton journalism staff hope to also build a bridge between her and the Hylton student body.

The Q&A session ends off with Dr. McDade saying, “This is the first student body that invited me to come and talk…I think sometimes as students you may see decisions being made, some you may like and some you may not, and you don’t really know the person behind the decision, and I’m just grateful for the opportunity…you are the reason I am in this role, and I want you to be successful.”