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2017 State System Summit

Session 38

Contact 2017 State System Summit  

2017 State System Summit

13-15 University Ave.
West Chester, PA 19382

Hiram G. Martinez
2017 Summit Chairperson
Phone: 610-436-2433

Examining Systemic Barriers that Exist in School Systems

  • 10:00 AM – 10:55 AM
  • SYKES ROOM 210

The panel is an examination of barriers and issues of equity that diverse populations face in the Pre-K -12 schools. The presentation takes a look at the overlapping of social identities and systems of oppression as they present themselves in PreK-12 education. In addition to examining structural issues in the schools systems, the panelist will discuss thoughts on what is working and what needs to happen moving forward in an effort towards equity in education.


Sarah Zwaan, WCU Student Volunteer

Panel Organizer

Dr. Katherine Norris, Associate Professor of Early and Middle Grades Education at West Chester University
Katherine Norris graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. She later went on to further her education at Saint Joseph's and later Temple University. Currently, Katherine is an professor of Early Childhood Education at West Chester University. Katherine has focused much of her research on building culturally responsive relationships between families and schools, literacy, and diversity in education. She has recent publications in Issues in Teacher Education, Multicultural Education, Teaching Young Children. Prior to coming to WCU Katherine spent over 18 years teaching in various positions with the School District of Philadelphia.


Chris Lunardi, Athletic Director at West Chester Rustin High School
Factors, Impacts, and Implications of Minority Student Extracurricular Participation Patterns
Chris Lunardi has been the Athletic Director at West Chester Rustin High School since 2007. He oversees all extracurricular activities, including 25 Varsity level athletic programs and 75 non-athletic clubs and activities. Prior to Rustin opening, Chris taught Math and coached three sports at Henderson High School. Chris studied Math and Education at Gettysburg College, has a Principal's Certificate from Immaculata University and a Master's Degree from West Chester University, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education degree from WCU. He lives in West Chester with his wife and 5 children.

Dr. Carmen Lesesne, Central Office Director of Equity, EDL, and World Language at West Chester Area School District
Stay Ready so You Do Not Have to Get Ready: Preparing to Respond to Racially Charged Incidents
Dr. Carmen J. Lesesne is a graduate of The Lincoln University, Temple University, and St. Joseph's University. Currently serving as the Supervisor of Equity, World Language, & English Language Development for the West Chester Area School District she leads a team of facilitators and equity teams who help the school community deepen their understanding of the Courageous Conversations protocol developed by Glenn Singleton. Carmen has recently led a round table discussion at the 2017 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting regarding findings from her dissertation titled Understanding the Relationship between Teachers' Race and Self-efficacy in Teaching Black and White Students. In addition to her passion for social justice, Dr. Lesesne is a mom, an active community member, and a business owner of