Women on all Fronts: Striving for Balance in the Context of Racism, Sexism, and Covid
Preethy Jayant, EdM., was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Sathy and Priya Eddy. Throughout her childhood, her parents pushed her to be independent and to find ways to challenge herself. She attended Ursinus College for her undergraduate education in Psychology and then completed her masters’ coursework at Teacher College, Columbia University. Following the completion of her degree, Preethy began working in North Philadelphia as a therapist in a truancy prevention program. She then began to pursue a certificate in Secondary School Counseling after seeing the value in intervention at the school level. In 2007, she began working as a Secondary School Counselor in an alternative school in Easton. After 12 years, she transitioned into the main high school. Preethy has been married for 15 years, has two children and a dog named Duke.
Nikole Y. Hollins-Sims, Ed.D., is an educational equity expert. She currently serves as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Education at the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Dr. Hollins-Sims previously served as an educational consultant for the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN)-Harrisburg Office, where she was the co-statewide lead for the Learning Environment & Engagement initiative. Dr. Hollins-Sims is a Pennsylvania certified school psychologist with a specific interest in social justice. She has also conducted research around caregivers of children of incarcerated parents and their motivation to engage in family-school partnerships. Dr. Hollins-Sims has been awarded as a Moral and Courageous Leader for Education by Cabrini University in 2021, the recipient of the 2021 American Psychology Association (APA) Anti-Racism School Psychology Emerging Professional Award & was recently named the 2021 Pennsylvania School Psychologist of the Year.
Robin H. Alozie, M.Ed., is an Assistant Principal at Freedom High School, with this year being her 11th year in Education, and 6th year in Bethlehem Area School District. Robin currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Teachers Advisory Council and as a member of the Community Action Committee of The Lehigh Valley’s Generation Next Advisory Board. Prior to administration, Robin was a Special Education Teacher at Liberty High School in the Bethlehem Area School District and an instructor of an Academic Leadership Seminar program that focuses on college preparation and career readiness with mentorship, leadership development, and social-emotional learning. Her work as an instructor of this program, fondly referred to as “Lady Leaders”, earned her the National Liberty Museum and State Farm Insurance 2019 Teacher as Hero Award. In July of 2020, Robin was awarded a Master of Educational Leadership specializing in Urban Education, Race, and Equity. Robin’s bio includes the words of Shirley Chisholm, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.”
Emily Aragona-Young, Ph.D., is a music educator with a research interest in creating equitable learning environments. She received her undergraduate degrees in Trumpet Performance and Elementary Education from Marywood University in 2002. After beginning her music teaching career, she completed a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Moravian University. Receiving the Master's Thesis Award at graduation inspired her to pursue a doctoral degree in Teaching, Learning and Technology at Lehigh University. Her dissertation centered on developing teachers' self-efficacy regarding equity literacy. Though the process of achieving her doctorate was prolonged due to the birth of her twins, she graduated in 2017. Dr. Aragona-Young is currently in her 19th year teaching elementary music and continues to serve as a teacher leader in her school as well as an adjunct faculty member at both Moravian and Lehigh Universities.