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Ph.D. Candidate Elected As Education Non-Profit Trustee

Assoc. News Editor

Published: Thursday, January 23, 2014

Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2014 01:01

Cheryl Watson-Harris, a doctoral student at Boston College and a Boston Public Schools administrator, was recently elected to the Board of Trustees for the non-profit organization Discovering Justice.

Watson-Harris currently serves as a network superintendent for Boston Public Schools in Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill, and Allston/Brighton, and was previously a principal for schools in Roxbury and Dorchester. She received her bachelor’s degree from Marymount College and master of education from Harvard University before pursuing her Ph.D. at BC, according to a press release announcing her election to the board.

In addition to her formal education, Watson-Harris is a 2012 graduate of the Lynch Leadership Academy at BC, a joint collaboration between the Lynch School of Education and the Carroll School of Management.

Established in 2010 through a gift from Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch through the Lynch Foundation, the academy strengthens the leadership skills of early to mid-career school leaders, according to the University’s website. After participating in a year-long program of coaching sessions and workshops, fellows are intended to return to their respective school districts and enhance the lives of the urban students and families they serve.

Boston-based Discovering Justice seeks to provide civic and justice education for elementary and middle school students throughout Massachusetts. In-school, after-school, and field trip programs combine to engage underserved students with civic responsibilities and facilitate connections with their communities. Since its founding in 1998, the organization has served nearly 100,000 people.

“I started using Discovering Justice’s elementary school curriculum, Children Discovering Justice, while I was the principal at the Tobin [School], and I immediately saw the value of the curriculum’s civic content, its valuable resources for literacy, and how it empowered my teachers to really connect with the students and teach civics,” Watson-Harris said in a statement. “Since then I have been a supporter of Discovering Justice, and I am thrilled to now serve on its board.”

The in-school curriculum consists of activities for younger children that impart large ideals such as democracy, rights, and the law, according to the organization’s website. Middle school students are given the chance to work with appellate lawyers to explore the Bill of Rights and individual protections in real courtrooms. Among the Boston law firms that contribute attorneys to the program as volunteers are Ropes & Gray, Goodwin Proctor, Mintz Levin, and Nixon Peabody, as well as the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. 

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