Kelisa Wing has been in education for 15 years. Her journey into the teaching profession began after she was honorably discharged from the United States Army after six years of service. She served as a Youth Consultant for the Self-Expression Teen Theater (SETT) under the United Way in Toledo, Ohio. After moving to Germany with her family, she began substitute teaching, then transitioned to a Special Education paraprofessional, was a school secretary, and eventually, an Administrative Officer. She then taught 8th-grade Language Arts and Reading to military-connected students at Faith Middle School in Fort Benning, Georgia. She then was an Elementary School Assistant Principal at West Point, New York, has been a Professional Development Specialist, and is now a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Specialist in Virginia. She is the author of Conversations (2006), Weeds & Seeds: How To Stay Positive in the Midst of Life’s Storms (2017), Promises and Possibilities: Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline (2018), If I Could: Lessons for Navigating an Unjust World (2020), and a contributing author of Becoming a Globally Competent Teacher (ASCD, 2019). She recently served as author, editor and content advisor for the Racial Justice in America series (six children’s books about racial justice), the Racial Justice in America: Histories series (six children’s books about historical events centered around history and race in America, and the Racial Justice in America: Celebrations series (six children’s books celebrating achievements by BIPOC in America).
As the 2017 Department of Defense Education Activity State Teacher of the Year, she was the first person of color to achieve that honor in the school system’s 71 year history. She is a 2016 Association of Supervision, Curriculum, and Development (ASCD) Emerging Leader, and the 2017 University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Edward Parnell Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. She is the only educator on the Education Civil Rights Alliance (ECRA) Steering Committee, and is a member of the Leading Educator Ambassadors for Equity (LEAE) with the ECRA. As a member of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY), she has led efforts for mentoring teacher leaders through a partnership with 100Kin10. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Learner Variability Project (LVP) & Digital Promise, ASCD’s Global Advisory Council, and the ASCD College Football Playoff Foundation (CFP) Diversifying the Teacher Pipeline Working Group. She speaks both nationally and internationally about discipline reform, equity, student engagement, and many other topics.
Kelisa holds a bachelor’s degree in English from UMUC, a Master of Arts in Secondary Education, and an Educational Specialist degree with a concentration in Curriculum, Instruction, and Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Kelisa credits her faith in God, and His grace, favor, and mercy as the key to her success. Kelisa lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and children. You can learn more at www.kelisawing.com.