Dr. Lolli Haws has served as superintendent of the Racine Unified School District since July 2013. Prior to coming to Racine, Dr. Haws served as an instructional superintendent for District of Columbia Public Schools in Washington, D.C. There she was responsible for the leadership, management and performance of 13 distinctly different schools, including early childhood centers, elementary schools, K-8 campuses, a middle school and special education campuses. Programs at these schools included innovative approaches such as Reggio-Emilio inspired curriculum, STEM, arts integration and dual language.
In collaboration with the school leaders and support team, Dr. Haws worked to reform struggling schools to close achievement gaps in an urban school system with complex issues and challenges. Each of these schools successfully faced these challenges, making annual achievement progress in reading and math as well as improved school culture, increased family engagement and decreased suspensions and truancies.
Prior to her role with District of Columbia Public Schools, Dr. Haws served as principal of Oakridge Elementary School in Arlington Public Schools, a top performing district near D.C. She led a complex Title I school with children from more than 60 countries who spoke more than 40 languages. During her tenure, the school made significant progress toward closing achievement gaps, especially for English Language Learners. The school also earned multiple awards including the Distinguished Title I School Award as well as Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) awards for advanced learning and achievement including the Board of Education Excellence Award and the Board of Education Competence to Excellence Award. Dr. Haws also served as principal of a Title I elementary school in inner-suburban St. Louis, where her leadership earned the school a regional reputation for exemplary literacy instruction and achievement.
Dr. Haws also has experience as an assistant principal at a year-round school in a rapidly-growing suburban community, a teacher of the deaf, a professional sign language interpreter and an adjunct college instructor. She has consistently been involved in curriculum design and professional development leadership as a teacher and administrator. In addition, she served as director of disabled student services at St. Louis Community College.
Dr. Haws has contributed numerous articles and commentaries to an educational leadership online magazine. She has written on school leadership topics for an educational publishing company blog and serves as a reviewer of education book manuscripts. Most recently, Dr. Haws has led several initiatives to develop leadership skills of principals. Topics include balanced literacy, guided reading practices, assessment of reading skills, using formative data analysis and implementing the Common Core State Standards. She held leadership roles for District of Columbia Public Schools initiatives such as managing leadership performance, expanding quality instructional practices for special education programs and revamping D.C.’s principal evaluation system. She attended the Harvard Principal’s Institute and is highly trained as a leadership coach.
Dr. Haws received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., a master’s degree in reading from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Ph.D. in educational administration from St. Louis University in St. Louis, Mo.