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When: Wednesday, June 02 / 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Organizer: AIA Baltimore
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Categorized under: Special Events, Webinars

Equity in Public Schools: Supporting our Communities through School Design

Join the AIA Baltimore CAE, AIA DC, and AIA North Virginia for a webinar exploring the equity in education systems and communities…

1.5 LUs/HSW

This event is in partnership with AIA Baltimore, AIA DC, and AIA Northern Virginia.

This virtual event will explore equity in the education systems, communities, and school facilities of three local public school districts – Alexandria City Public Schools, Baltimore City Public Schools, and Prince George’s County Public Schools – each with distinctive challenges, demographics, populations, and settings. We will hear presentations from school system leaders facing challenges of inequity and resource disparity in their communities and schools, and the unique strategies established by each for the planning, design, and procurement of school facilities, followed by a facilitated discussion.

This event will focus on:

• The specific equity goals of each local school system

• Considerations and strategies for the allocation of resources to optimize educational equity and support surrounding communities

• Approaches to community engagement and distinct impacts of improved neighborhood connections

• Strategies to overcome diversity and inclusion obstacles in our education systems

For special accommodations to this event, please contact Olivia Miles, AIA Baltimore Communications at omiles@aiabalt.com

About Our Presenters:

Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., Superintendent, Alexandria City Public Schools

As an experienced educator and administrator, Dr. Hutchings served as a teacher and in leadership roles at the middle and high school levels as well as in central office administrative positions. He began his teaching career in Manassas at Prince William County Public Schools and then served as an assistant middle school principal with Chesterfield County Public Schools, near Richmond. In Nashville, Tennessee, he was promoted from an assistant high school principal to middle school principal. He was named Tennessee Middle School Principal of the Year by the Tennessee Association of Middle Schools for his role in increasing student achievement and becoming thenumber one middle school in metropolitan Nashville based on value-added.

Dr. Hutchings holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Old Dominion University and a master’s in educational leadership from George Mason University. He earned a doctorate in educational policy, planning and leadership in 2010 from the College of William and Mary.

Cyndi Smith, Director of Facilities Design and Construction, Baltimore City Public Schools

Cyndi Smith is the Director of Facilities Design and Construction at Baltimore City Public Schools in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to this, she was the Senior Educational Facilities Planner for City Schools. In her Director role, she oversees the design and construction of all of the City Schools Capital projects across the portfolio of 156 buildings, which is approximately 20-30 projects and about $35 – $45M per year of work. In addition, she is involved in the 21st Century Schools initiative which City Schools is currently undertaking.

Cyndi received her Bachelor’s degrees in Architectural Engineering and Civil Engineering with a Structural Concentration from Drexel University. She also holds a Master’s degree in Technical Management from Johns Hopkins University as well as an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Educational Facilities Planning from San Diego State University’s National Center for the 21st Century Schoolhouse. Cyndi is a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in Maryland, a Project Management Professional (PMP), and an Accredited Learning Environments Professional (ALEP).

Cyndi is active in the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE), the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and she has been recognized as a Fellow in both SEI and ASCE for her contributions (F.SEI, F.ASCE). Cyndi has served on both the Northeast Region Board of A4LE as well as the Chesapeake Bay Delaware Valley Chapter Board.

Dr. Alicia J. Hart, Executive Director of Facilities and Operations, Alexandria City Public Schools

Dr. Hart has been with ACPS since December 2019. She joined the organization in the role of Director of Educational Facilities where she was responsible for the management and execution of non-capacity Capital Improvement projects. In December 2020, she was promoted to Executive Director of Facilities and Operations. In her role as Executive Director, she oversees multiple support operations for the division, to include Transportation, School Nutrition, Safety and Security, Maintenance and Custodial Services, and Capital Projects.Prior to joining ACPS, she held the post of Assistant Director of Public Works, Maintenance and Operations with Prince William County. Within this role, she handled the planning, operation and execution of the Buildings and Grounds Division administering a divisional budget in excess of $14 million dollars annually and managing a staff of 82 employees. Before her time in Prince William County, she held the capacity of Administrative Budget Manager for Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission where she developed, managed and administered an annual operating budget of $250M for the Department of Parks and Recreation. Some of her early career positions included Facilities Coordinator with Portsmouth Public Schools and Assistant Director of General Services with the City of Portsmouth.Dr. Hart holds a doctorate in Business Administration from Walden University, a masters in Business Administration from Strayer University and a bachelors in Business Management from Hampton University.

Erika Gulick, Director of Capital Programs, Planning, and Design, Alexandria City Public Schools

Erika Gulick is the Director of Capital Programs, Planning and Design for Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS), and has been working as part of the ACPS Facilities and Operations team since 2015. Some of her main responsibilities with ACPS include developing the Capital Improvement Program with a team annually, acting as a liaison to City departments, planning for and leading major new facilities projects through design and construction, facilitating enrollment projections and conducting capacity and utilization analyses. Prior to coming to ACPS, Erika worked as an environmental scientist on redevelopment sites for an engineering and planning consultant firm in her home-state of New Jersey. She also has her Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP) license from GISCI and her American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certificate from American Planning Association.

Jason Washington, Director of Public-Private Partnerships Program, Prince George’s County Public Schools

Since beginning his career as a teacher, Jason has always sought out opportunities that can have a direct impact on the lives of others. From practicing law to working in community development and in his current position, leading the development and implementation of the Nation’s first K-12 bundled schools concessionaire model, he has sought positions that allow him to serve and create dynamic programs.

Prior to leading this effort, he was executive director of the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships, vice president of Business and Economic Development at Corvias and he led the Metropolitan Washington Community Wealth Building Initiative at City First Enterprises as senior vice president. Jason has also served as a White House fellow, assigned to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he supported the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. Previously, he was senior policy advisor to the mayor of Baltimore, and served as chair of the Mayor’s School Construction Task Force. Prior to joining city government, Jason practiced law as a corporate associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Register Here


Learn More About The Committee on Architecture in Education

The CAE is a forum for the exploration, discussion, and dissemination of ideas on educational facilities. CAE strives to bring together diverse stakeholders interested in creating, building and implementing great learning environments.

Learn more about CAE and its mission here.