Dr. Wanda Billingsly: Influencer, Educator, Doctoral Graduate

Dr. Billingsly

The School of Applied Leadership is honored to announce the graduation of Dr. Wanda Billingsly.

Dr. Billingsly successfully defended her dissertation over the summer.  Her study, Preparing Teachers to Close the Achievement Gap Through use of Culturally Responsive Practice: Changes in Pedagogical Practice, examined teachers’ perceptions of the type of culturally responsive training and professional development provided to them and whether the training aligned with current research and best curriculum practices for closing the achievement gap.

Dr. Billingsly, was a CityU graduate of the Executive Leadership program and holds a Washington State Superintendent Certificate from CityU.  She was recently hired as the Assistant Superintendent of the Tukwila School District. Her mission as an educator for the past twenty-eight years has been to “close the achievement gap” existing in education.  She hopes to provide better services and access to students who are typically under-served and disenfranchised.

Serving on numerous committees, shaping educational policy and addressing issues of social justice and equity across the state, Dr. Billingsly was appointed by Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire to serve on the Achievement Gap Oversight Committee during the 2009-10 legislative session.  She was also appointed to serve on the Higher Education and K-12 Partnership Committee by Governor Gregoire, both distinguished honors.

Dr. Billingsly has been an elementary school teacher, a university faculty member, an assistant principal, a principal, an associate dean, and a central office administrator.  She is now transitioning to her role as an assistant superintendent. Her first task will be to assist in the implementation of the Tukwila Strategic Plan, ensuring alignment, focus, and clarity as it relates to their collective vision.  She reflected, “The organizational leadership course work at CityU has been the foundation for me as a professional. Being immersed in the latest research has been invaluable.

Previously, as she reflected on the program, she said, “It’s not easy, but it is well worth the investment”.  Wanda admires leaders who exhibit courage, strength, tenacity and perseverance.  Her mentors include Vera Risdon, Dr. John Armenia, and Dr. Mike Riley.  She is also inspired by other women of color who have “defied the odds, dispelled myths, and (through hard work and fortitude) have reached their goals”.


Published September 23, 2015



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