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Dr. Mumin Recommends DEI Director
Dr. Mumin Recommends DEI Director

Dear LMSD Families,

I'm pleased to share with you that at tonight's meeting of the Lower Merion Board of School Directors, I plan to recommend the appointment of Shawanna James-Coles as LMSD's new Director of Diversity and Equity. Pending approval of the Board, Ms. James-Coles will join our District on July 1, 2022.

Ms. James-Coles currently serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Education for the Centennial School District. She has also served Centennial as the Assistant Director for Elementary Education: K-12 Equity Coordinator for the Centennial School District; Principal of Practice: Equity, Inclusion and Family and Community Engagement Coordinator and as an elementary school principal. Prior to joining Centennial, Ms. James-Coles worked as an instructional specialist, instructional reform facilitator, and teacher in the School District of Philadelphia.

Ms. James-Coles is currently pursuing her doctorate at Immaculata University. She holds a master's in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University and a master's in Elementary Education from Cambridge College. She received her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from Temple University.

Regarding her new position, Ms. James-Coles said, "I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to join the Lower Merion School District. I hope to utilize my 27 years in education as a leader and advocate for students and families. I will draw upon my experience in administrative and academic leadership, working with diverse groups, increasing family and community engagement, and providing a positive school and work environment to address the vast needs of students and to help underrepresented student groups achieve."

Ms. James-Coles has been married to her high school sweetheart, Bernardo Coles, for 27 years. They have two children who are her pride and joy, Jared (25) and Kelli (19). Spending time with family is essential for Ms. James-Coles; therefore, her personal hobbies are centered around enjoying time with family, such as weekend getaways and summer vacations to the beach, Sunday dinners, playing board games and curling up with warm blankets while watching movies.

I know Ms. James-Coles personally and have had the opportunity to support her leadership in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through engagement and professional development in the Delaware Valley Consortium for Equity and Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania. I am confident she is the right person to move LMSD's already impressive efforts in the area of DEI to an even higher level of excellence. I look forward to sharing with you upcoming opportunities for members of our community to meet Ms. James-Coles in person. I am confident you will be as impressed and excited as I am to have her join our District.

Sincerely,

Khalid N. Mumin, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

LMSD Superintendent Selection Announced

The LM School Board will vote on the selection of Dr. Khalid N. Mumin as the next Superintendent on Monday.

The Lower Merion Board of School Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Khalid N. Mumin as Superintendent of Schools following the upcoming retirement of Supt. Robert Copeland. The Board hopes to formally approve Dr. Mumin's appointment at a special meeting on Monday, August 23, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. that will be followed by a "meet-and-greet" so that he can be introduced to community members. Dr. Mumin will begin his service to LMSD this fall.

Dr. Mumin comes to Lower Merion from the Reading School District where he has served as Superintendent of Schools since 2014. Prior to holding that position, he was Superintendent of Caroline County Public Schools in Maryland. He has also served as Director of Elementary Education and middle school principal in the Centennial School District and as a middle school principal in New Hope-Solebury in Bucks County. Dr. Mumin began his career teaching language arts and secondary English.

Dr. Mumin grew up in Philadelphia's Logan neighborhood and received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, his Master's Degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Penn State and his Bachelor's Degree in English from Shippensburg, after earning an Associate's Degree in the Liberal Arts from Northeastern Christian Junior College, on the site where the new LMSD Middle School is under construction. He is the author of "Problem Child: Leading Students Living in Poverty Towards Infinite Possibilities of Success," a book that is part autobiography and part educational blueprint. He is married to Dr. Latrice N. Mumin

Dr. Mumin describes himself as a student-centered educator, who has a vision of success for all students and a belief that building positive relationships through cultural competencies is paramount in promoting student success. He is a change agent committed to promoting and sustaining student achievement, equity and access to educational programming for all students, as well as creating plans that are fiscally responsible. Dr. Mumin maintains a keen focus on fostering collaboration with stakeholders, including students, parents/guardians, teachers and other school staff, administrators, community members, public officials, business partners and higher education institutions.

Dr. Mumin has a documented history of success of possessing excellent leadership skills and has been recognized nationally as a "School Board Savvy Superintendent." He has also received several awards as follows: Superintendent to Watch (National School Public Relations Association, 2016), Champion for Youth (Mentors for Berks, 2017), Excellence in Educational Leadership (Boscov's, 2016), Courageous Institution Award (Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, 2017), Amigo Award (Daniel Torres Centro Hispano, 2017), Innovative School Leader (Pennsylvania School Boards Association, 2018), Jesse S. Heiges Distinguished Alumni Award (Shippensburg University, 2019) and Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year (Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, 2021).

"I look forward to joining the team at Lower Merion School District," Dr. Mumin said. "This is a vibrant community with outstanding students, families, staff members and residents. I am beyond excited to begin collaborating and building sustainable partnerships that will continue to support Lower Merion students and help them achieve infinite possibilities."

The Lower Merion Board of School Directors engaged in a comprehensive search process and interviewed numerous highly qualified candidates before selecting Dr. Mumin. Board members expressed their gratitude to the wide array of community stakeholders who shared their thoughts on what the priorities and qualifications of our next superintendent should be.

Board President Lucy Klain said, "His proven track record in areas including fiscal responsibility, educational equity and inclusion, as well as prior experience with a 5-8 middle school reconfiguration make Dr. Mumin an ideal candidate to lead our District at this time. The Board is confident he will serve our students and the wider community with the level of excellence that makes our District one of the best in the country."

In the coming months, Dr. Mumin will be hosting a variety of welcome events so that students, staff and community members may get to know him, and so that he can hear directly from members of the school community about the educational issues and concerns that are most important to them. Information about these upcoming "meet-and-greet" opportunities will be shared soon and communicated widely to Lower Merion School District families and the broader community via District email and on the District website, LMSD.org.