LeKeisha Harding has spent the last 15 years in the education field, initially working in before- and after-school programs. She taught in the middle school setting for seven years before moving into coaching and specialist roles related to curriculum development and social emotional learning. She has a desire to ensure that every student across the globe has access to a quality education that will display their strength and ensure social mobility. Her work has focused on low performing priority schools and each of those schools went from being a level one priority school to a top performing school in the state of Tennessee during her time there.
“It wasn’t just the success of our students that gave me hope for education, it was the staff I worked with. They did not judge, they loved. They did not make excuses, they gave access. If we cried, we did it together. That is a team I can get behind.
LeKeisha believes that the vehicle for school transformation is STEM. The soft skills embedded in STEM is what allows students to access STEM content. Connecting the two ideas has been what made school turn around possible. In addition, it is what led her to TIES. LeKeisha has used her education to understand the micro and macro level structures that impact a child’s access to education, as well as, understanding what it would take to pull them off of the school to prison pipeline and place them onto STEM pipelines from early learning experiences to workforce participation.
During her undergraduate experience, LeKeisha earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in sociology, minoring in diversity and education. She went on to earn a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University, focusing on teaching and learning in urban settings. She is currently using her knowledge and experiences as a consultant with TIES. The focus that TIES has on creating STEM pipelines aligns with her core values. She is currently working with a low performing school in Syracuse, New York, seeking cultural and curriculum transformation through STEM development.