Xan Black has a quote at the end of her emails from Winston Churchill. It reads, “Never, never, never give up.”
While they were Churchill’s words, they are Xan’s life and work.
Xan, who retired in March as the executive director of the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance, TRSA, has now joined TIES and the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice to coach leaders of the 94 Ecosystems and to share what she learned in her years of building a thriving STEM Ecosystem made up of more than 180 stakeholders.
“My greatest hope is to encourage ecosystem leaders and share the things I’ve learned so that they can go further and faster in serving students, teachers and families across the SLECoP,” Xan said.
Xan’s own STEM journey began as a Petroleum Engineer in Oklahoma. She then transitioned to education, working first as a substitute teacher and then volunteering in her children’s schools. She eventually went back to college, earning a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis on Middle and Secondary Education. She taught middle school and high school Math, Physics
She then moved to a position with Tulsa Community College as the lead for the Tulsa Alliance for Engineering which grew into the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance. Throughout her career transitions, she said she has been fueled by a fundamental belief in the
right of every child to have hope, quality education, goals and pathways to achieve them.
“I worry about children who do not have hope. I don’t want to miss a single child. I want to be a part of the huge movement that is working to create a world in which students are encouraged, to learn and grow. I want every student to have a desirable goal, see a clear pathway to that goal and a cadre of adults cheering like mad for them,” Xan said. “I will be the one with face
paint on leading the cheer!”