Ms. Gilliam is a product of Newark. She attended the Newark Public Schools and graduated from West Side High School. LaShanda Gilliam is in her 14th year of educational leadership. Graduating from Montclair State University in 1995, she began her career as a first grade teacher at Benjamin Franklin School in Newark, NJ. Shortly after, Ms. Gilliam received a Master’s degree in Reading from Montclair State University. After becoming a licensed Reading Specialist, Ms. Gilliam worked as a Resource Teacher Coordinator for the Office of Language Arts Literacy. It was during this tenure that Ms. Gilliam began to see the incredible impact she was making across the district in a variety of schools. As a result of this revelation, Ms. Gilliam decided she wanted to become an instructional leader. After receiving a second Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership in 2005, she became the Vice Principal of Vailsburg Middle School. Ms. Gilliam later transferred to 13th Avenue School where she has worked for the past ten years. Her tenure there has provided a solid foundation of quality leadership in academic achievement and a positive climate and culture. It has also been during this time that she has been able to help lead 13th Avenue School to an increase in teacher retention and student achievement.
Ms. Gilliam’s educational philosophy is based on her uncompromising belief that all students can learn. When students are given a positive learning environment, and strong knowledgeable leadership, they undoubtedly thrive.
Ms. Gilliam is blessed to be the mother of two awesome young men, Stiles, 13 and Chase, 11.
Ms. Gilliam has the same expectations for them as she does for her students. In her words, “All children are mine and will succeed.” Ms. Gilliam is committed to affording every student an opportunity to excel and become whoever they want to be, remembering always to dream big and make the greatest impact on their community and the world.