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A 30-Year Career Devoted to Arts Education: Lisa Sherman-Colt

May. 13, 2021
Category: Career

Lisa Sherman-Colt has dedicated the past three decades of her professional career to her three passions: education, youth and social justice. Her work as an administrator and artist earned her numerous distinguished accolades recognizing her leadership in education. She was flown to Washington DC, visited the White House, and was honored at a distinguished awards ceremony. She is the recipient of numerous awards/grants from community and educational organizations. These include: the Michael Jordan Foundation, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Surdna Arts Foundation, the CSULA Principal Residence Network, the American High School Theatre Festival, the California Arts Council and the Confucius Institute. As a distinguished administrator from the United States, Sherman-Colt earned a fellowship through the Chinese Bridge Delegation and travelled to China to tour schools and meet with Chinese educators and administrators. Sherman-Colt was a member of an educational/arts panel for National Public Radio and has been selected to speak at educational conferences throughout the country. In addition, as a professional dance educator, she choreographed and directed numerous ballets which have premiered throughout the United States and abroad.

As the executive director of Oakland School for the Arts, Sherman-Colt’s responsibilities include leadership and accountability for the success and quality of all educational programs; management of personnel; oversight of financial planning; management of communications; maintenance of relationships with OUSD and oversight of OSA’s operations.

Previously, Sherman-Colt was an administrator of curriculum and instruction for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Her work focused on supporting the district-wide educational programming by developing and implementing initiatives for professional development, data collection and assessment. She assisted with the implementation of new instructional programs that were board approved and coordinated protocols to improve the student information database system. Her work supported the LACOE district schools.

Sherman-Colt was the interim and assistant principal at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA). Prior to joining the faculty at LACHSA, she held the position of artistic director at Milwaukee High School for the Arts. Through her tenure in Milwaukee, she earned two graduate degrees: an MS in educational leadership and an MFA in dance performance/choreography. In addition, she earned two bachelor’s degrees: a BS in dance education and a BS in dance performance/choreography. Before moving to Milwaukee, Sherman-Colt lived in Boston, where she directed and taught repertoire for her studio and company, ProArt Dance, Inc.

Her commitment to community service can be seen in her continued devotion to promote education programming by meeting with various foundations and sitting on numerous nonprofit arts education boards.

Sherman-Colt’s leadership philosophy stems from her rich arts training, diverse educational background and her wide range of administrative experience. She firmly believes in educating every child by lending instructional leadership that inspires and motivates students to discover who they are, their place in the world, and how their creative passion benefits humanity.

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