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Educational leadership student receives RACCE Outstanding Adult Student Award

Qianna receives outstanding student award

Qianna Reaves-Campbell has always set out with a guiding mantra from Mahatma Ghandi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” This carries over in her day-day work as an elementary teacher and an active community member committed to equity and inclusion, as well as her role as a mother of three school-aged children and a graduate student at the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education. 

A part-time student in the K-12 school leadership advanced certificate program, Reaves-Campbell will be honored for her academic achievement and commitment to education and service in April as a recipient of this year’s Outstanding Adult Student Award presented by the Rochester Area Colleges Continuing Education (RACCE). She will be among 35 award recipients this year from 13 colleges.

The Outstanding Adult Student Award recognizes adult students who have excelled academically while successfully combining their college education with other commitments to family, job, career, and service to the community. Reaves-Campbell is one of three distinguished University of Rochester students honored.

During the past 10 years, Reaves-Campbell has taught in the Rush-Henrietta Central School District, where she currently teaches kindergarten. For most of this time, she has also served as the director of the Town of Henrietta’s Zoom and Zooming into Kindergarten programs that provide summer enrichment, relationship building, and summer learning support for low-income families and their children in the community. Nearing the end of her graduate program at the Warner School, she has also managed to maintain a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) in all of her coursework. 

A common thread to Reaves-Campbell’s journey has been a focus on cultural responsiveness, competency, representation, and equity. She acknowledges that her passion and dedication to Rush-Henrietta and the Rochester community are what led her to embark on her graduate study in Warner’s educational leadership program. 

“Through my graduate study I have been able to gain a wealth of knowledge surrounding culturally responsive teaching and learning and how this work is imperative and relevant to our diverse population in the community,” Reaves-Campbell explains. “My hopes and aspirations are that with this knowledge and experience, I am able to engage, enact, and advocate for students and families in our community, and help in the upward journey toward equity, diversity and inclusion. My goal in achieving this degree—and any future degrees—is to not only show my children the importance of perseverance, determination, and drive, but to also give them, and many other students, the opportunity to have a mentor or a representation of a leader who looks like them.”

Assistant professor and director of the K-12 school leadership program Andrea Cutt says that Reaves-Campbell consistently strives for excellence in herself and encourages that commitment in others. She also shares that Reaves-Campbell wants to inspire other professionals and make a difference in her school district, where she has volunteered to serve on the district’s equity and inclusion committee for the past three years. The committee aims to develop a district improvement plan focused on equity and inclusion and to promote constructive conversation around equity, diversity, and inclusion within the school district and the larger community.

Outside the classroom, Reaves-Campbell consistently gives back to her community and shows appreciation for others. In the past few years, she has volunteered at National Night Out, Clean Sweep Rochester, and Henrietta’s Make a Difference Day. She has also tutored low-income children in the Rochester community. 

“Qianna is a remarkable woman who has demonstrated herself as a rising star and strong leader in our K-12 school leadership program at Warner,” says Cutt. “As her academic advisor, I have been able to watch Qianna excel in her academic studies and manage extraordinary responsibilities and challenges, all while remaining steadfast in her commitment to make a difference in our Rochester community.”

A resident of Henrietta, Reaves-Campbell holds a master’s in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) from Nazareth University and a bachelor’s in education from SUNY Brockport University. She received the 2019 Parent Recognition Award from Rush-Henrietta Central School District for her exceptional service to the school community. 

Award recipients from Rochester area colleges will be honored at the 38th Annual RACCE Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 7 p.m. The RACCE consortium of area colleges promotes and advocates for continuing education to adult and other non-traditional students in the greater Rochester area. RACCE’s extensive network of college administrators provides information about educational programs to students and fosters collaboration and professional development opportunities among its membership. Learn more about RACCE.

The Warner School’s K-12 school leadership programs prepare and advance innovative leaders for K-12 schools and educational organizations and include New York State certification program for school and building leaders. Learn more about the programs preparing K-12 school leaders.