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CHCCS' Rodney Trice selected as Dr. Frances Jones Trailblazer Award recipient

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Photo Courtesy of Rodney Trice.

The North Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development selected Rodney Trice — Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools' deputy superintendent for teaching and learning, system equity and engagement — as this year’s Dr. Frances Jones Trailblazer Award winner, the district announced earlier this month.

Trice had previously served as the CHCCS chief equity and engagement officer, associate superintendent for student and social services and equity oversight, and executive director of curriculum, instruction and technology.

Recipients of the award are selected based on their dedication to improvement of education, students and teachers, as well as their adherence to ASCD’s “Whole Child” philosophy, which focuses on addressing all needs of a child in order to promote academic success, Lillie Cox, the executive director of NCASCD, said.

The award was created in 2015 to honor Frances Jones, who was the executive director of NCASCD for 21 years.

Cox said Jones helped start NCASCD and grew the North Carolina affiliate of ASCD to be the largest in the world.

“Part of our mission is to really recognize educators such as Dr. Trice across the state for their contributions, day in and day out, to the children of North Carolina who are in our public schools,” Cox said.

Cox said there were 60 nominations from a variety of different categories including superintendents, central office employees and school level leaders. But, Trice’s impact on his educational community through curriculum efforts and dedication to equity was noted by the committee of the NCASCD board of directors, Cox said .

Though Trice was raised in a family of educators, he initially thought he did not want to pursue a career in education. It wasn't until he started teaching as a part-time job in graduate school — where he was studying immunology — that he realized his passion for education. 

He said the most rewarding aspect of his work is seeing the success of his former students as productive citizens and that his life’s work is about eliminating opportunity gaps within schools.

Trice said that he was honored to be selected for the award by his peers.

“I think my work is just a testament of the high quality colleagues that I've had over the years,” he said. “When I received the award, I was happy but I was also very reflective of my current colleagues here in CHCCS — it's really representative of the work we've done together.”

Tammie Eddins, CHCCS' director of elementary humanities, nominated Trice for the award because of his unmatched commitment to teachers and students.

She said the greatest examples of Trice’s work are the district’s Strategic Plan 2027 and the Equity Leadership and Support Plan, both of which he co-authored.

The Strategic Plan was adopted by the school board in 2022 and will be updated annually. Eddins said a unique aspect of the plan is that it includes not only internal stakeholders like teachers and staff, but also outside stakeholders such as students, families and community members. 

“His commitment to educational equity and to leading curriculum efforts, combined with his generosity in mentoring only begins to weave the intricate fabric that illustrates his impact on our educational community,” Eddins said.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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