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Episode 43: How Welcoming is Your School? A Frank Discussion About Recruiting and Retaining People of Color

Oct 3, 2022


Season 4, Episode 3:

The historical knowledge and experience that longtime staff members have is often unparalleled. Therefore, the high turnover rate we are seeing today, and frankly always for some schools, is nothing less than devastating for school communities. When we add on to that retaining teachers of color, the effects are multiplied. This episode’s guests, Darryl Diggs and Howard Fields, speak candidly about the conditions in many schools that make some black and brown staff members feel unwelcome. They ask leaders to consider whether they are asking some groups of people to leave too much of themselves at the classroom door or signaling that certain perspectives are unwelcome. In other words, does a leader’s school culture and environment truly align with their diversity goals. They also urge leaders to get think outside of the box regarding recruitment efforts: flipped job fairs, apps that link applicants and organizations via phones, the best questions to determine fit and more.



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Howard Fields


Howard Fields

International speaker and presenter, Dr. Howard E. Fields III currently serves as an Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Adjunct Professor.  He is the author of the book, How to Achieve Educational Equity, co-founder of Black Males in Education St. Louis (BMESTL) and As an educational thought leader, his perspective and focus on remaining student-centered, yet equity-focused, along with an innate ability to create and implement strategic solutions for organizations has made him a sought-out speaker, writer, and consultant. Dr. Fields’ unapologetic leadership and authenticity played a key role in being recognized as the 2020 National Elementary Distinguished Principal from Missouri.

Connect with him at and on Twitter.


Dr. Darryl Diggs, Jr.


Darryl Diggs

Dr. Darryl S. Diggs, Jr., started his career in education as a Middle School Science Teacher and transitioned into a High School Assistant Principal and then into the Building Principalship. Now, Dr. Diggs is the Assistant Director of Equity and Teaching and Learning for the Special School District. Dr. Diggs is the cofounder to several ventures and a non-profit.

Connect with him at and on Twitter


Peter DeWitt


Peter DeWitt

Peter DeWitt (Ed.D.), a former school principal in Upstate, NY, previously taught elementary school for 11 years. His syndicated blog, Finding Common Ground, is published by Education Week and he is a freelance writer for Vanguard Magazine. Peter has traveled the world, developing content, visiting school sites, influencing policy, and presenting with John Hattie. He has worked with educators at schools, districts, educational service centers, and educational organizations, including the Council of Chief State School Officials. His presentations focus on school leadership, school climate, as well as safeguarding LGBT students and other social justice topics.

Learn more about Peter's onsite professional development consulting, Collaborative Leadership, and connect with him on Twitter.



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