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Jacqueline Ahlborn

Special Education Teacher, Pittsburgh Public Schools

Statement of Research Interest/Problem of Practice:
Jacqueline's research interests focus on biracial identity development and the correlation with academic success and supporting biracial students within the school environment.

Jacqueline L. Ahlborn has been a special education teacher for fourteen years and holds both an Elementary Education and Physically and/or Mentally Handicapped certification. Jacqueline has taught at Glade Run Lutheran Services and Southwood Psychiatric Hospital where she taught learning, emotional, and life skills support. Currently, Jacqueline teaches within the Pittsburgh Public Schools where she has served kindergarten through twelfth grade students in learning, emotional, and Autistic support classrooms.

Jacqueline received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and her Masters of Education in Mentally and/or Physically Handicapped from California University of Pennsylvania where she graduated with honors.

Jacqueline is a certified Wilson Reading teacher and is currently obtaining her certification in Orton-Gillingham that will prepare her to serve individuals who require multisensory instructional strategies for reading and writing. She was selected for the 2015-2016 Teacher Leader Program and is currently a member of the Positive Behavioral and Intervention Supports leadership team at Oliver Citywide Academy.

Jacqueline is also a licensed Behavioral Specialist and currently provides behavioral and therapeutic staff support services for Paula Teacher and Associates where she has been employed for more than sixteen years. She is a member of Kappa Delta Pi Honors Society (Epsilon Delta Chapter). She has been honored as a Presidential Scholar and All-American Scholar and earned the National Collegiate Award.

Mentored by: Dr. Shana D. Nelson
Instructional Equity Leadership Specialist
Pittsburgh Public Schools

Dr. Shana D. Nelson is an educator and an advocate for social justice. She currently serves as an Instructional Equity Leadership Specialist in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. In this role, she helps design and lead district leadership development programming that supports Central Office leaders, Principals, and Assistant Principals in building the capacity for effective equity-focused leadership and improved student outcomes.

Prior to serving in this role, Dr. Nelson was the principal of Pittsburgh King Pre K-8. Under her leadership, Pittsburgh King saw double-digit increases in the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced in math, reading and science on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessments tests. On State Performance Profiles, the school received high scores in academic growth in math and reading and for closing the achievement gap in science.

In 2013, Dr. Nelson was the recipient of the Charles L. Hopson Racial Equity Principal Leadership Award presented at the National Summit for Courageous Conversations in recognition of her leadership efforts and racial equity achievements that have had an immense impact on the cultural, social, and academic development of underserved student of color populations. Dr. Nelson is also a certified Pacific Educational Group Racial Equity Affiliate and plays an active role in supporting the District's efforts to eliminate racial disparities.

Dr. Nelson holds a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's degree in teaching, and certification as a K-12 administrator from the University of Pittsburgh. She received her doctorate in Educational Leadership and her superintendent letter of eligibility from Duquesne University.

Dr. Nelson's research interests focus on the impact of equity-focused leadership on racialized achievement disparities, barriers to achievement for African American students, and culturally relevant pedagogy.