SparkNC is a transformative new initiative that will accelerate learner progress along pathways to careers in high-tech fields like artificial intelligence and machine learning, software development, computer systems engineering, and cybersecurity.
Dr. Patricia Hilliard is the Senior Director of SparkNC. She is delighted to be part of a team that strives to rethink, reimagine, and redesign public education. Prior to joining SparkNC, Dr. Hilliard was a Professional Learning Specialist and Interim Director at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. Her work at the Institute involved building comprehensive professional learning programs for schools and districts that included strategic planning and teacher leadership development. She has led several statewide initiatives including the NC Conference for Educational Equity and Caminos: Building Pathways with Latinx Educators. Additionally, she has been an invited speaker at conferences across the United States; topics have included cultural competence, brain-based learning, differentiation, and designing engaging professional learning.
Dr. Hillard earned her PhD from UNC Charlotte in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Urban Education. She is the co-author of book chapters on the impact of Brown versus Board of Education on Black principals, disproportionate discipline of Black girls, and cultural competence in higher education. She has written blogs for Edutopia, Digital Learning Collaborative, and EdNC.
She brings a depth of knowledge on educational equity, instructional design, and pedagogy, with past experiences as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, university instructor, and curriculum designer.