Dr. Afina Lockhart – 2 Years on Pilot Light’s Board
Director of Teacher and Principal Residencies
Dr. Afina S. Lockhart is a highly accomplished and dedicated educational leader with over 25 years of experience in the field. Her journey in education began with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. After working as a credit analyst for American National Bank in Chicago, she felt inspired by the impact of public school educators and decided to pursue a career in teaching. Driven by her passion for educational excellence, she completed a Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education and an endorsement in General Science from Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Continuing her pursuit of education, Dr. Lockhart earned a Doctorate of Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University Chicago, accompanied by endorsements in School Supervision and Superintendent’s Endorsement, further augmenting her leadership skills. Throughout her career, she held various leadership positions, including founding charter school teacher, district-wide administrative leader, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent, making a positive impact as a leader in the field of education.
As an adjunct professor at Concordia University Chicago, Dr. Lockhart instructed PhD candidates in Evaluation, Assessment, and Data-Driven Decision Making, as well as Instructional Coaching for Effective Teaching Community of Practice courses. Her commitment to educational equity and diversity was exemplified in her roles as Site Director for College Track New Orleans, where she led the largest college completion program in the city, and as a Regional Instructional Specialist for Phalen Leadership Academies.
Currently, Dr. Lockhart serves as the Director of the CREATE 65 Teacher Residency Program, PREP 65 Principal Residency Program, and the Paraprofessionals Apprenticeship Program for the Evanston/Skokie School District 65. She also actively contributes to the District 65 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Leadership Committee, furthering her dedication to race and equity in education. Dr. Lockhart’s outstanding contributions have been recognized through awards such as the Illinois State Board of Education’s 2023 Those Who Excel Award for leading teacher and principal residencies. She has also secured grants, including the $600,000 Teacher Resident grant and the $73,000 Teacher Residency grant, demonstrating her expertise in grant writing and resource acquisition.
Outside of her professional pursuits, Dr. Lockhart engages in community service, volunteering with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Chicago Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter, and serving as a member of the Board of Directors for Pilot Light Chicago and Black Women Education Leaders.
Dr. Lockhart’s dedication to educational leadership and her unwavering commitment to the success and liberation of Black teachers and students have earned her respect and admiration in the field. She continues to drive positive change through her visionary leadership, innovative strategies, and advocacy for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
She is the oldest of 7 siblings, Tanzania, Nnaemka, Chijioke, Kelechi, Rashunda and LaToya, and the proud aunt of 6 nieces and 5 nephews all-residing in the Chicago, Houston, Memphis and Dallas areas.
Why do I support Pilot Light?
I support Pilot Light because I believe in using food as a means to introduce students to and engage them in a many many cultures and ethnic groups. Extending students reach across other racial and/or cultural lines can be intimidating and uncomfortable for traditionally marginalized students – especially those who have been intentionally made to remain within their own communities. Pilot Light acknowledges this space and intentionally sets the tone for a more inclusive, inviting, and self conscious connections. These lessons are embedded in the collective learning and love of food!
Favorite Food Education Standard: FES #1 and #2: Food Connects Us to Each Other and Foods have sources and origins.
Food allows us and others to embrace our identities and who we are to the world. Pilot Light’s Food Education model is brilliantly designed to be a platform for students to comfortably learn about the identifies of other students, families, and communities. The former Spelman College president Dr. Tatum is the author of Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? Answer: they long security, comfort, support to strengthen who they are and who they love.
Pilot Light’s Food Education program, help to ease the pressure, discomfort, and fear some may experience to increased diverse spaces and embrace other cultures.
A favorite food memory or recipe:
My favorite food/education memory is a Biology lesson I taught using food products to teach the components of a DNA strand and the anatomical structure of carpel tunnel syndrome.