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Meet MAEC Staff – Jessica Webster

Collaboration and shared learning are key ingredients in approaching equity work at MAEC. In this blog series, we want to further this idea by introducing you to an outstanding CAFE team member, Senior Family Engagement Specialist Jessica Webster!

Read on for Jessica’s book suggestions for inside and outside the office, her thoughts on the meaning of education equity, and what brings her joy!

Who is an advocate or activist that you admire, and why?

I have so many, but I would choose Eleanor Roosevelt. She was a force for civil rights, women’s rights, and refugees. She truly redefined the role of the First Lady. 

What does education equity mean to you?

Education equity means, first and foremost, creating systems and programs that welcome and meet the needs of all learners and their families because we all deserve a quality education regardless of our background, identity, or zip code. For me, it is about recognizing the strengths we all bring to the community and finding ways to engage and enhance those strengths to create a dynamic whole.   

Tell us about a book in your office that you think everyone should read. 

It is way too hard to pick one, but I can compromise and give you two. The first is Dare To Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts by Dr. Brene Brown. Her work centers around vulnerability and courage. All her books, TED talks, and podcasts have deeply impacted my leadership and personal outlook. Secondly, I recommend The Emotional Lives of Teenagers by Dr. Lisa Damour. Anyone who interacts with young adolescents should read her work so we can better understand and support our middle and high schoolers.

Tell us about a book on your bedside table that you think everyone should read. 

I recently finished The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See, which introduced me to the ancient culture of Pu’Erh tea from China. I love fiction that serves as a window into other cultures and eras, and this novel did both. I am now reading Violeta by Isabel Allende, which is also deeply moving.

What is one thing that brings you joy?

My husband and I are renovating an old house, and I love improving our house together, whether gardening, designing, or just dreaming up our next project. I also enjoy a great meal and spending time with my family, especially my children.

MAEC's blog is designed to engage hearts and minds of school and district leaders across the country to engage in issues that you have identified as being essential in education. Opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.

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