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Meet MAEC Staff – Marianna Stepniak

At MAEC, collaboration and shared learning are key as we work towards education equity. It is our privilege to nurture a team of innovative, dynamic leaders and rising leaders in this field. In this blog series featuring members of MAEC staff, meet Content Specialist, Marianna Stepniak!

Who is an advocate or activist that you admire, and why?
So many people come to mind. One person that stands out to me is my former colleague and good friend, Young-chan Han. Young-chan is a living example of the concept “bloom where you planted,” as the founder and current president of MELLFIN (the Maryland English Language Learners Family Involvement Network). I admire how she develops solutions in community, her endless energy, and the loving way that she leads.

What does education equity mean to you?
Education equity is both a destination and an action to me. We work toward education equity by practicing education equity. This future of education equity looks like a place where every child has what they need to thrive in and out of school, where property taxes don’t determine the quality of students’ education, where educators are well respected and receive the training and support they need to do well. We practice education equity by leading in a way that is anti-racist, feminist, and inclusive in every sense, by interrogating harmful systems, and developing solutions with communities.

Tell us about a book in your office you think everyone should read.
We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This collection of essays compares Obama’s eight years in the presidency with the eight years following the Civil War in the Reconstruction Era when Black folks became politicians – and the immense backlash after those eight years with the election of Donald Trump and the return of white supremacist rule in the south. It was an eye-opening book for me.

Tell us about a book on your bedside table you think everyone should read.
Babel, by R.F. Kuang. I recently finished it and…wow. I recommend this book to everyone.

What is one thing that brings you joy?
My puppy Zeus and my baby sister Tilda!

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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