Susan E. McLaughlin-Jones, EdD

Transformational Leadership & Culturally Engaging Instruction

Susan E. McLaughlin-Jones, EdD

Culturally Engaging Schools:

portrait cropA framework for defining and establishing “good” school culture

Culturally Engaging Schools employ subtle cultural cues to increase student engagement. An emergent framework for improving school policy, classroom lesson plans, and effective leadership supports the achievement of under-performing students. ┬áDiversity is a rich resource with which ┬áto engage students, not a problem to which we respond. By adjusting existing school structures and environmental cues to more closely match the students’ paradigms for motivation and acquisition of enduring skills, educators facilitate students in identifying with schooling, thus increasing levels of achievement.

“It’s not about diversity, it’s about universality.”– Paula L., Health & PE

“Ms. McLaughlin, it’s like you described my life.”– Donte’ H., Junior

“I’ve got chills.”– Angela B., Job Skills Trainer

“Doc M., I am so happy your room is ADHD friendly.”– Emma S., Junior

“THIS is exciting!”– Sara J., Art



Susan McLaughlin-Jones has been a classroom teacher since 1996. She has been committed to improving the education of under-performing students.

She holds a doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Kentucky. Her dissertation explored transformational leadership and led to the emergence of the culturally engaging framework.

She has taught everything from self-contained classrooms for emotionally disabilities to honors chemistry. Her current position is at Lafayette High School–a large, urban school in Lexington, Kentucky. She is also an accomplished gymnastics coach of 25 years, a diving coach with 7 consecutive years of All-American divers, and a cheering coach.

She is married to Greg Jones and has two beautiful boys, the oldest of whom has Autism.

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