Bringing his ideas from back home, Lavare Henry Ph.D. ’24 is sparking intellectual dialogue amongst colleagues and peers in the School of Education’s Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership (EPPL) classes. Here as a Fulbright Scholar from Jamaica, Henry is in his second year of the EPPL in K-12 Administration Ph.D. Program.
Prior to coming to William & Mary, Henry served 20 years as an educator in Jamaica. He has served as a teacher and assistant principal, worked at a community college and done adjunct work at a university. He has a master’s degree in computer science from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica and a master’s degree in education from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.
His dream has always been to earn his Ph.D. and it was the outreach and support he felt from first contact with his advisor that sold him on W&M. “My advisor reached out directly and answered my questions immediately. Being somewhere where someone will be responsive to you, especially away from home and family — this was the place to be. I knew I was going to be supported here.”
He knew W&M would be a supportive environment from first contact and his experiences confirm his first impression. “Everyone is so welcoming and willing to give advice. There is a genuineness about the staff here. They want to help, and I really appreciate that.” He shared that the Holmes Scholar Program has been an excellent resource and his graduate assistantships have given him the opportunity to see the American side of education that is alluded to in his courses.
Henry is using his coursework, graduate assistantships and opportunities to pursue his research interests and passions. He acknowledges that technology being used in teaching and learning is important, so he is very interested in the support needed to make that all happen. He finds that the security of student data and school networks are taken for granted in Jamaica and he would like to find ways to give more thought to how school leaders can support technology use in their buildings. He is also concerned about at-risk students in his country, particularly at-risk, inner-city boys. Henry is trying to find ways for his country’s educational system to support these students so they do not fall behind. Henry notes that girls are outperforming boys, and he wants to make sure no gender is left behind. Henry is using his class assignments to run research studies and prepare policies that address these issues.
Just as much as Henry is enriching W&M with his perspective and experiences from Jamaica, he hopes to enrich his home country when he returns after graduation. He plans to use his assignments and dissertation as action plans that will positively impact at-risk students and address educational technology concerns in Jamaica. “I know I have a big responsibility being on scholarship as a Fulbright Scholar. There is an expectation to make your country better. So I want to build a plan of action that will honor the opportunity I have received by being here.”