Headshot of R. Dionne  Ward

R. Dionne Ward

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Education

  • Profile

    Dionne Ward has played a pivotal role in shaping the culture of urban schools, developing strategies, working collaboratively with students, parents, staff and community representatives, while consistently and persistently charting the course for closing the achievement gap and striving for high academic achievement. She has a passion for education and an obsession for improving the quality of learning for all students.

    As an analyst, academician, home-school coordinator, general and special education teacher, principal, district administrator, and consultant, Ward has experience at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, as well as pre-school and adult education. She most recently served as the Executive Director of Secondary Education and Turnaround Manager for School Improvement in Richmond Public Schools. In these roles she worked with schools to build systems to support high student performance through standards-based curriculum, instruction, assessment design and implementation, with a focus on leadership development, process facilitation, program evaluation, collaborative data analysis, and curriculum and state audits. She has been a guest on local television news shows, featured in local newspapers for various accomplishments, and presented at numerous conferences on data driven instruction, school leadership, and strategies for student success.

    • Awards

      National Council of Urban School Transformation Award


      VPI Award from Governor Timothy Kaine, Commonwealth of Virginia


      Urban League Volunteer of the Year Award


      Title I Outstanding Leadership Award


      Team Up Richmond Outstanding Principal Award


      Outstanding Teacher of the Year

    • Memberships

      National Education Association


      National Association of Middle School Principals


      Virginia Reading Council


      Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development


      Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals


      Good Shepherd Baptist Church

    • Professional Experience

      Internship Director (2015-2020)

      School of Professional & Continuing Studies, University of Richmond


      Educational Consultant (2014-Present)

      AdvancEd, Alpharetta, Ga.


      Interim Executive Director (2013-2014)

      Secondary Education, Richmond Public Schools, Richmond


      School Turnaround Manager/School Improvement Coordinator (2011-2013)

      Richmond Public Schools, Richmond


      Executive Director (2009-2011)

      Secondary Education, Richmond Public Schools, Richmond


      Principal (1999-2009)

      Principal, Henderson Middle School, Richmond Public Schools, Richmond

    • Certifications

      Postgraduate Professional License: Director of Instruction; General Supervisor; Elementary, Middle & Secondary School Principal; Specific Learning Disabilities (K-12); Emotional Disturbance (K-12)


      CPR/AED Emergency First Aid

    • Community Service

      Special Olympics

      Kiwanis Club

      Adult Literacy Program

      American Diabetes Association

      Multiple Sclerosis Society

      American Heart Foundation

      Delta Sigma Theta Sorority