Chief Equity and Diversity Officer & Interim Executive Director of Specialized Instruction and Services
Dr. Barbara Mullen is currently serving as the Chief Equity and Diversity Officer for Providence Public School Department. As the Chief Equity and Diversity Officer, Dr. Mullen’s main role is to ensure that equitable practices are at the core of each system throughout PPSD in order to address and redress long standing inequities and opportunities in student outcomes. Previously, she was the Director of the Learning Leader Network for the Center for Leadership and Educational Equity. Dr. Mullen supported Rhode Island School Districts with continuous improvement toward equitable outcomes. She is the author of Secure Your Oxygen Mask First: Strategies to Prevent Burnout in Special Education Practitioners and numerous publications both digital and print. She currently lives in North Providence, RI with her family.
Culture and Equity Specialist- Elementary Network
Kara Lafferty graduated from the University of RI with a duel degree in English and Gender Studies. She began her career in education with Teach for America in New Orleans. During her time in New Orleans Kara coached new teachers and developed an ELA curriculum for her school network. She also obtained her M.A.T in Secondary English through the Relay Graduate School of Education. In 2015 Kara joined Rocketship Schools in San Jose, CA serving as an Assistant Principal. Recently, Kara returned to her home state of RHode Island to serve Blackstone Valley Prep as a science and ELA teacher as well as holding the position of Diversity Chair. Kara enjoys living in Providence, spending time with her family and her two dogs. She is thrilled to to join Providence Public Schools as Culture and Equity Specialist.
Culture and Equity Specialist- Secondary Network
Christina Robinson Nard joins the Providence School District from the state of North Carolina where she has served as an English Teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal in both the charter and traditional public school arena. She is a graduate of North Carolina Central University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English, Secondary Education, a Master of School Administration as well as a Master of Education in K-12 Literacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her career in education is anchored in the principle that all students should be given equitable opportunities to excel beyond what they could ever imagine and that as educators, it is our job to facilitate that learning, create those opportunities, and support students on their journey.