Fargo Public Schools has announced the assignment of the Director of Equity and Inclusion, a new position for the District. The Director of Equity and Inclusion develops, implements, administers, and monitors a variety of programs focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion for Fargo Public Schools (FPS). Additionally, the Director of Equity and Inclusion provides leadership and guidance to all FPS employees in the effort to advocate for diversity, equity, and intercultural competency as part of the District’s endeavors to create an education environment of inclusiveness, equity, and respect for all people. The position reports directly to the FPS Superintendent.
Tamara Uselman has been named to the district position of Director of Equity and Inclusion. Uselman comes to FPS from the Moorhead Area Public Schools (MAPS), where she has served since 2018 as the MAPS Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Accountability. Uselman was hired due to her skills and practical experiences in social justice and cultural competency pedagogy. During her time at MAPS she provided professional development for the administrative leaders in diversity, inclusion, and equity, and with a team built the MAPS Achievement and Integration Plan as well as focused School Improvement Plans on even greater measures of equitable outcomes.
Uselman began her education career as a secondary language arts and social studies teacher for New York Mills (MN) Public Schools in 1985 until 1999. While teaching, she also served as the New York Mills Public Schools Curriculum Coordinator from 1997 to 2003. Uselman became the principal for New York Mills High School in 1999 and was named the Minnesota Western Division Principal of the Year for 2002 – 2003. From 2002 through 2011 Uselman was the superintendent for Perham (MN) Public Schools. From 2011 through 2018 she served as the superintendent for Bismarck Public Schools and was named the North Dakota Southwest Superintendent of the Year for 2016 – 2017. In addition, Uselman previously served multiple years as an adjunct professor for Hamline University (St. Paul, MN) in the Teaching and Learning Masters program and for Minnesota State University – Moorhead in Educational Leadership coursework. Uselman has been an education presenter and trainer for many regional and national educational organizations and conferences.
A native of Minnesota, Uselman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English Education from Minnesota State University – Moorhead, and a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction from University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN). She completed the educational specialist program at Tri-College University, Fargo and is writing the final chapters of her dissertation entitled “Words Matter: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Model School Discipline Policy in Relation to the School-to-Prison Pipeline” to complete her doctorate in Institutional Analysis from North Dakota State University. Uselman completed a certificate program for Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice from the Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and Center for Children’s Law and Policy (Washington, D.C.). In addition, Uselman recently became certified/licensed as an Intercultural Developmental Inventory qualified administrator.
“We are extremely fortunate to welcome Ms. Tamara Uselman as Fargo Public School’s Director of Equity and Inclusion. Her experience and passion will allow us to recognize and improve upon structural changes that allow Fargo Public Schools to fulfill its mission of educating and empowering all students to succeed,” says Dr. Rupak Gandhi, Superintendent of Fargo Public Schools.
“All our children deserve to be included in a just and fair public schooling experience,” says Ms. Uselman. “We can, together, make educational equity a priority for all our children, especially our children of color, indigenous children, children from culturally-linguistically diverse backgrounds, children suffering socio-economics stressors, and children who are otherwise abled. I am humbled and honored to partner with the FPS community to begin this good and necessary work.”
Ms. Uselman will begin the FPS Director of Equity and Inclusion position on July 27.