“After many years in education, I believe Leadership Scholars is the culmination of what needs to happen in education. It is a marriage of the parent and student with the school to create educational opportunities for the child. It teaches our children and parents the skills they need to earn opportunities through high expectations and a strong work ethic. This program stretches the parent, teacher, and student to work to make their dreams a reality.”
— Dr. Patricia White, Executive Director, Leadership Scholars
Dr. Patricia White, Executive Director
Dr. Patricia White has been in education for 45 years, serving as a college counselor, teacher, head of school and principal. Dr. White earned an Educational Doctorate (Ed. D.) in Urban Education from the University of Cincinnati, specifically in helping minority students and parents with the college admissions process. Dr. White has served on numerous advisory boards, including College Board and ACT, and has read for National Merit. Dr. White has visited over 300 college campuses across the nation and has worked to establish relationships with Directors of Admissions at these universities. She has attended over 75 college meetings, such as College Board, NACAC, OACAC, and on-campus meetings. She has spoken at over 20 college meetings on topics of college admissions, parental involvement, and issues of diversity. Dr. White is also certified in Learning Styles, as well as having completed a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Mind Body Medicine training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli.
Suzie White completed her Ph.D. at New York University (NYU) studying higher education and urban school reform. She earned her master’s degree at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in Education Policy and Management, after which she worked as the college counselor at a Cristo Rey high school in Boston. The Cristo Rey Network is a national network of Catholic, college preparatory high schools for young people who live in urban communities. Prior to graduate school she was an AmeriCorps volunteer and Senior Program Development Associate at College Summit, a social enterprise that helps low-income students go to college. Suzie graduated summa cum laude from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Studies. Suzie completed her Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. She also completed her Yoga Teacher Training through Simply Power Yoga.
Lee Smith graduated from West Point High School in West Point, Mississippi and attended the University of Cincinnati, where she was a candidate for a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Lee received a certificate in Personal Computer Training from Queen City Vocational Center. She previously worked in various capacities at Cincinnati Gas and Electric Company, Great American Insurance Company, and Fifth-Third Bank. Lee has extensive event coordination, project management, volunteer management, and community-building skills. She volunteers as a Sunday Care Director, Assistant Junior League Basketball Coach, at nursing homes and feeding inner-city homeless people. She enjoys singing, dancing, and working with children. Lee joined the Leadership Scholars Family in 2009.
Dr. Carolyn Turner, Director of Operations
Dr. Carolyn Turner has an extensive background in education and non-profit administration. She has recently served as a college dean and doctoral admissions director, as administrative director at Bethany House Services, and serves on several non-profit boards. Formerly the executive director of Parents for Public Schools in Cincinnati, she has an extensive background working with parents and advocating for greater family and community involvement in education. Dr. Turner has a Ph.D. in Education from Union Institute & University, a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Northeastern University, a M.S. in Management from Cardinal Stritch University, and a B.A. in Journalism from Marquette University. She recently co-authored a book entitled, “Unique Challenges in Urban Schools: The Involvement of African American Parents.”
Myrna Gomez has a bachelor degree in Industrial Engineering from Universidad de las Americas-Puebla and will graduate from the MBA program at Xavier University in 2016. She has over 5 years of experience in the retail, manufacturing and customer service; and over 4 years of experience in Spanish teaching, tutoring and translating. She has had the opportunity to live in Mexico, England, Costa Rica and the USA. These experiences have contributed to her ability to adapt quickly to change and to adjust her skills and background to serve in different positions. She is very passionate of her Hispanic culture and enjoys serving the Latino community to succeed in the U.S. Lately she has participated in the Leadership Scholars Parent Academy where she will now collaborate as the Hispanic Outreach Coordinator. Myrna enjoys exercising and she is the leader of the local group No Excuse Moms, where she encourages other women to have an active lifestyle through free weekly workouts. She lives in Mason, OH with her husband and three kids.
Brandt Smith, Director of Student Academy
Brandt was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. He received a bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and obtained 3 teaching certificates (Elementary, middle school (math and English), and high school English.) He moved to Cincinnati in 1994 to launch Clark Montessori – the first public Montessori secondary school. In 2003, he earned a Masters in Education from Xavier University. Brandt also holds a Montessori secondary certificate as well as a secondary I & II certificate from the American Montessori Society. He has remained at Clark for 19 years where he held a variety of leadership positions including team leader, Chair of the school Instructional Leadership Team, and was a member of the LSDMC. When not working in a teaching capacity, Brandt enjoys reading, writing, knitting, and – most especially – playing his banjo and singing. Brandt lives in Cincinnati with his wife, their two boys, and their dog.
Connie is a philanthropic sector management specialist with more than 30 years’ experience creating and implementing comprehensive nonprofit initiatives. Her skill set includes financial resource development, strategic planning, project management, and volunteer coordination. Originally from Minnesota, she has lived in Cincinnati since 1975. Connie has a Masters in Community Planning and a Masters of Arts in Geography from the University of Cincinnati. Earlier in her career, Connie created and supervised an interagency refugee resettlement program as well as an internationally recognized youth educational travel exchange program. In addition to her work with Leadership Scholars, Inc., Connie is Manager, Volunteer Services, with the Executive Service Corps of Cincinnati. In her free time, Connie volunteers as a citizen diplomat with the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council and serves as Vice-President of the Northern Hills Synagogue Sisterhood.