Patricia L. Pickles (Ph.D.) is a lifelong educator born in Waukegan, Illinois. Her extensive professional background includes frontline experience as a teacher, assistant- principal, principal, adjunct professor, senior director for the state department of education, project coordinator for the regional office of education, chief academic officer, superintendent of schools and education consultant. Dr. Pickles’ vision and life long commitment has been to ensure that, “Every student, in every classroom, in every school across America will have access to, and be provided with, high quality educational opportunities which will prepare them for our global, competitive and diverse society.” Where students come from (their zip code) should not determine their altitude in life. Smart is not something you are, smart is something you get. Education provides the opportunity to shape young minds, thus impacting homes, communities, and our nation. Educating every child, in every classroom and in every school, takes every one of us.”
Ever since Dr. Pickles was a young student, her mother told her to “never” forget to give back to the community; Dr. Pickles was determined to make a difference. Whether it was playing school in a makeshift classroom or helping friends with their homework, her dedication propelled her to influence education through leadership positions.
Evidence over time demonstrates her passion and commitment to a continuous learning process and a proven track record of continuing education, training, and certification:
• Ph.D. in reading and education administration, Texas Woman’s University
• M.A. in education administration, East Texas State University, Commerce
• B.A. in English Lit. and multicultural education, Barat College, Lake Forest, IL
• A.A. in Education, College of Lake County, Grayslake, IL
Her post-doctoral coursework and training include:
• Fordham University, New York
• Harvard University, Boston
• Oxford University, England
• Stanford University, California
• University of Texas, Austin
Throughout her distinguished career, she significantly strengthened student performance at the classroom, school and district levels; she has inspired countless educators, parents, and students to stretch themselves and reach their full potential. In addition to sitting on a number of boards, her leadership roles also include being actively involved in communities and government policy: Boy Scouts of America, Clara Abbott Foundation, Congressman Kirk’s Kitchen Cabinet on Education Policy, Congressman Porter’s Screening Committee for the military academy, Girl Scouts of America, HEB Excellence in Education Awards Committee, United Way, Young Women Christian Association, Federal Impact Aid Legislation and Senate Bill 1 in Texas all underscore her service and commitment to giving of her time and effort to empower families and communities.
Dr. Pickles’ communication skills are far reaching and has provided her with an opportunity to make presentations and share information with audiences such as: National Association of School Administrators, National Association of School Boards, Oxford University, and the United States Congress. Further, she has contributed to several books and professional journals including: American Association of School Administrators, Aspen Publishers, Exemplary Practices in Education, Instructional Leader, National Association of Elementary School Principals and The Reading Teacher.
Now, in Are You In A Pickle? Lessons Learned Along The Way: Students’ Performance And Achievement Gaps, she makes a compelling case for systemic reform, teaching to national standards, and giving all students access to excellence and equity in education. She is a trailblazer, visionary and courageous leader. Dr. Pickles’ believes that, “All of us together are better than any one of us alone.” “Making a difference – one student and one school at a time,” is Dr. Pickles’ life’s work.