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Gene Harris

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Information about Gene Harris

Profile image of Gene Harris

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
School Superintendent

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Ice Cream
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
4/4/1953
Birth Location:
Columbus, Ohio

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
School Superintendent

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Ice Cream
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
4/4/1953
Birth Location:
Columbus
See how Gene Harris is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

School superintendent Gene T. Harris was born in Columbus, Ohio on April 4, 1953 to Thelma Hunt and William Thomas, Sr. Harris graduated from Linden McKinley High School in Columbus, Ohio in 1971. After attending one year at Ohio State University, Harris transferred to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and obtained her B.A. degree in English in 1975. She then returned to Ohio State University and graduated with her M.A. degree in educational administration in 1979. Harris was then hired as an English teacher for the Columbus City Schools. In 1980, she was appointed assistant principal. Six years later, Harris was named principal in the Columbus City Schools district. She was appointed supervisor of principals for the Columbus City Schools before being hired as an assistant superintendent of curriculum. Two years later, Harris enrolled in Ohio University’s doctoral program, where she obtained her Ph.D. degree in education in 1999. Harris then became the 19th superintendent of the Columbus City Schools (CCS) in 2001, Ohio’s largest district, serving more than 51,000 students in 118 schools, and over 7,700 employees.

Under her tenure as superintendent, U.S. News and World Report ranked 12 of the district’s high schools among the nation’s best in their 2010 America’s Best High Schools report; one high school receiving the “silver” award designation and 11 others receiving a “Bronze” designation.

Harris has earned numerous accolades throughout her career. The Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) named her its 2012 Ohio Superintendent of the Year. She was the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree in community leadership from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. Harris has been twice awarded the Ingram Award for outstanding leadership as a principal, and in 1991, she was named a YWCA Woman of Achievement. Additionally, Harris received the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity African American Role Model Award and the Who’s Who in Black Columbus Master Achiever in Education Award. Other notable honors Harris has received include: the Columbus Metropolitan Area Community Action Organization (CMACAO) Community Impact Award, the Cavaliers Club Award for Outstanding Accomplishments, and the National Council of 100 Black Women-Columbus Chapter Personal Achievement and Devoted Service Award. She is also the recipient of the University Council for Educational Administration Excellence in Educational Leadership Award. Harris has received the Martin Luther King, Jr., Dreamer Award in 2004, the Champion of Children, the Children’s Hunger Alliance Educator of the Year and the Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs Stellar Performer awards in 2005. Two years later, Harris was honored with the Donald and Gail Anderson Award from the Ohio State University College of Education and Ecology in 2007.

Harris is married to Stanley Eugene Harris and lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Gene T. Harris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 5, 2012.

See how Gene Harris is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gene Harris' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gene Harris lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gene Harris describes her maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gene Harris talks about her maternal family's move to Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gene Harris talks about her mother's upbringing and employment
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gene Harris describes her father's upbringing and employment
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gene Harris talks about her parents' values
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gene Harris describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gene Harris lists her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gene Harris describes her likeness to her parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gene Harris describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gene Harris describes the places she lived in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gene Harris describes her community in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gene Harris describes the sounds of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gene Harris recalls her early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gene Harris talks about de facto segregation in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gene Harris remembers Garfield Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gene Harris describes her experiences during junior high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gene Harris remembers her high school librarian
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gene Harris recalls the racial tension at Linden-McKinley High School in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gene Harris recalls the racial tension at Linden-McKinley High School in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gene Harris remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gene Harris recalls her time at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gene Harris recalls transferring to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gene Harris describes her experiences at the University of Notre Dame
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gene Harris talks about her teaching career in the Columbus Public Schools
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gene Harris remembers the desegregation of the Columbus Public Schools
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gene Harris describes her graduate studies in education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gene Harris recalls her assistant principalship of Central High School in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gene Harris talks about the federal government's role in education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gene Harris describes her experiences as a high school principal, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gene Harris describes her experiences as a high school principal, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gene Harris talks about the importance of educational stability
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gene Harris recalls her work as supervisor of principals for the Columbus Public Schools
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gene Harris talks about charter schools
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gene Harris describes her Ph.D. dissertation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gene Harris talks about the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gene Harris talks about the limitations of standardized testing
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gene Harris talks about income inequality in the public schools
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gene Harris talks about funding for education in the State of Ohio
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gene Harris describes the superintendent selection process in the Columbus Public Schools
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gene Harris describes her career as superintendent of the Columbus City Schools
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gene Harris recalls President Barack Obama's visit to Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gene Harris describes her trip to Ghana with students from the Columbus Africentric Early College
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gene Harris talks about the success of the Columbus City Schools
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gene Harris describes her initiatives in the Columbus City Schools
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gene Harris talks about Back to School With The HistoryMakers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Gene Harris describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gene Harris reflects upon her career and legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Gene Harris talks about the use of technology in the Columbus City Schools
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Gene Harris describes her family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Gene Harris describes the Capital Improvements program
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Gene Harris talks about arts education in the Columbus City Schools
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Gene Harris describes how she would like to be remembered