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Black Excellence Awards - La'Shawanta Spears Hardy

La’Shawanta Spears-Hardy is a highly accomplished and dedicated professional in the field of education. In 2000, she earned her BA in Speech Communications from Portland State University. Building upon her solid educational foundation, she later pursued an MA in School Counseling from George Fox University. With over 20 years of experience in the David Douglas School District, La’Shawanta worked diligently for 10 years before deciding to further her expertise by obtaining her IAL in School Administration.

La’Shawanta's commitment to promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) has been a driving force in her career. Recognizing her exceptional leadership in this area, she was appointed as the Assistant Superintendent of DEI after serving as an Assistant Principal in the David Douglas District. Her passion lies in conflict resolution, where she supports students in resolving conflicts peacefully and equips them with valuable problem-solving skills. She also creates spaces for discussions about race, provides professional development opportunities around equity, and addresses systemic racism within the learning environment.

As the Assistant Superintendent of DEI, La’Shawanta has played a vital role in implementing the David Douglas Equity/Strategic Plan. She oversees the DDSD Grow Your Own Program, working to recruit, employ, support, retain, and develop a racially diverse and culturally responsive workforce in compliance with state laws.

La’Shawanta's strong leadership qualities and extensive professional network align her as an outstanding candidate for the role of President of COSA. Her commitment to cultivating relationships, advancing schools and students, and embedding an equity lens and framework make her an ideal candidate. With a professional network of over 2,400 school administrators, managers, and executives, she is well-positioned to bring about positive change.

Outside of her professional achievements, La’Shawanta takes pride in being a devoted mother to her three children: Dwightaye, a graduate of Southern New Hampshire School of Business (BA); Monnie, a graduate of Weber University in Sports Psychology and Capella University with an MA in Psychology; and Amira, a student at Texas Southern University. She is happily married to Pastor De’Shawn Hardy.

La’Shawanta's education and credentials include:

- Recipient of the COSA Middle Principal of the Year Award in 2020

- Member of the COSA Equity Board

- Active member of the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA)

- Board Member of Women First

- M.S. in School Counseling, George Fox University, Oregon, 2006

- B.A. in Speech Communications, Portland State University, Oregon, 2000

Taye’s Favorite Quote:

“I'm running so that my students can walk. You see, I haven't been able to walk through this thing called life, but I dream to ensure that my work removes enough roadblocks, that my students will be able to walk through this thing called life, while smelling the flowers.”

La’Shawanta Spears is a proud wife to Pastor Deshawn Hardy and the mother of three young adults. She also has a distinguished career in education. She is a former middle school principal and currently, an Assistant Superintendent of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the David Douglas School District.  In 2020, she was named DDSD Middle School Principal of the Year.  She is a member of many boards and committees, including COSA Equity Board and Women First, a local program empowering women’s growth.  She is the guiding light for the David Douglas School District “Grow Your Own” aspiring educators’ program. A graduate of Portland State University and George Fox University, La’Shawanta’ holds degrees in Speech Communication and School Counseling. Her passion is peaceful resolution of conflict; leading her to create spaces for discussions about race; provide professional development opportunities around equity issues; and identifying and addressing systemic racism within the learning environment. Through her work of dismantling and removing barriers, La’Shawanta’s dream and favorite quote is her own: “....that my students will be able to walk through this thing called life, while smelling the flowers.”


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