Kent State University at Stark Announces Speaker for Spring 2014 Commencement CeremonyPosted May 5, 2014
Kent State University at Stark announces Sandy D. Womack Jr., principal of the Altitude Academy at Crenshaw, as the speaker for its 2014 Spring Commencement Ceremony. The ceremony, to be held on Sunday, May 11, at 3 p.m. at Umstattd Performing Arts Hall in Canton, is a ticketed event. More than 150 graduating students, receiving bachelor’s, master’s and associate degrees, will participate in this semester’s commencement exercises.
Womack’s passion for education has afforded him the opportunity to teach in Canton, Akron, Alliance, Columbus and the Cleveland public schools. He served as an assistant principal for Akron Public Schools for two years before becoming the head principal at Lathrop Elementary School in 2000. He held positions with Canton City Schools and was appointed as principal of Hartford Middle School in 2009. While there, he improved the state’s academic ranking of the school from Academic Emergency (F) to an Effective (B) ranking by 2011. Currently, Womack continues to serve Canton City Schools as the principal at the Altitude Academy at Crenshaw.
While earning his bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of Mount Union, Womack competed on the wrestling team. His skills ranked him as first in the nation by USA Wrestling magazine in 1991, and he became a two-time NCAA All-American athlete. A member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., he served as chapter president from 1989-91, and is also a member of Hiram Abiff Lodge. After completing his master’s degree from the University of Akron, Womack went on to earn his Ohio Superintendent’s License from Kent State. He is currently completing his doctorate in educational leadership at Ashland University.
Womack has established community partnerships and participated in activities, including sit-ins, marches and other nonviolent protests, to bring about positive social change. While attending the University of Mount Union, his involvement spurred the start of an African-American student organization, a new position for multicultural affairs and the campus’s recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
As a tireless advocate for improving the educational landscape for poor and minority children, he has been recognized with the Whitney M. Young Award by the Boy Scouts of America and the Martin Luther King Jr. Education Award from the Mayors MLK Commission. Womack serves as president of the Ohio Education and Prevention Association, an educational consulting group focusing on inner city youth. He has spoken to many groups throughout the country and has published several articles on poverty and community activism. In addition to speaking engagements, he shares his knowledge as the author of two books, Even the Best of Plans Go Astray and The Urban Educators Manual to School Improvement.