Springfield, MO— Dr. Shurita Thomas-Tate graduated from Southern University (an HBCU) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1995 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Tate went on to earn a Master’s degree (1997) and a Ph.D. (2002) from The Ohio State University. Dr. Tate spent two years at the University of Michigan as a post-doctoral fellow (2002 – 2004), where Dr. Tate worked with a group that was trying to understand the language and literacy skills of young African American students and the role those skills played in their school success.
Dr. Tate moved to Springfield August 2011 for a job as an assistant professor at Missouri State University. She came to Springfield after working as an assistant professor at Florida State
(2004 – 2011).
Tate currently is employed at Missouri State University as an associate professor in the disarmament of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Tate currently teaches courses related to child language development and disorders, school-age language and literacy disorders, research methods and cultural and linguistic diversity. My research is related to my teaching interest, with many of my publications being related to literacy, language and cultural competency. I started a community-based literacy program, Ujima, in 2015. The program was initially housed at the Bartley-Decatur Neighborhood Center, but now meets at The Connecting Grounds. The program host family literacy nights once a month year-round and a 3-week long summer literacy camp.
Her community involvement includes:
• Abilities First Advisory Council – 2016-Present
• Springfield NAACP 2012-Present -Youth Council Advisor, Board Member and several other committees
• Lutheran Family Services – STARS Trained Foster Parent. 2015- Present
• Courageous Mission Trip – Dominican Republic – 2016
• Black History Summer Academy speaker – 2016
When asked why she is running for School Board and what she hopes to accomplish,Tate said, “I care about the children and families in this community. I have committed my time and energy to serving children and families in Springfield since moving here. I have met and worked with many families who find themselves marginalized within the SPS district – for any number of reasons including their race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability/ability, etc. I recognize the need for representation on the school board for these families, and I intend to be a voice for them.”