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Ashley Samuels, Ph.D.

Executive Director


Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Ashley Samuels is a proud product of Birmingham City Schools. Upon earning an Honors diploma from Ramsay Alternative High School, Ashley enrolled in the Psychology program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Ashley graduated in May, 2003 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree.

 In January of 2006, Ashley enrolled in UAB’s Collaborative Teaching program. Ashley finished her Master’s Degree program in December, 2008.

 After completing a Master’s Degree in Collaborative Teaching, Ashley completed the Psychometry Certification Program, also at UAB. Ashley then returned to UAB to complete another Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, after which she obtained an Ed.S in Educational Leadership. She later received a Ph.D. in Educational Studies in Diverse Populations. Her concentration was Metropolitan Studies. Her dissertation topic was School Leaders’ Perceptions of Community Education within Essentialist Educational Policy Contexts. Along with her degrees, she currently holds certifications in Elementary Education, Collaborative Education, School Psychometry, and Educational Leadership (A &AA).

 Professionally, Ashley served as Principal of Wylam K-8 School in the Birmingham City Schools district for five years. During this time the school went from being in the bottom 6% in the state of Alabama to earning a grade of 74/C. Prior to that, she has served as an Assistant Principal, Curriculum Coach, and teacher of a self-contained classroom of students with Autism. She most recently served as the principal of Bush Hills STEAM Academy, Birmingham City School’s first STEAM School. During her tenure there, Bush Hills STEAM Academy became the first Birmingham City School to receive the designation of STEM certified through Cognia.

 Additional professional accomplishments include Transformation Academy, National Institute for School Leaders Certification, New Leaders Certification, Harvard University Public Education Leadership Program Principal, PTA Principal of the Year,  Middle School Showcase Award Recipient & Presenter, Aspiring Principals Academy, and National Council for Exceptional Children Presenter.

 Personally, Ashley enjoys reading, spa retreats, and a good documentary. She is happily married and the mother of two amazing boys.