A series introducing the individuals who promote and lead the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities’ work.

As a dedicated school administrator, John Tupponce says “I always knew that I was an advocate for children.  Defining who I am as a leader but putting things into action based on my beliefs is something else.  My experience with VCIC helped empower my leadership in terms of this advocacy.”
John first participated in the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities’ Educational Equity Initiative in 2010 when he was an elementary school principal.  After the retreat experience and several follow-up consulting and professional development sessions, John noticed changes in himself and in his school.  He recently provided this list of specific outcomes that grew from his experience as a VCIC program participant:

  • Developed new intervention models with schedules and teams in order to make better instructional matches for students
  • Evaluated and created new criteria for TAG/Gifted participation, giving students with special needs and students of color greater access to the program
  • Bridged 2 differing communities together, offering parent meetings in different settings to meet all groups of parents and tutoring programs in different settings to meet all groups of students
  • Monitored culture and climate, whereby courageous leadership decisions helped change school staff perceptions
  • Advocated for and obtained innovative transportation options for students to help with after school academic and youth development programs
  • Partnered with schools in different areas of the city to help with creating the whole community environment for students
  • Participated in summer home visits and projects with staff in differing neighborhoods
  • Attended community meetings and developed partnerships with non-profit organizations, police/fire, etc

John currently serves as Executive Director of Educational Programs and Academic Services for a Virginia school division, and he is an adjunct professor at Christopher Newport University.  He also occasionally serves as a consultant and trainer for educator professional development sessions offered by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.


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