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    Dr. Quésha S. Starks graduated with honors from Huntingdon College where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English with Minors in Music and Communication Studies. She has a Masters in Education from Auburn University Montgomery. In addition, she earned her Education Specialist's Degree from Samford University. She received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Law from Alabama State University.  She has completed continuing/graduate education studies in leadership at Harvard University (Evolving Leadership), the University of Alabama (Alabama Superintendents’ Academy), and Troy University’s Study Abroad Program (Dance) in Pietresanta, Italy.

    Serving as principal of Booker T. Washington (BTW) Magnet High School since 2004, Dr. Starks is a National Board Certified Teacher with a specialization in Adolescence and Young Adulthood/English Language Arts. An accomplished musician, she studied organ with the late German composer and educator, Dr. Harald Rohlig, and performed as a guest pianist and flutist in “Sketches in Jazz,” sponsored by the Alabama Jazz Federation. She has studied voice, dance, guitar, percussion, and her involvement in the performing arts has allowed her to work with youth programs across the state as a music workshop clinician, pageant judge, and motivational speaker.

    She is the founding principal of the BTW Magnet Wilbur Terrell Jazz Ensemble, a highly-skilled, student-led music ambassador group, developed to inspire young musicians to apply the concepts of music theory and improvisational skills to their performances as well as celebrate the contributions of jazz artists. Prior to teaching and leading in the Montgomery Public School System, Starks was a teacher in the Bullock County Public School System. Later, she joined the Booker T. Washington (BTW) Magnet High School family as an English/Language Arts teacher. Starks has served as a school administrator at Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School, Loveless Academic Magnet Program (LAMP), and Walter T. McKee Middle School. She has taught summer workshops and ACT/SAT Preparation at  Auburn University Montgomery.  During her leadership, BTW has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, and BusinessWeek as one of the best high schools in Alabama and America. Google, Inc. recognized BTW for closing achievement gaps in underserved minority populations.  BTW has produced National Merit Finalists with support from teachers, community stakeholders, and partners in education. She hopes to provide opportunities for more students to perform successfully on the PSAT/NMSQT. 

    In her over two decades as a professional educator, Dr. Starks mentors and grooms aspiring school leaders, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards candidates, and teachers through workshops and guest lectures. During her leadership, BTW has produced two Alabama Teachers of the Year and multiple teachers of the year on a local, state, and national level. In addition to Starks’ professional responsibilities, she has conducted extensive research on Multiple Intelligences Theory and Brain Research and High-performing, High-poverty Schools, and Arts Integration. She has been recognized as a Disney American Teacher Award nominee, WSFA Class Act Award Teacher, Sam Walton Foundation Teacher of the Year, Who’s Who Among American Teachers, Congressional Youth Leadership Advisor, and Montgomery County’s Outstanding Principal of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year.

    She has been honored as Alabama's Outstanding Secondary Principal of the Year, and featured in the Future Montgomery Magazine as one of the city’s “Most Promising Young Leaders” as well having been recognized by RSVP Magazine (The List). She was also selected as an Emancipation Proclamation Educator of the Year and celebrated as an Arts Advocate by Links, Inc.

    Part of Dr. Starks’ vision is to prepare a diverse community of learners to compete successfully in a global economy. She has worked with educators on an international level to identify strategies to support student achievement in STEM programs. One of her international partnerships as a professional educator and instructional leader can be viewed at http://www.southerneddesk.org/?p=2041. In 2020, Dr. Starks established a partnership with the leadership of deToledo High School in Los Angeles, California, to enrich students' learning experiences nationally during a global pandemic. BTW teachers and students have now developed an ongoing collaboration with deToledo. 

    The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation selected Starks to be a part of the "Closing the Excellence Gap: Nurturing Talent of High-Achieving, Low-Income Students" work session. Dr. Starks was one of only 227 principals in the United States to be a part of the foundation’s first-ever cohort to convene for the purpose of identifying best practices, reviewing the cutting edge research on high-achieving, low-income students, and forming a continuing organization. Starks is also a recipient of the Alpha Upsilon Lambda Chapter Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Legacy/Leadership Award. She has served as musician, beginning at the age of 12, for multiple churches. Dr. Starks enjoys spending quality time with family, studying with her Oakwood University Young Adult Ministry Group, special event planning, and coordinating weddings during her time away from work. Her greatest fulfillment is watching current BTW students and BTW alumni achieve "excellence in all things" on a local, state, national, and international level.