Keely McCaskie is an online graduate student at Merrimack College, pursuing her Master's degree in Community Engagement in the Winston School of Education and Social Policy, with an anticipated graduation in May 2023. Keely is a community activist and organizer with extensive experience in education and a passion for cultural responsiveness and family engagement. Keely earned her Bachelors degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013, with majors in International and Area Studies with a specialization in Latin America, Environmental Studies, and Sociology and a certificate in Women's Studies. She is a certified teacher in Colorado, where she resides, and she is presently employed as Manager of Adult Self-Sufficiency Sevices in the Office of Family and Community Engagement of the Denver Public Schools. Keely has participated in Teach for America in California and has served as a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador. Keely is committed to educational equity and racial justice. She is driven to partner with historically marginalized students and families to build humane educational systems that facilitate access and equity.
My lifelong commitment to educational equity was ignited in high school, where I witnessed the racial profiling of my black and brown peers, and effectively organized with a group of fellow students to change a number of exclusionary school policies. Ever since, it has been my mission to ally with our schools' most marginalized students and families. I started my career as a community-based educator and organizer in low-income neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, PA, the Navajo Nation, and the rural highlands of Ecuador. I took my lessons as a community organizer back into the school system, where I worked for 5 years as a teacher in low-income public schools in the Bay Area and Denver. As an educator, I saw plainly that the key to creating educational equity for historically marginalized students lies in the engagement and empowerment of their families and communities. As such, my career has led me to the Office of Family and Community Engagement of Denver Public Schools, where I manage one of our community centers that supports families to access resources and skills to advocate for their children's education and to achieve their long-term goals for economic stability.