ISD Team

DeShawna Gooch

Chief Operating Officer

DeShawna Gooch joined the Innovative School District (ISD) team as Chief Operating Officer (COO) in November 2018. In this role, she collaborates extensively with school operators and local school districts to develop and deploy innovative strategies to create conditions for improving student growth and achievement in ISD’s portfolio of schools.

DeShawna has over 18 years of experience as a public-school educator; included are 13 years in leadership positions at both the school and district levels. She’s had increasing level of responsibility, first as a teacher, then as an assistant principal, principal and district director. She knows that education is the pathway to success and works with a sense of urgency to ensure every student reaches their potential.

During her most recent tenure in Durham Public Schools, DeShawna partnered with low-performing schools to develop and implement various programs to address student success. The programs included a principal coaching model, a high school intervention initiative called DPS Back on Track Senior Graduation, and various summer credit-recovery initiatives that helped students catch up and prepare for the next steps in their lives.

During the 2017-18 school year, DeShawna provided operational support to five schools that received School Improvement Grants to help improve student grade-level proficiency in reading and math. Under her direction, all five schools met or exceeded expected growth in these areas and student proficiency rates increased by two to 14 points. Additionally, for two consecutive years, 100% of the high school students enrolled in a summer school program facilitated by DeShawna graduated with a diploma.

DeShawna holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Middle Grades Mathematics from North Carolina Central University and a Masters of School Administration degree from North Carolina State University. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Educational Leadership at High Point University.

Sharetta Farmer

Administrative & Finance Specialist

Sharetta Farmer joined the Innovative School District (ISD) team as an Administrative & Finance Specialist in April 2020. In this role, she plans and coordinates administrative functions and procedures and works collaboratively with the ISD team, stakeholders, and partners on the development and management of financial strategies that inform and guide the district, schools, and operators.

Along with her diverse background in state and local government, as well as the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS), Sharetta has a wealth of experience providing support and contributing to overall student success. She believes in changing students’ lives through academic achievement and life-long learning. Some of her experiences include serving as a student tutor and mentor at J&L Summerville Academy’s alternative school and summer camp program in Wilson, NC. In this role, she contributed to the Academy’s goals to focus on each student’s individual needs by offering a non-traditional learning environment, increase academic performance and reduce negative behaviors, thus leading to a reduction in suspensions and drop-out rates, and minimize regression on basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and science. In appreciation for her meritorious service at J&L Summerville Academy, Sharetta was selected as an honoree and received a Teaching Academics for Life Outreach Ministries’ Champion’s award in 2015, due to her impact in the community through educational initiatives and community services.

Sharetta is a cum laude graduate of North Carolina Wesleyan College, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Healthcare Administration from American Public University.