Dr. Olivia Oxendine

Dr. Olivia Oxendine

Dr. Olivia Oxendine

Associate Professor, School Administration

School of Education, 313



Olivia Holmes Oxendine has an extensive career in public education beginning as a teacher of English in North Carolina and South Carolina school districts.  As a classroom teacher, her first committee assignment made it possible to learn all areas of the curriculum and the necessary changes, given the climate of school integration.  Three years into her career, Dr. Oxendine was appointed by the superintendent to establish the school district’s first Indian Education Parent Committee.  In higher education, Dr. Oxendine served as the Director of the Native American Support Program, the University of Illinois-Chicago Campus.  In addition, she lectured in the Department of American Indian Studies at UI-Chicago and conducted federal policy seminars at Northeastern Illinois University.  In 2005, Dr. Oxendine joined UNC Pembroke to assume a faculty position in the Master of School Administration Program. 

Dr. Oxendine has held numerous K-12 leadership positions, including English Language Arts Director (Spartanburg County Schools), Assistant Principal (Spartanburg County Schools), Principal (Moore County Schools), and Director of Teacher Effectiveness and Evaluation (Moore County Schools).  At the regional level, Dr. Oxendine served the South Central Region as the Director of Dropout Prevention and Student Services.  As the position expanded, Dr. Oxendine transferred to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, where she advanced to Section Chief for several areas including 1) School Social Work, 2) Dropout Prevention, 3) the NC DARE Project, and 4) Safe and Drug-Free Schools.   

During that time, Dr. Oxendine’s department developed the prototype for the first computerized system for collecting and reporting state-wide dropout data.  The new technology eliminated the paper report mailed annually to NC DPI.  Given the new focus on achievement gaps, Dr. Oxendine chaired the Department’s first task force on achievement gaps in sixteen (16) school systems. 

Additionally, Dr. Oxendine directed the NC DPI Comer Grant, from which ten school districts received up to $200,000 to design and implement a district-wide Comer model.  Under the guidance of Dr. James P. Comer, Professor of Child Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Oxendine completed a one-year internship at the Yale University Child Study Center.  The research gathered from the ten Comer pilots set the stage for NCGS 115C105.27, a law requiring school systems in North Carolina to design and implement a comprehensive school improvement plan.  In 1993, the Comer Research Staff recognized Dr. Oxendine for outstanding service to North Carolina school districts adopting the Comer School Development Program brand.   

In 1994, the State Superintendent appointed Dr. Oxendine to a five-person delegation to participate in a month-long seminar on the topic of gifted education reform. Stanford University in Palo Alto, California was the site of the seminar. 

For several years, Dr. Oxendine served as the K-12 writing consultant for nine school districts.  In this role, she consulted with district leaders on their annual plans to support teachers whose assignments included the EOG/C writing tests.  As an extension of the regional position, Dr.  Oxendine served on the North Carolina Writing Task Force where she articulated regional initiatives, challenges, and accomplishments in the area of writing. 

In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly confirmed the gubernatorial appointment of Dr. Oxendine to the State Board of Education.  Holding the seat for the Sandhills Region, Board Member Oxendine chairs the Educator Standards and Practice Committee, which oversees educator licensure, the authorization of schools of education to prepare prospective educators, and policies related to the North Carolina Educator Effectiveness System.  Working with another SBE member, Dr. Oxendine is the co-chair of the Student Learning and Achievement Committee and represents the State Board of Education on the North Carolina Principal Fellows Commission.  She holds the distinction of being the fourth American Indian to serve on the State Board of Education and the longest-serving member of the group. 

In 2015, the State Board Chair named Dr. Oxendine as Co-chair of the Task Force on Testing and Accountability. Leading the work of a 15-member stakeholder group, Dr. Oxendine played an integral role in the creation of the North Carolina Check-In System, a state-generated assessment implemented by school districts to monitor progress in reading and mathematics. 

Dr. Oxendine received her undergraduate degree in Secondary English from Pembroke State University (UNC Pembroke) and a Master of Arts degree in School Administration from Appalachian State University.  UNC Greensboro is where Dr. Oxendine completed her doctoral studies in Education Leadership and Cultural Studies.  Albert Bandura’s research on the psycho-social dimensions of self-efficacy informed the dissertation of Dr. Oxendine. 

Over the years, Dr. Oxendine has received several awards, including the Teacher of the Year (Scotland County), Meritorious Service Award (Illinois Office of Education), Outstanding Service to the Comer School Development Program Model (Yale University Child Study Center), Women of Robeson County Path Makers Award (Robeson County Historical Society), Governor James B. Holshauser Outstanding Public Service Award (UNC Pembroke), Honorable Mention for Oral History Research (Indian Students, White Schools), University of South Carolina Film Festival, Distinguished Service Award for Long-term Service to Indian Education (Department of Public Instruction, State Advisory Council on Indian Education), and Outstanding Service to UNC Pembroke, Past President of the Alumni Association.