Office of Equity and Diversity
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Learn more about Dr. Ashanti Holley
Dr. Ashanti Holley was born, raised, and educated in Willingboro, NJ. After graduating from Willingboro High School, Ashanti left home to attend Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, where she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education. While a student at Winston Salem, Dr. Holley was a member of the distinguished WSSU Marching Rams band, led multiple voter registration drives on campus, volunteered as a Big Sister at the local YMCA, and enjoyed her role as a Resident Assistant. Upon completion, she returned home to begin a career as a special education teacher in Willingboro Township, NJ, educating at the secondary school level. From there she was employed as a Vice-Principal at New Brunswick High School, New Brunswick, NJ. and quickly advanced to the role of Principal at Perth Amboy High School, Perth Amboy, NJ. As an administrator at New Brunswick High School, Dr. Holley was instrumental in the awarding and monitoring of a federal Small Learning Communities grant of approximately half a million dollars, Johnson & Johnson’s Bridge to Employment and creation of Small Learning Communities. As Principal at Perth Amboy High School, Dr. Holley was instrumental in the development of the Freshman Academy which boosts a 1 to 1 Chromebook initiative, AP courses, implementation of the AVID program, partnership with NJIT for freshman scholars, creation of Career and Technical Education Academies and a host of curriculum initiatives that improved test scores. While serving in both districts, Dr. Holley collaborated with the New Jersey School Development Authority in the planning, designing and building of New Brunswick High School (2010) and Perth Amboy High School (2023).
During Dr. Holley’s entire pedagogical career, she has been a role model to the younger student population. The well-being of children is paramount to her, and she has made it her life’s work to aspire them to reach for the stars. She has not only advocated excellence, she has offered herself as a living example to them, by earning her first Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, followed by a second Master’s in Counseling from Wilmington University. She earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Rowan University. Her dissertation is entitled: Support for Alternative Route (AR) teachers in the New Jersey Public School System. Dr. Holley has also offered instruction as an adjunct professor at Concordia University. She constantly continues to keep abreast of the ever-changing trends in education, continuing her educational excellence through professional development and training, earning additional credits and certifications in Human Resources at Rutgers’ University. Additionally she has the following state certifications: Teacher of the Handicapped, Guidance Counselor, Supervisor, Principal and School Administrator. She is currently working towards state certification as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
Dr. Holley has facilitated a variety of Professional Development workshops on some of the following topics: Turnaround Leadership, Differentiated Instruction, Classroom Management, Inclusion and Diversity, Culturally Responsive Classrooms, Cultural Sensitivity and Social Emotional Learning to name a few.
Ongoing community service includes mentorship and tutoring of at-risk students, adding her premier collaboration skills to several philanthropic efforts including participation in yearly Christmas Toy giveaways for 350-plus Willingboro youth elementary school children per year; providing turkeys and all the trimmings, to hundreds of local and county residents during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays as well as monetary support for free pre-first-day-of school hair-cuts to community youth. She also provides numerous community service programs to local and county recipients. Examples of these endeavors include volunteering at the Burlington County Animal Shelter and Poised Elegant and Responsible Ladies (PEARLS). Dr. Holley also co-founded Students With Ambitious Goals (SWAG), a non profit organization that offers cultural, social and educational experiences and opportunities to older teens, grades nine through twelve. A premiere component of this organization is an annual college tour to HBCU institutions. Additionally, Dr. Holley is a member of the Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council.
Dr. Holley was named WSSU’s prestigious, Alumni Achiever award based on accomplishments in her career, service, and community work. Dr. Holley was also awarded WSSU’s Top Forty under 40 for making positive changes in the world.
Dr. Holley has active memberships in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA); Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and American Association of School Personnel Administrators (AASPA).