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Dr. Parent’s focus area of research began with her doctoral work at the University of Oregon where she studied the barriers keeping women from aspiring to the superintendent level in the K-12 education system. When she first became a superintendent in 2001, there were 12 women superintendents out of 216. Women are still grossly underrepresented in the key leadership role for K-12 school districts, not just in Oregon, but across the country.

Nearly two decades later, Dr. Parent has collaborated with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Oregon Commission of Women (OCFW) to conduct a second study on women in the Oregon Superintendency titled “Just Not Ready for a Female: An Examination of the Inequities in Oregon’ Superintendency.” Dr. Parent currently facilitates COSA’s Women Superintendent Network as well as Academy Networks for aspiring leaders, new superintendents and leaders that identify in the LGBTQ+ community.