Terra Luckett, who has spent more than 20 years as a teacher and school administrator in Michigan and Arizona, has been appointed executive director of the Children’s After School Achievement (CASA) program at Hope College.
Luckett succeeds Fonda Green, who retired this spring after 38 years at the college. Green was CASA’s executive director for the past 23 years after previously serving in student development at Hope as a resident director and coordinator of special programs.
“Fonda has led CASA for nearly two-thirds of the program’s existence. She has shaped it into the high-impact and well-respected program that it is today.” said Dr. Scott VanderStoep, dean for the social sciences at Hope, whose office oversees CASA. “She was indefatigable in her dedication and enthusiasm for the program and the children it serves, and we wondered how we would ever find someone to succeed her.”
“We’re incredibly fortunate to have located that person in Terra,” he said. “Her experience as an administrator and her heart for children make her an ideal choice. It is rare to find a skilled administrator who is still student-centered and wants to mentor young people directly. Terra embodies this unique combination.”
CASA, a community program of Hope College established in 1987, provides academic and cultural enrichment for approximately underrepresented first- through fifth-grade students from Holland and West Ottawa. The program, which runs year-round, is intended to improve the students’ academic performance by providing the tools they need to succeed in school.
During the school year, the students meet after school twice per week in one-on-one sessions with volunteer tutors, most of whom are Hope students. During the summer session, CASA runs three-four classes, each led by a certified teacher and assistant four mornings a week, providing a mixture of academic work as well as enrichment programs. Approximately 100 elementary-age children participate during the school year, and 30-35 will be attending this year’s summer program, which will run June 21-July 29.
Luckett was most recently principal for the past six years of Apache Trail High School in Apache Junction, Arizona, where she had previously taught biology and been a curriculum coach. She’s also held positions in Mesa, Arizona, and her hometown of Flint. She notes that she was drawn to the chance to bring her two decades-plus of experience back to her native state.
“My primary focus is always working with children,” she said. “When I found the opportunity to become part of a program that’s for the community and uplifting children to help them achieve their goals, it really spoke to my heart.”
Luckett graduated from Ferris State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology education, and completed a Master of Education degree in higher education administration at Northern Arizona University. In addition to her role with CASA, she is leading the Early College Program of Lansing Community College.