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District 191 elementary teacher Qorsho Hassan honored as an Equity Leader

Qorsho Hassan was selected from candidates across the country by Kinect Education Group as a Topnotch Equity Leader and profiled in Kinect’s “Top Notch Tuesday” segment. This prestigious award is given monthly to recognize outstanding educators working on equity and inclusion.

Qorsho is a fifth grade teacher at Gideon Pond Elementary and the curator behind “Urur Dhex-Dhexaad Ah: Community In-Between,” an exhibit and book that presents color portraits, first-person video stories and written narratives detailing the lived experiences of young Somali-Americans from Columbus, Ohio.

Qorsho has helped create several affinity groups within the school district for students and staff of color. The recently launched Amplify One91 group is focused on creating a sense of belonging and community among staff of color in the district. The initiative is also dedicated to serving the unique needs of the community, providing district-sponsored events and professional development considering the affinity’s perspective, and assisting the district in attracting, valuing, retaining and developing equitable staff to serve students and families.

“Imagine one person in your district who makes sure to speak and create change on behalf of those who are not in a position to speak or create change ... that is Qorsho!” said Becca Buck, a District 191 music teacher who nominated her colleague for the award. “She is an endless inspiration to me and pushes me everyday to focus on the WHO I teach, not just the what and how I teach.” 

Recently, Qorsho and Buck – who are co-authoring a book about Somali songs and stories – presented a session, "Culturally Relevant Teaching in the Kodaly-Inspired Classroom with Emphasis on Somali Culture," at the Minnesota Music Educators Association conference. In March 2020, they will be presenting this session at the National Organization of American Kodaly Educators conference, held in Portland, Ore.

“Qorsho is a game changing educator,” said Gideon Pond Elementary Principal Dr. Chris Bellmont. “She is able to partner with families, students, and colleagues in creating a sustained, extraordinary trajectory for student academic and social growth. There is no limit to the positive impact Qorsho will have on students and our entire community.”  

Kinect Education Group is a national organization that provides equity, inclusion and diversity training, climate studies and training tools for educational, corporate and non-profit organizations. Learn more at

Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 09:01