Most Interesting and Influencial 2006: Diana Rouse

Diana Rouse
Lansing School District
68th District Candidate

    Diana Rouse was born and  raised in New York City. She left New York to attend Wilberforce University, a historically black college in Xenia, Ohio, and pursue her teaching degree. She was recruited in 1972 by the Lansing School District and found her home. In her 33 years in Lansing, she has served as teacher, principal, director of elementary education, area director, and hearing officer.
     Diana began her teaching career at Gier Park Elementary School in 1972 and was promoted to principal at Gier Park just five year later.  She then served as a school principal for the next 22 years, moving to Maple Grove Elementary School in 1981. During her years as principal, she gained vast experience in management, budgeting, and built strong relationships with parents and the community.
     In 1999, she was promoted to director of Elementary Education for the Lansing School District, overseeing the principals and staff at all 34 elementary schools, which served 9,500 students. The following year, in the midst of restructuring, she was named an Area Director and gained supervisory responsibility for 17 schools and several key district departments. She also served as a key cabinet member and advisor to Superintendent Dr. E. Sharon Banks.
     She also served as vice president and negotiator for the Lansing Association of School Administrators.
     She currently is member of several community boards, including the H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Excel) Scholarship, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Capital Area Youth Alliance. She is a lifetime member of both the NAACP and the Michigan Democratic Party.
     She also has served as former president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Lansing Chapter, a board member of NAACP’s Lansing branch, the Capital City Council of the Girl Scouts of America, and chairperson of Trinity AME Church’s youth group.
     Diana owes much of her solid work ethic and character to the grandparents who raised her. They were unable themselves to pursue their educations, but they made sure their grandchildren took advantage of every educational opportunity. Diana is the oldest of six children and has always been the one in charge. She and her siblings have been fortunate to have earned college and post-graduate degrees from respected higher-education institutions.
     Diana and her husband, Jesse, met on their first day of college. They have been married for nearly 35 years and have one adult son.
     Diana’s family has always been very important to her. She and her extended family get together each holiday season in honor of her grandparents.