UDC Board of Trustees member and alumnus continues to impact students

UDC Board of Trustees member and alumnus continues to impact students

UDC Board of Trustees member and alumnus continues to impact students


Jerome Shelton


A retired principal and teacher, UDC Trustee Jerome Shelton has committed to ensuring that students can dream that anything is possible. After more than 38 years in education, one of the greatest rewards of his labor came when one of his former students assisted Shelton’s terminally ill father through his final days.

“My father was dying, and it was an honor to hear her tell him stories of how I had impacted her life,” Shelton said. “As teachers and administrators, we always hope that we are making a difference, and there are moments when we get to see the fruits of our labor.”

“We invest in tomorrow, and it is exponentially paid forward.”

Remaining connected to former students and encouraging them to believe in themselves to make their dreams a reality is a trademark of Shelton’s career.

He has served as a teacher and administrator to students at every age from pre-kindergarten to middle school, high school and on to adult learners in community school education.

Three generations of Shelton’s family have lived in Washington, DC, for almost 200 years. The core foundation of his education was earned in Washington, DC Public Schools.

He is a 1971 graduate of the District of Columbia Teachers College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education. Shelton earned a Master of Arts in Guidance and Counseling from Trinity College in Washington, DC and extensive post-masters degree credits at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. His subsequent educational training includes studies and certification from the Center for Community Education in Flint, Michigan, American University and Harvard University.

He began his teaching career at John Burroughs Elementary School, followed by administrative appointments at all District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) system levels.

His first administrative opportunity began at Bunker Hill Elementary School with varied, progressive appointments at the secondary level. In 2002, he retired after serving as principal of Eastern Senior High School.

“I hope I left behind a desire to learn and a love of education,” Shelton said. “Serving my hometown and its surrounding community has been the most rewarding experience a child of the District of Columbia could achieve. Serving the District and its students has been a gift I received, a gift that keeps on giving.”

After retirement from DCPS, Shelton served as an educational administrator in the Prince George’s County Public School (PGPS) System. His administrative acumen made him a sought-after resource for developing other leaders in the Accelerated Principal Preparation Program for PGCPS.

Shelton has also served as chairman of the Elementary Athletic League and the Community School Assistant Principals’ Association. He served through three contract negotiations in an elected position on the Executive Board of the Washington Teachers Union (WTU).

During his tenure with the WTU, he was elected to the DC Teachers’ Federal Credit Union Board of Directors. He has served as chairman for the past 11 years.

Additionally, he is chair of UDC’s Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, which works to acknowledge historical figures among all University alumni and co-chairman of the Membership Committee of UDC National Alumni Society.

Shelton is married to Violet Radford Shelton, a 1971 graduate of DC Teachers College. They are the proud parents of a son, daughter and two grandchildren with a third grandchild on the way.