Gherima Woldemariam is an educator and advocate for families. In her twenty years of service to the students and families of Columbus City Schools, Gherima has helped to implement evidence-based strategies to help families better navigate the educational system. Being an immigrant and parent to children with special needs has provided a unique lens from which she operates. She recognizes that building trusting relationships and establishing genuine connections with students and families are the foundation for sustained, family engagement. Gherima realizes that all families have assets and recognizes the importance of bringing each family to the decision-making table.