Dr. Fatima Morrell


Dr. Fatima Morrell earned a Bachelor's degree in Spanish, Cum Laude, and a Master's degree in Foreign and Second Language Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She also received New York State School District Administrator Certification from Buffalo State College. She earned her doctorate degree in Educational Administration, Leadership, and Policy from University at Buffalo. Dr. Morrell studied Educational Leadership and school reform at Harvard University’s Principals’ Institute where she received leadership development certification.

As a doctoral student, Dr. Morrell focused on single-sex classrooms and schools serving students of color from predominantly low-socioeconomic status backgrounds. Having studied abroad in Spain, Mexico, and South Africa, Dr. Morrell focused on post-apartheid educational reform and national educational policies on HIV/AIDS where she conducted a comparative analysis of South African and American educational reform initiatives to round out her doctoral level work. Dr. Morrell is also certified as a New York State Education Department Outside Educational Expert which allows her to lead NY State Education Department school improvement reviews at the school and district levels.

Dr. Morrell served as a Spanish and English teacher at Kensington High School and the Dr. Charles R. Drew Science Magnet School in Buffalo Public Schools.  She was an Assistant Principal at Emerson High School before she was assigned to the position of Elementary Principal of School #31 in 2002, a Pre-K to eight elementary school in which Dr. Morrell was granted permission by the Board of Education to rename as the Harriet Ross Tubman School in 2003.

Under Dr. Morrell’s leadership, the Harriet Ross Tubman School was removed from New York State’s list of low performance schools during the 2007-2008 school year. Dr. Morrell and her team received recognition and commendations from the New York State Commissioner of Education, for outstanding school turnaround. Dr. Morrell also received commendations from local district officials for significant improvement in test scores in reading and math, as well as a significantly decreased student suspension rate. 

Currently as an Associate Superintendent in the Buffalo Public Schools, Dr. Morrell leads the Buffalo Public Schools’ Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Initiatives and has led the charge in training parents, community members, school administrators and over 3,500 teachers on the goals, strategies, and best practices in teaching and supporting students from diverse backgrounds. Dr. Morrell leads a number of social justice curriculum initiatives and programs, including the infusion of the New York Times 1619 Project and the National Coalition of Black Lives Matter at School curriculums into the core curriculum.  She led the charge in creating the Buffalo City School District’s newly released “Emancipation Curriculum”, providing laboratory curriculum for students,  and culturally relevant pedagogical training for teachers. She serves on the State Education Department’s Advisory Panel for Culturally Responsive Sustaining Education. The New York State Education Department has adopted the Buffalo Public Schools Culturally Responsive Teaching Principles developed under Dr. Morrell’s leadership, for implementation in all New York State schools.

Dr. Morrell is a member of the 2004 Business First 40 Under 40 class and also serves as a member on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Global Cities Think Tank. Other Achievements and Awards include the Order of the Eastern Star award for "Outstanding Community Service”; Hayes-Fulbright Scholar, Mexico City, Mexico (1992); Golden Key National Honor Society (1989); Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society (1989); Member of the Buffalo Alliance for Educational Leadership Cohort (2001), Phi Delta Kappa (2000); National School Leaders Network (2008), and Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities (1989). Dr. Morrell is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. She has four beautiful children, 3 grandchildren and a loving husband, James.


Image of Dr. Fatima Morrell, Associate Superintendent, Office of Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Initiatives for Buffalo Public Schools