Skip to main content

About LaSonya Moore

Dr. LaSonya L. Moore's research examines educator persistence in schools characterized demographically as high-poverty with students characterized as low-performing (in urban and rural environments). She considers factors such as educators’ individual dispositions, district/school context, and leadership.  As a passionate social justice advocate, it is through this lens Dr. Moore advocates for pedagogical improvement, diversity equity, and inclusion in urban and rural educational organizations/institutions. Using qualitative methodologies, Dr. Moore's research strands consider both the dispositional attributes of educators and leaders as well as what enables urban special education teachers to remain in challenging classrooms, what she has termed “teacher persistence”. This is affected by individuals’ dispositions, qualities, and the context of the district/school and leadership. Her research seeks to challenge and change the social injustices and inequities that continue to plague educational institutions thus dismantling systemic structures that oppress based on color, culture, race, and exceptionality.
Dr. Moore has presented her research on national and international platforms, many including major conferences including the American Education Research Association, International Conference on Global Leadership on Educational Research, International Conference for Qualitative Inquiry, and the University Council of Education Administrators. Dr. Moore’s publications include chapters and articles in journals including: Educational Research Quarterly, International Journal of Learning: Teaching and Educational Research, Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal, PHILLIS: The Journal for Research on African American Women, The Journal of Faculty Development, Journal of Early Childhood Education and Teacher Education, Sunshine State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Dr. LaSonya L. Moore began her teaching career as a teacher's aide in an urban preschool for students in marginalized, poverty and resourced challenging environments. Many of the students who were stereotyped as having learning and behavioral challenges. She later worked for several decades in the public sector of the K-12 educational system. As a high school teacher of students with emotional and behavioral disorders, within the Pre-K-12 public educational system, Dr. Moore quickly became a passionate and inclusive voice for her students, families, and colleagues that felt voiceless. As a high school teacher, Dr. Moore remained in a self-contained classroom while creating collaborative inclusive teaching initiatives. It is through these initiatives Dr. Moore observed the urgent need to create and implement inclusive educational programs throughout her school and district.
In an effort to make her vision a reality, Dr. Moore returned to graduate school to obtain her degree in Educational Leadership. She continued teaching, assisted with the opening of the first alternative high school in her district, became a behavior specialist, assistant principal and principal designee; all while earning her Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and her Doctorate in Urban Special Education Leadership from the University of Central Florida.
As a tenure-track faculty member at the University of South Florida, Dr. Moore was awarded the McKnight Faculty fellowship at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg during 2019-2020. She is acknowledged (2019) by USFSP as an Inaugural Points of Pride Honoree, A service Spotlight Member (2019) by the Division of International Special Education Services. recipient of the (2019) Florida Council for Exceptional Children Landis Stetler Award, (2019) Florida Council for Children with Behavior Disorders Presidents Award, (2018) University of South Florida Golden Apple Ambassador Award, FCEC Landis Stetler Award Nominee (2018), Florida Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders, Eleanor Guetzloe Outstanding Service Award (2017) and the National Council for Exceptional Children: Administrators of Special Education (2017).


Present Assistant Professor of Special Education, University of South Florida

Curriculum Vitae

Enter a valid date range.

Enter a valid date range.

Honors and Awards

  • Phi Theta Kappa International Scholastic Society Award, 1999
  • Golden Key International Honor Society Award, 2002
  • Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Society Award, 2003
  • USF Distinguished Alumni Under 35 Award, University of South Florida St. Petersburg, 2006
  • Harvard Institute for National Educational Leaders, 2013
  • Pinellas Association Secondary Administrators Scholarship Award, 2013
  • Pinellas Association Secondary Administrators Scholarship Award, 2014
  • Clintons Global Initiative University, 2014 and 2015
  • InterCultural Hispanic Award (2017)
  • National Council for Exceptional Children: 2017 Council of Administrators of Special Education Award
  • National Council for Exceptional Children Division: 2017 Eleanor Guetzloe Outstanding Service Award

Peer Reviewed Articles (9)

Peer-reviewed Journal Publication (1)

Presentations (2)

Dissertation (1)