Dr. Reginald Sample is 2017 School of Education Lauds and Laurels Distinguished Alumnus
Reginald Sample
"Walk a Mile in My Shoes" LA Art Display
 Honoring Dr. Sample's Contributions

Dr. Reginald Sample, proud recipient of UC Irvine’s Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Leadership, exemplifies application of the 3-fold UC mission the UCs seek to bring forth among their graduates: research, teaching, and service.

Dr. Sample has worked over 20 consecutive years as an educator - a teacher, an education specialist, an administrator, and a researcher - at district and school site levels, which include Cimarron Avenue School and Henry Clay Junior High School, his elementary and junior high alma maters in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). 

Dr. Sample deliberately has chosen to work in the Hawthorn-Inglewood community, because “I grew up and attended schools in this area.”

Beginning at an early age, Dr. Sample played an active role in his community and was awarded numerous certificates and trophies for his academic and athletic accomplishments and his community service.

He believes that growing up in the Hawthorn-Inglewood community, with support and encouragement from a loving family, has had a positive impact on his life educationally, mentally, socially, and spiritually.

My mother, a retired LAUSD teacher and community leader who became physically disabled, was my inspiration to teach, be a leader in the community, and provide public service to others, particularly those with disabilities. Growing up as a child, I witnessed many of my peers fall victim to wrong choices, due to negative influences, and unfortunately suffer the consequences for their actions. I realized that I wanted to do whatever is possible to implement effective intervention strategies that promote positive programs and choices for youth in the community. This became my passion, and I am always looking for opportunities to be a leader and role model.

Dr. Sample learned from a young age to value education and to aim high. After graduating from high school, he attended Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he received his B.S. Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting in 1994. Next he attended CSU-Dominguez Hills, where in 2000 he received his M.A. degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Mild, Moderate, and Severe Disabilities. In conjunction with the M.A. program in Special Education, Dr. Sample earned credentials in both General and Special Education. He subsequently added a credential in Clear Administrative Services in conjunction with a second M.A. in Educational Administration. Dr. Sample then pursued his doctorate degree specialized in K-12 Urban Educational Leadership through the CSU/UCI Joint EdD Program in Educational Administration and Leadership, receiving his degree from UC Irvine on September 16, 2009. His dissertation was entitled: A Case of Black Male: The Overrepresentation of African American Males in Special Education as Emotionally Disturbed.

In his leadership role, Dr. Sample has worked collaboratively with the LAUSD Division of Special Education in the development and implementation of a district-wide Para-educator Training Academy to assist para-educators in providing services to students with learning disabilities throughout the district. He compiled and co-published The Spectrum of Behavior Support Manual to support local district administrators with positive behavioral interventions of students, and has presented his work on culturally responsive leadership, and on the overrepresentation of African American male students in special education as emotionally disturbed at regional and national conferences. 

Reflecting on Dr. Sample's capabilities and contributions as an educator of special needs students, a school administrator commented:

It has been an honor having Dr. Reginald A. Sample train support providers and teach students with typical and exceptional needs. He has taught "Gifted" and "Talented" and "Learning Disabled," and "Resource" to students with moderate/severe disabilities (Aphasic, Emotional/Behavioral Disorders, Autisms, Asperger Disorder, Visually and Hearing Impaired, and Developmentally Disabled).

In more than 20 years of educational service Dr. Sample has contributed five years as a special education teacher, two years as a general education teacher, and fifteen years as an administrator. He has a keen ability to identify needs and then act, marshalling community resources to effect change. For example, among his many contributions as Principal at Dorsey Miller High School, Dr. Sample established the Dorsey Medical clinic to provide needed medical care to students, the Dorsey Parent Group to help parents understand and negotiate the school system in support of their children, the Firefighter Magnet Academy at Dorsey, and the Dorsey AP Computing STEAM Program, where Dorsey is now a Microsoft Showcase site. In 2016, Dr. Sample’s innovations and successes at Dorsey Miller led to his promotion to Instructional Director of Secondary Schools in the LAUSD Local District South Division of Instruction, where his expertise and administrative skills will influence an even larger audience.

In conjunction with his work with LAUSD, Dr. Sample has built first-name-basis relations with parents and South Bay business and community leaders. His service activities have included coaching little league sports, delivering youth tutorials, promoting community beautification, working on gang-risk intervention programs, engaging in employee training and recruitment, and serving on a myriad of fundraiser committees as a strong supporter of charity in local religious and health organizations.

In 2014, while Principal of Susan Miller Dorsey High School, Dr. Sample was honored with a monument at the “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” outdoor permanent art display in Los Angeles. Dr. Sample and his shoes were selected for commemoration at the Jefferson/Rodeo site in acknowledgement that he is a “community member who goes that extra mile to help others.” (See

Dr. Sample is affiliated with the following professional organizations: Council of Black Administrators (COBA) as Executive Board Member and Financial Officer; Associated Administrators of Los Angeles (AALA); Association for Supervision of Curriculum Development (ASCD); Society of Scholars and Educators; California Association of Resource Specialists Plus (CARS+); The Council of Exceptional Children; Mortar Board National Honor Society; Delta Mu Delta National Business Honor Society; and American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Dr. Sample is recognized as Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities. He hosts fundraisers and community events sponsored by his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and provides special education consulting to local and state certified educational agencies through his business CapABILITIES Educational Services.