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Bachelor of Science in Music Education 1970

Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA


Collegiate Professional License in Vocal Music Education –Pre-K -12 and Elementary Principal 2015


Master of Education, Administration, and Supervision 1984

George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia


Certificate in Early Childhood Ed 1986

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Darnell Crewe Wise Lightbourn

Darnell Crewe Wise Lightbourn is a passionate and life-long Educator whose commitment to improving the quality of education and learning for children and adults has been at the forefront of her career. As a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in Education, Ms. Wise Lightbourn has been working and teaching students in Northern Virginia the value and power of a quality Education for three decades. Ms. Wise Lightbourn is a native of Richmond, Virginia, a graduate of George Wythe High School in Richmond and Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia.


Ms. Wise Lightbourn brings extensive knowledge in minority and community outreach, mentoring, public speaking, and conflict resolution. She has a solid background in singing and music education, and is experienced in facilitating humanities and general studies workshops. Darnell coaches speakers, actors, singers, and adjudicates voice competitions and choral festivals.



Darnell believes music helps to bring together individuals and their collective experiences, crosses language barriers, and serves as a universal form of communication. Through working with parents and students in the arts, everyone is able to gain an appreciation for the arts. Ms. Wise Lightbourn tries to model appropriately for her students – empowering them to be the best they can be. A teacher must demonstrate respect to receive respect – as well as foster a spirit of cooperation. By having organizational and leadership skills, a strong work ethic, a desire for life-long learning and a love of music, Darnell Wise Lightbourn is an ideal role model in the community.


Ms. Lightbourn’s commitment and passion is to:  Faith, Family, and Friends.  She is the proud mother of three adult children:  Kenneth Wise, Jr., Darryl L. Wise, and Kenay W. Wright, and granddaughter: Langley Anasten Wright.



Educator in Arlington County Public Schools

Nominated Teacher of the Year   1979 & 2002

Music Educator 1970-1991

Stratford Jr. High School

Thomas Jefferson Middle School

Randolph, Barrett, Carlyn Springs, and Patrick Henry Elementary

Teacher Mentor 2001 – 2009

Nominated for the Music Educators Hall of Fame, 2007

Lead Teacher for the Arts 2006-2008


Educator in Higher Learning

Presenter, Music Seminar on Classroom Management – Virginia State

   University 2011

Delta Kappa Gamma Sorority for Educators

The Arts and Humanities Award by the Continental Societies, Inc.


National Recognition

Outstanding Music Educator recognition at the White House from President and Mrs. Barack Obama 2009

Choral Director at the 400th Anniversary of the founding of Jamestown 2007


Community Involvement

The Alfred Street Baptist Church, Alexandria, Virginia

NOVA Chapter, Virginia State University Alumni Association, Inc.

The U S Dept. of the Interior -Recognition Program- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Arlington County’s African- American tribute program at Drew Model School

Lincoln Memorial performance in honor of the birthday of Marian Anderson

Mt. Vernon Estate for the annual Slave Memorial Ceremony Program

Past President, The Northern Virginia Chapter, Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Opera Guild of Northern Virginia Board Member

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority,Inc.

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