GSE Alum Excels as Educational Entrepreneur

Juail Goode

As a child, Dr. Juail Goode played school in the summer. She lined up imaginary students in the long hallway of her Newark high-rise and then led them to lunch in her family’s kitchen. Dr. Goode made grade books by stapling blank pages she had ripped from real ledgers, given to her by teachers as the school year ended.

“Everyone in my home knew, ‘Okay, she’s playing school. Leave her alone,’” Dr. Goode recalled, adding she was strict with her invisible students. “I was very invested in this.”

From that beginning, Dr. Goode became a middle school teacher at Newark Public Schools, moved into higher education, and then launched a consulting business that brought all her experience, talent, and passion together to serve students and their families.

Dr. Goode founded Goode Education Group LLC while pursuing her Master of Education, Educational Administration and Supervision, at Rutgers Graduate School of Education. She then earned her second master’s in public administration from Rutgers-Newark in 2004. In 2019, Dr. Goode earned her Doctorate in Education, Educational Leadership, from the GSE.

Goode Education Group supports K-12 school districts and workforce development programs that want to transform how they train their employees. As CEO, Dr. Goode started by providing professional development for school leaders and then expanded her business as opportunities arose. Her company now has 12 employees and an array of contracts, including with the State of New Jersey.

“I’m constantly learning,” Dr. Goode, who is now moving into the clean energy space to offer workforce development, said. “It really stretched me to think outside of what I’m used to doing. I figure I can learn anything.”

After earning a Bachelor of Psychology from Virginia Union University, Dr. Goode started her career in counseling and social work. While working as a transfer advisor at Hudson County College, Dr. Goode enjoyed connecting with students and decided to return to Newark and become a third-grade teacher through an alternate route program.

“This made sense,” Dr. Goode said, recalling her joy while playing school as a young girl.

Dr. Goode found that her experience at the GSE was pivotal to the success of Goode Education Group. Besides the coursework, Dr. Goode gained insight from her classmates, many of whom aspired to be school leaders. “It was interesting to hear their perspectives in class and to know the areas in which they needed support. I learned from them,” she said.

Dr. Goode said the GSE’s biggest lesson came during her dissertation, which was about professional development for school leaders. “I realized that I didn’t know everything, and this may sound cliche, but it also included humbling myself to learn more,” Dr. Goode said. The dissertation journey opened her mind, allowing Dr. Goode to widen her lens and consider new possibilities.

It’s an attitude that fueled the growth of her business. The common thread as Dr. Goode expanded her company was taking a holistic approach to improvement for her clients. So, for a school district, Goode Education Group provides services that support not just teachers but the students, families and community. “We are former educators. We have a very holistic view of exactly what it takes,” Dr. Goode said.

While running her business, Dr. Goode is also a lecturer at the GSE. Imagining the next 100 years, Dr. Goode wants GSE to be a holistic hub for educators—and education.

Dr. Goode said, “Whether the GSE is working with teachers or leadership or community members, demystifying higher education, creating pipelines for accessibility and really having some valuable partnerships like model classrooms, it needs to take a holistic approach to education and be the hub. We’ve got to demystify schooling and realize everyone’s experience is different. If we want everyone involved, we need to make it accessible, welcoming, and inclusive.”

Read more success stories in the 2023 Rutgers Graduate School of Education Impact Report.