News and Events

EP Original Content

EP Alumnus Christopher N. Ruszkowski (Bay Area, 2010) spoke with us about the journey that led him from classroom teaching, to an Education Pioneers Fellowship with the San Francisco Unified School District, and now to the Delaware Department of Education, where he serves as the Chief Officer of the Teacher and Leadership Effectiveness Unit.

In his role, Christopher leads a team of 25 and oversees the unit's $30 million Race to the Top budget to measure how Delaware districts' individual plans are improving student achievement.

Multifaceted, diverse work environments - like those in urban education - require leaders with new and expansive skills and traits to ensure success for all students. To explore the characteristics that set extraordinary leaders apart, we spoke with three EP Alumni to learn about how they master complexity.

Read on to learn more about our findings.


Of the more than 2,000 Alumni in our network, nearly 20% are the first in their family with a bachelor's degree. To celebrate these trailblazing leaders, and to help inspire the next generation, we invited members of the EP network to let us know what first-generation college success means to them. The stories they shared are powerful and optimistic. 

EP Original Content

Why Diversity Matters


Diverse environments breed innovation. And innovation is needed in the education sector to produce breakthrough outcomes for children. Yet, if you visit one of our country's public school districts, you're far more likely to find a student of color sitting in a classroom than to find a leader of color running that classroom, school, or district.

In this post, we address why diversity matters, and what we can do in the education sector to increase diversity so that organizations have the perspectives and talents they need to best serve students.

2013 Analyst Fellow Susan Gundersen reflects on the recent Analyst Fellowship National Convening in San Francisco, where 85 current Fellows gathered from around the country for three days to address key issues and trends in U.S. public education.

Kendra Racouillat, Education Pioneers' Manager, National Communications, discusses the chance opportunity she had at EP's 10-Year Anniversary last month to speak with Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of DC Public Schools.

Each year, EP Fellows are encouraged to share their Leadership Story with the rest of their cohort. Leadership Stories offer Fellows an opportunity to speak openly and honestly – uninhibited by PowerPoint slides or podiums  – about their passions and strengths, turning points in their careers, big life "aha!" moments, and more. 

Earlier this summer, Isabel Morales, a Graduate School Fellow in the 2013 Los Angeles cohort, told the following Leadership Story. We hope you find it as powerful as we did. 

This video features EP Alumnus and former NFL player Dowayne Davis, Director of Operations and Technology for University Heights Charter School in Newark, NJ.

When Rachel Faust accepted a last-minute invitation to travel to LA to attend a taping of a daily talk show, she figured her trip would consist of just that: watching the show as a member of the live studio audience. Moments before the episode began recording, she learned she would be featured on it.

Read about Rachel's adventure in daytime television and learn more about what motivates her now as as an EP Graduate School Fellow in New York City. 

In this EP original Q&A, 2009 EP Alumnus Andrew Buher, recently named Chief Operating Officer of the New York City Department of Education, discusses his journey – both personal and professional – to one of the top executive positions of the nation's largest school district.