The Power of Human Capital in Education

Now more than ever, the education sector needs leaders who understand how to harness the transformative power of people to deliver positive outcomes for students.

Studies have shown time and again that the two most important factors in increasing student achievement are:

  • The teacher in the classroom

  • The leader of the school

Districts and other school systems allocate more than 80% of their budgets to people costs, yet many have struggled to manage this massive investment strategically to benefit our nation’s students.

Human capital leaders are uniquely positioned to redefine and redesign how districts, charter management organizations (CMOs), and state education agencies (SEAs) can proactively attract, develop, and retain the most effective teachers and principals, as well as the teams that support them.

In partnership with the Urban Schools Human Capital Academy (USHCA), Education Pioneers is committed to developing the next generation of human capital leaders to transform education by focusing on the people that make a difference in students’ lives.

About the Program

The Emerging Human Capital Leaders Initiative (EHCLI) is a professional development program that exposes participants to the most effective and innovative human capital (HC) practices in education, while building their knowledge, skills, and network to support their career advancement.

EHCLI aims to grow and strengthen the pipeline of leaders who can design and implement highly-effective human capital functions across the education sector, specifically to benefit our nation’s highest need students.

Our Vision

  • Building a strong pipeline of leaders who are ready and able to assume top human capital roles in urban school districts, charter management organizations, state education agencies, and nonprofits serving under-resourced students

  • Growing a robust national network of human capital leaders who connect, collaborate, and innovate to improve student outcomes

  • Helping school systems shift from compliance-driven human resources practices to strategic human capital management focused on recruiting, developing, and retaining effective teachers and principals

Program Features

EHCLI is designed to prepare leaders to take on the toughest human capital (HC) challenges our school systems face.  Participants will learn from experts and from one another, increase their effectiveness in their current roles, clarify their future career goals, and be positioned for advancement to more senior levels of human capital leadership.

Learn from experts and fellow participants Increase your current effectiveness Clarify your future career goals Position yourself to advance to the next level

The program includes:

  • Two in-person convenings with expert facilitators and knowledgeable panelists 

    • ​Convening #1 - March 5-8, 2017 (DC Metro Area)

    • Convening #2 - September 17-19, 2017 (Location TBD)

  • Virtual intersession learning experiences (Q&A with industry experts, problems of practice, webinars, etc.)

  • Structured peer learning teams

  • 360 assessment and individualized coaching support

  • Exposure to accomplished human capital leaders in the field

  • Case studies of human capital reform efforts

  • Feedback and support on how to apply learning to individual human capital priorities

  • Guidance regarding career advancement opportunities

  • Access to EHCLI alumni and the broader EP network


  • Participants will benefit from access to experts, immersive learning experiences, coaching resources, and networking opportunities to maximize their potential as future human capital leaders.  We aim to accelerate participants’ career development and prepare them for increasingly senior human capital roles in education.

  • Districts, charter management organizations, state education agencies, and education-support organizations will benefit from a growing pipeline of leaders who are better equipped to be effective human capital leaders.

  • The education sector will benefit from a more robust network of human capital professionals who can promote and share best practices, resources, and lessons learned to help drive improved student achievement.

Meet the 2017 EHCLI Cohort

Read the press release announcing this year's cohort here.

Alexandra Arroyo
Senior Director - Talent Development

YES Prep Public Schools

Pam Awbrey
Regional Director of Staffing

IDEA Public Schools

Liza Bento
Director of Human Capital Strategy and School Support

Salem Public Schools

Elizabeth Bleier
Director of Talent Acquisition

KIPP St. Louis

Claire Brown
Director of Talent Management

Partnership for Los Angeles Schools

Taylor Brown
Director of Talent Strategy

Indianapolis Public Schools

Katie Clymer
Director, Talent Acquisition

Denver Public Schools

Ben Crosby
Director, Teammate Effectiveness

Aspire Public Schools

Alicia De La Rosa
Co-VP, Recruitment

Achievement First

Kesha DeJarnett
Director of Talent Improvement

Tennessee Department of Education

Leslyn Jones-Petitt
Employment Services Manager

Seattle Public Schools


Valerie Evans
Chief Talent Officer

Achievement Prep

Randall Fowler
Director of Talent and Organization Management

KIPP Dallas - Fort Worth

Candice Frazier
Talent Manager

KIPP New Orleans Schools

Lisa Friscia
Vice President, Talent Development

Democracy Prep Public Schools

Emily Ganyo
Human Capital & Human Resources Manager 

Green Dot Public Schools Washington

Logan Hall
Educator Evaluation Supervisor

Human Resources - Salt Lake City School District

Quiyana Hall
Director, HR & Labor Relations


Laura Henderson
Senior Director of Talent

Summit Public Schools

Paul Hughes
Director of Recruitment & Hiring

Noble Network of Charter Schools

Robert Kelsey
Manager of Strategic Staffing
Boston Public Schools

Jason Kennedy
Director, Talent Acquisition

Wake County Public School System

Sarah Koegler
Sr. Managing Director of Human Assets

Teach For America

Sean McDonald
Director, Office of Talent Acquisition and Management

Fairfax County Public Schools

Lindsey Osborne
Talent Acquisition Manager

Shelby County Schools

Grace Pun
Manager, Administrative Staffing & Credentials

San Francisco Unified School District

Meg Robinson-Li
Senior Director, Talent

Rocketship Education

Darin Simmons
Deputy Chief, Employee Services

DC Public Schools

Anne Williams
Senior Director


Celeste Williams
Chief of Talent

Jersey City Public Schools


Application Process

The application cycle for this year has closed. Please check back in the fall when it reopens for the 2018 cycle.

We are seeking emerging human capital (HC) leaders with a high degree of potential and a deep commitment to the communities where they work. Most participants will likely be one to two steps away from the most senior human capital leadership positions in a large urban district or state education agency, or one step away from senior human capital positions in small to mid-sized districts, charter management organizations, or nonprofits.


  • Experience in human capital or related function in a district, charter management organization, state education agency, or related education organization

  • Exceptional results-oriented performer with at least 5 years of work experience

  • Aspires to a more senior level of human capital leadership in an urban district or other school system

  • Demonstrated track record in managing people, teams, and/or complex projects and initiatives

  • Proven collaborator and effective networker

  • Committed to attending all convenings and completing mandatory program activities

Know an Emerging Human Capital Leader?


  • Review the FAQs.

  • For more information, contact Gianna Bruno, Director of Career Advancement at Education Pioneers