Celebrating the Trailblazing Spirit of EP Alumni for Women’s History Month

At Education Pioneers we invest in leaders because they embody our organization’s founding belief that talented leaders and managers can scale successful solutions for the education sector to impact millions of children nationwide. For Women’s History Month, we celebrate EP Alumni who are trailblazers in education – with a focus on Alumni who are entrepreneurs and/or pioneers. These are only a few of the inspirational women who have been a part of our program. Check out more of our EP Alums on our Meet Our Pioneers page. Brenda Darden Wilkerson (2015) CEO and President, AnitaB.org From...

A Q & A with EP Alum Bakari Ukuu: Why Kansas City is Full of Opportunity for Passionate People Willing to Roll Up Their Sleeves

Bakari Ukuu moved to Kansas City as a Teach For America corps member in 2012. He is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma (and is very excited to hear EP is expanding there in 2018 ), but found his place in Kansas City and decided to put down roots. While an instructional coach, Ukuu joined Education Pioneers and worked in the Kansas City Public Schools in the Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development department where he helped embed social justice standards and develop culturally-responsive curriculum, while also delivering districtwide professional development. We talked to Bakari, now...

Why This Chief Analytics Officer Believes Tulsa is Ready for Radical Change and Growth

Stephen Fedore was a 2012 EP Fellow and now, he’s the Chief Analytics Officer at Tulsa Public Schools —an on-the-rise district serving approximately 42,000 students in 86 schools with roughly 7,000 employees. EP is expanding to Tulsa in 2018 where EP Alums Martin Green, Director of Academic Services and Impact (2014 Fellow); Quentin Liggins, Director of Talent Initiatives (2016 Fellow); and Stephen are already working at Tulsa Public Schools. Stephen was born in Oklahoma, but grew up in California. He never thought he would return to Oklahoma to make a life and career in Tulsa, but he’s...

Catching Sight of What I Can Achieve: My Summer as a Fellow

This past summer I was an Education Pioneers Summer Fellow. What does that mean? To me, it means I gained incredible insight and experience collaborating with and learning from a diverse and courageous group of people who are ready to positively impact the field of education. I was drawn to Education Pioneers as an organization that recruits graduate students (like me) and professionals who seek to work in educational leadership positions outside of the classroom, so students and teachers succeed in the classroom. This is made possible through their deep relationships with partner...

Getting Proximate with New Orleans: Q & A with EP Alum Meladee Evans

In the EP Blog post “ Four Places to Support Equity and Boost Your Career Like Nowhere Else ,” we discussed the importance of the network’s “accelerator cities” — some of our smaller locations that are high priority because they have a particularly high demand for talented leaders, as well as offer unique opportunities to impact education and advance careers rapidly. New Orleans is on that list, along with Memphis, Kansas City, and Tulsa. 2014 EP Fellow Meladee Evans began her career in education during her placement at Algiers Charter School Association in New Orleans. Although she was a...

#EPPride: Exploring the intersection of race and sexuality with two EP Alumni

Pride Month is a big deal at Education Pioneers (check out our special flag logo!). This month, our staff has gathered multiple times virtually and in person to talk about our experiences within and as aspiring allies of the LBGTQ community. Our LGBTQ staff affinity group also worked with the EP Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory to unveil an EP LGBTQ Employee Resource Guide. Some members of our staff gathered to watch “Paris is Burning” and “Pride.” We even discussed how the newest season of “Master of None” connects the traditional Thanksgiving episode with a conversation about the...

Why Educational Equity Depends on Openness and Humility

The term “ally” is often brought up for debate and discussion in education reform circles across our country. Is it appropriate for a white educator of relative privilege to self-identify as an ally , or is this a term that must be earned and offered by someone who more closely represents the students served by that educator? Who determines who is an ally and who isn’t? And even if the term ally is accepted in some circles, does that mean it is universal? As a straight, white, male who grew up with options and had the opportunity to go to private high school and college, I have struggled with...

Pioneer Profile: 10 Questions for our EPic Alum Adrian J. DeLeon

Adrian J. (AJ) DeLeon is the Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, CSC Consulting Group. Read more about AJ and his work. 1 | Where did you grow up and what was it like? I grew up in a large and diverse border city in Mexico across from El Paso, Texas: Ciudad Juarez. Growing up in the borderlands helped me understand, from a very young age, the definition of contrast. It also gave me a unique perspective on the differences between society and education in other countries and the United States. I greatly enjoyed having that bicultural, bilingual, and binational childhood, for it opened my...

Pioneer Profile: 10 Questions for our EPic Alum Eldrin L. Deas

Eldrin L. Deas serves as an education consultant. Read more about Eldrin and his work. 1 | Where did you grow up and what was it like? I grew up in Atlanta, GA. It’s a beautiful city. It’s the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Outkast. There’s an episode of Futurama , which is set 1,000 years in the future, called “The Deep South” in which the main characters come across the Lost City of Atlanta. They poke fun at Atlanta as being mostly an airport and the home of Coca-Cola. But, for me, it was more like life in Donald Glover’s new show, Atlanta . There’s the complexity of post-...

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