After four years in the classroom, William Jackson walked away from teaching. He sought a way to teach kids what our schools aren’t: about their value as people of color – and specifically as Black people – and what race means for them both in and far beyond school.
In this Q&A, EP Alumna Idrissa Simmonds-Nastili, Director of the Pahara Institute’s NextGen Network, talks about growing up with a global perspective that shaped her career trajectory, why diversity in the most senior levels of leadership in education is crucial for excellence and equity in education, and why all education leaders must have a “heart and mind for listening and learning.”
Culture isn’t a decree from on high. It can’t be implemented with the simple swoosh of the CEO’s hand. Instead, it has to be built by and for the entire team it represents. Rather than having executives write handbooks, we should empower teams and individuals to interpret and define the essence of an organization’s culture. And often, some of the best culture-building happens when we literally get out of the building.
Music is a powerful tool to engage young people both in and outside of school. In Memphis, Tennessee, where music is both a legacy and a critical element of the city’s future, it has the potential to strengthen young people’s connections to their communities and positively impact their lives. Serving as a nonprofit strategy consultant for Memphis Music Initiative this summer yielded four leadership lessons that are critical for all education leaders.
In this Pioneer Profile, EP hears from Alumnus Jon Hanover (Analyst Fellow, 2010), who founded Roots Elementary School in Denver, Colorado, a brand new school that is set to open this August. Read on to hear more about why Jon wishes we paid teachers like we pay hedge fund managers and professional athletes, why his favorite school memory includes jumping on furniture and Latin verbs, and what it was like when one of his students learned to read for the very first time.
It’s 93 degrees in Glendale, California, and Kara Allen Soldati’s passion for innovation is as palpable as the May heat. Kara, a 2010 Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellowship Alumna, and I meet to talk about her work leading the nonprofit CoachArt, the bold vision she has for her organization, and her recent selection to the 2015 Pahara Institute NextGen Network.
Empower Schools and EP Alumna Sarah Toce are working to make the debate over school district vs. charter school a thing of the past. “Our theory of action represents a third way,” said Sarah, Director of Policy for Empower.
EP’s annual survey of the 2,500+ leaders in our Alumni network revealed powerful findings: more of our Pioneers work in education than ever before, they're tackling the most critical issues in education sector-wide, and they're highly satisfied with their work.
As a current EP Analyst Fellow, I’m in the midst of an incredibly transformational experience. And while I don’t yet have the benefit of hindsight, I know choosing this program was the right choice. If you’re considering taking the leap, here’s why I think you should.
Vi Nguyen once thought that her success story was the norm. When she was nine years old, Vi and her family emigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam, and Vi enrolled in Des Moines Public Schools in Iowa as an English-as-a-Second-Language student. With help and guidance from teachers and counselors, Vi thrived and went on to earn a college degree from Yale University. Working as an analyst in the U.S. Congressional Budget Office and researching Pell Grants and Federal Student Loans, Vi realized that her success story was the exception.