National Initiative Selects Fourth Cohort of Leaders to Take on Human Capital Challenges in School Systems


Contact for Education Pioneers

Erica Gordon



National Initiative Selects Fourth Cohort of Leaders to Take on Human Capital Challenges in School Systems

Education Pioneers, in partnership with the Urban Schools Human Capital Academy, announces cohort of talent management leaders working in education

Oakland, Calif. — Thirty talented professionals will participate in Emerging Human Capital Leaders Initiative (EHCLI). The 2018 cohort chosen to participate in this selective program work in leading human capital roles and aspire to change the way schools recruit, connect, and advance talent on behalf of the nation’s highest-need students.

This 10-month program is an innovative partnership between Education Pioneers and the Urban Schools Human Capital Academy (USHCA) that provides participants with the skills, resources, and network to accelerate their work to ensure that every student has a great team of people, such as teachers, principals, and central office administrators, who support them. Participants are in top human capital roles within their organizations, or are a step or two away from being in these roles.

“EHCLI functions to advance the careers of professionals poised to lead talent management for major school districts, charter management organizations, and state education agencies,” said Melissa Wu, Education Pioneers’ Chief Program Officer. “People are the most critical resource in the education sector. Strategic and intentional human capital work is necessary to improve student outcomes because compliance isn’t enough when it comes to recruiting, developing, and retaining effective teachers and principals. We couldn’t do this work without important stakeholders like USHCA.”

EHCLI grows a robust national network of human capital leaders who connect, collaborate, and innovate across the nation to create excellence and equity in education. The 2018 cohort joins the first three cohorts, totalling 114 human capital professionals who have been or will be a part of the EHCLI network.

“The ideas and collaborations that arise from meaningful conversations about human capital trends and challenges in education have the potential to transform how we serve students. EHCLI participants can expand on what’s working and learn different ways of approaching important talent management situations,” Danielle Pickens, Chief Program Officer for the Urban Schools Human Capital Academy, said. “EHCLI ensures the support of leaders who are strategizing to improve schools, both individually and at scale.”

The 30 emerging human capital leaders who will begin the program in the first week of March 2018 are:

  • Anna Westlund, Director of Recruitment, Saint Louis Public Schools

  • Cecily Adams, Executive Data Strategy Coordinator, Prince George’s County Public Schools

  • Chad Rountree, Managing Director, Training & Support, OneGoal

  • Cheryl Stidham, Director of Talent Acquisition, Wake County Public School System

  • Christine Judson, Director, Talent Acquisition, Chicago Public Schools

  • Deanna Vasilakis, Director of Recruitment, Uncommon Schools

  • Dyan Sellers, Manager, Teacher Recruitment, Baltimore City Public Schools

  • Jennifer Duarte, Director of Human Capital, KIPP LA Public Schools

  • Jon Barrows, Director of Data & Analytics, Human Capital, Boston Public Schools (EP Alum)

  • Juan Taveras, Chief of Human Resources & Administrative Officer, NYC Outward Bound Schools

  • Larnell Vickers, Assistant Director of Recruitment, Democracy Prep Public Schools

  • Lilla Toal Mandsager, Director of Educator Effectiveness & Leadership Development, South Carolina Department of Education

  • Maelle Fonteneau, Senior Advisor, People & Engagement, Turnaround for Children (EP Alum)

  • Mary Ann Spracher, Director of Talent & Interim Human Resources Director, Wayside Schools

  • Meagan Comb, Director for Educator Effectiveness, Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

  • Megan Lonergan, Director of Employee Relations, Aurora Public Schools

  • Meladee Evans, Co-Director of Talent Strategy, KIPP New Orleans Schools (EP Alum)

  • Mindy Weidman Duchi, Chief Performance Officer, BRICK (EP Alum)

  • Nicole Wolden, Director of Growth and Performance, Denver Public Schools

  • Nicole Wellman Noble, Vice President of People Development, Bright Star Schools (EP Alum)

  • Pedro Roman, Executive Director for Human Resources, Newburgh Enlarged City School District

  • Riddhi (Ria) Mehta, Associate Director, Strategy and Operations, New York City Department of Education

  • Ruby Powell - Dennis, Director of Outreach, New Memphis Institute

  • Seana Flanagan, Director of Educator Growth & Development, New Mexico Public Education Department

  • Sharon Pertiller, Executive Officer of Human Resources, Metro Nashville Public Schools

  • Socorro Espinoza, Director of Educator Effectiveness, ESC1 Education Service Center Region One

  • Swen Ervin, Manager, Classified Staffing, San Francisco Unified School District (EP Alum)

  • Tim Kubrick, Human Resources Partner, Palm Beach County School District

  • Valerie Green, Talent Acquisition Program Manager, Education, The Wonderful Company

  • Vincena Allen, Chief College Success Officer, The SEED Foundation

Participants will learn from experts and from one another to collectively enhance their effectiveness in their current roles, and to strengthen the pipeline of talented leaders ready and interested to take on human capital leadership roles in public school systems.

About Education Pioneers

Education Pioneers recruits professionals with diverse skills and backgrounds to solve problems from outside of the classroom so students and teachers succeed in the classroom. Since 2003, Education Pioneers has recruited and trained nearly 4,000 leaders in partnership with more than 750 education organizations nationwide.

Of the organization’s alumni in the workforce, more than 70 percent serve in education and lead or contribute to work that impacts public school students in major cities across the nation, most of whom are students of color and are growing up in underserved areas. Find out more about where Education Pioneers’ leaders work and their impact here:

About The Urban Schools Human Capital Academy

The Urban Schools Human Capital Academy (USHCA) is a national non-profit working to build the capacity of Human Resource Departments to find and keep a talented workforce, particularly for our highest-need schools and students. Since its inception in 2011, it has developed, supported, and networked central office staff at over 26 districts and eight states on strategic human capital work. USHCA is also focused on developing the next generation of human capital leaders for HC leadership roles by partnering with Education Pioneers to launch and run the Emerging Human Capital Leaders Initiative.


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