Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago and attending excellent public schools, Claire Brown always knew that the educational experiences she had weren’t the norm for everyone. “I really lucked out based on my parents’ ability to choose a neighborhood with strong public schools,” she says.
As an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Claire spent a lot of time volunteering in local schools and saw stark inequities firsthand. “I learned quickly that even Madison, Wisconsin, has extreme segregation and that the African-American neighborhoods on the margins of the city were the poorest neighborhoods with the lowest-performing schools,” she says.
Claire realized she could make a difference in students’ lives and became a Teach For America corps member following graduation. Her three years in the classroom only cemented her desire to impact the education for as many students as possible. While she pursued a master’s degree, she discovered Education Pioneers and the opportunity to connect with a broader education community in Los Angeles.
- Human Capital
During her Fellowship, Claire served as a Fellow for the Cotsen Family Foundation’s Art of Teaching program. There, she worked with key members of the foundation’s staff to better understand how to identify which teachers make highly effective mentors for other peer teachers. Through reading academic research and watching hours of video of instruction and mentor conferences, Claire helped identify the factors that most influenced whether a teacher would become an excellent mentor.
Claire’s experience with her Fellowship cohort broadened her perspective on her work and the education field. “My EP cohort was diverse in so many ways,” she says. “I am grateful that we often debated contentious issues and values that impact kids, families, and public school staff every day. I try to keep those many viewpoints in mind as I consider how decisions will impact our schools and staff.”
Now serving as Director of Talent Management for the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, Claire works to bridge staffing efforts – recruiting and hiring teachers, school leaders, and home office staff – with the long-term work of providing meaningful professional growth and recognition for teachers and school leaders. “I am profoundly proud to work every day toward putting excellent educators and role models before our students at every level,” she says.