Press Release: August 18, 2014

Pahara and Aspen Institutes Announce New Class of Innovative Leaders for Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship

SAN FRANCISCO (August 18, 2014) – The Pahara Institute, together with the Aspen Institute, announced today the selection of the Fall 2014 cohort of the highly selective Pahara-Aspen Education Fellows program. These 24 leaders join a community of innovative education leaders who have participated in the Fellowship, which is designed to support innovative leaders who are doing exceptional work in education.

“Achieving excellence and equity in our public schools requires leaders who think creatively, act boldly, and work to bring people together to ensure that a quality public education is available for every one of our children,” said Kim Smith, Pahara Institute Founder and CEO.  “The exceptional leaders in this new cohort of Pahara-Aspen Fellows are using diverse and innovative approaches to making sure high quality learning opportunities are available for all of our children. We are so pleased to be able to support them in their tireless service on behalf of our young people and communities.”

The Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship is a two-year, cohort-based program that identifies innovative leaders in the educational excellence and equity movement, facilitates their dynamic growth, and strengthens their collective efforts to dramatically improve public schools, especially for low-income children and communities. The Fellowship provides these leaders with the unusual opportunity to step back from their demanding daily work to reflect with peers on their collective and individual impact as leaders and change agents. Fellows challenge each other to think beyond traditional silos and sector boundaries to develop strategies that enhance their effectiveness as leaders, address leadership challenges in public education, and accelerate the improvements needed to provide high quality learning opportunities for all of our nation’s children.

The Fellowship is a partnership between the Pahara and Aspen Institutes. The Aspen Institute has created a leadership development model through its renowned Henry Crown Fellowship program, which focuses on inspiring Fellows to make a lasting difference in their spheres of influence through the application of effective and enlightened leadership. Pahara-Aspen Fellows become part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, which currently includes nearly 1900 Fellows from 48 countries who are collectively making tremendous positive change in the world.

The Fall 2014 Pahara-Aspen Education Fellows are:

  • Karolyn Belcher, Executive Vice President for New Teacher Effectiveness, The New Teacher Project
  • Michelle Culver, Senior Vice President of Regional Operations, Teach For America
  • Elise Darwish, Chief Academic Officer, Aspire Public Schools
  • Dr. Noemi Donoso, Senior Vice President, Education Initiatives, Roll Global LLC
  • Thaly Germain, Executive Director, Lynch Leadership Academy, Boston College
  • Scott Hartl, President and Chief Executive Officer, Expeditionary Learning
  • Maria Heredia, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, High Tech High
  • Myra Jones-Taylor, Ph.D., Commissioner, Connecticut Office of Early Childhood
  • Jason Kloth, Deputy Mayor of Education, Office of Mayor Gregory A. Ballard, City of Indianapolis
  • Simmons Lettre, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Charter Board Partners
  • Michael Levine, Executive Director, Joan Ganz Cooney Center
  • Jamal McCall, Executive Director, KIPP Memphis
  • Adam Miller, Executive Director, Office of K-12 School Choice, Florida Department of Education
  • Tony Monfiletto, Director, New Mexico Center for School Leadership
  • Dr. Heath E. Morrison, Superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
  • Susan Patrick, President and Chief Executive Officer, iNACOL
  • Scott Pearson, Executive Director, DC Public Charter School Board
  • Brett Peiser, Chief Executive Officer, Uncommon Schools
  • Ted Preston, Independent Consultant
  • Maggie Runyan-Shefa, Co-Chief Executive Officer, New Schools for New Orleans
  • Christopher Rush, Co-Founder and Chief Program Officer, New Classrooms Innovation Partners
  • Gabriel Sandoval, Partner, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo
  • Olis Simmons, Founding Chief Executive Officer, Youth UpRising
  • Jill Vialet, Chief Executive Officer, Playworks

“Pahara-Aspen Fellows are leading the change our public education system so desperately needs in order for our country to continue to advance and live up to its full potential.” said Peter Reiling, Executive Vice President, Leadership and Seminar Programs at the Aspen Institute. “The Aspen Institute is pleased to continue partnering with Pahara and welcomes this outstanding new cohort of leaders into the Aspen Global Leadership Network where they join a global community of entrepreneurial ‘doers’ who are stepping up to solve the most important challenges of our times.”

To access bios and photos of the Pahara-Aspen Fellows, click here.


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