Press Release: June 10, 2015

Pahara Institute Announces New Class of Leaders for NextGen Network

SAN FRANCISCO (June 10, 2015) – The Pahara Institute announced today the Fall 2015 cohort of leaders for its NextGen Network. These 25 leaders have been selected to join a Pahara network designed to recognize and support exceptional emerging senior leaders who can amplify the voices of underrepresented communities that are currently not well served by our public schools.

“Identifying and supporting outstanding leaders is critical to reaching our goal of excellence and equity for all our public school students,” said Kim Smith, Pahara Institute Founder and CEO. “This cohort exemplifies the leadership talent and diversity that our movement needs for the future and we are humbled to be able to support them.”

The Pahara NextGen Network is a 12 month leadership development program that aims to identify and develop a diverse group of exceptional emerging senior leaders with the potential to strengthen and shape the future of the education excellence and equity movement. The movement for excellence and equity in American education is at a critical juncture. As this work evolves, it is important to cultivate and support leaders who bring diverse voices and perspectives to the movement, particularly those who represent communities that are currently not well served by our public schools. By identifying individuals who can amplify underrepresented voices, and providing them with high-level leadership development and networking opportunities, this program encourages and supports those who will become senior leaders in the field and helps strengthen the education equity and excellence movement by engaging more diverse perspectives.

The Fall 2015 NextGen Network leaders are:

  • Nikki Bridges, Founding Principal, Leadership Prep Ocean Hill Elementary Academy
  • Maya Bugg, State Director, Tennessee, Education Pioneers
  • Candace Crawford, Former Founding Executive Director, Teach Plus D.C.
  • Krupa Desai, Chief Strategy Officer, Citizens of the World Charter Schools
  • Keara Duggan, Senior Consultant, Education Elements
  • Elsa Duré, Chief of Policy & Expansion, Rhode Island Mayoral Academies
  • Sarah Figueroa, Chief Operating Officer, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
  • Anpao Duta Flying Earth, Head of School and Associate Director, Native American Community Academy
  • Rafael Gallardo, Director of Technology Integration, Kent School District
  • Dolores Gonzalez, Chief Program Officer, IDEA Public Schools
  • Disha Jain, Managing Director of Leaders, ReNEW Charter Management Organization
  • Kai Kung, Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Chris Liang-Vergara, Chief of Learning Innovation, LEAP Innovations
  • Jamar McKneely, Chief Executive Officer, InspireNOLA
  • Carlos Moreno, National Director of School Network Support & Innovation, Big Picture Learning
  • Katiusca Moreno, Senior Managing Director of Organizational Culture Initiatives, Teach For America
  • Al Motley, Chief Technology Officer, Matchbook Learning
  • Veronica Palmer, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, RISE Colorado
  • Phillip M. Robinson, Jr., Executive Director and Vice President, City Year Cleveland
  • Nick Rodriguez, K-12 Director, Education Delivery Institute
  • Dena Simmons, Associate Director of School Initiatives, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
  • Ash Solar, Executive Director, Achievement Schools
  • Marquis Taylor, Co-Founder and CEO, Coaching4Change
  • Hoa Truong, Director, The Broad Residency, The Broad Center
  • Gabrielle Wyatt, Executive Director of Strategy, Newark Public Schools

To access bios and photos of these NextGen Network leaders, click here.

For More Information:
Maggie Scott-Weathers, Program Manager, Pahara Institute,

About the Pahara Institute

The Pahara Institute is a national nonprofit organization focused on supporting the sustainability, diversity, and quality of leadership for the education excellence and equity movement. The guiding principle of the Pahara Institute is that bold improvements are needed for our public schools so that every child in America has access to the tools and skills he or she needs to be successful in life. Pahara’s programs are designed to identify leaders in education innovation, and through a time-tested dialogue approach, strengthen and sustain their efforts to bring about important improvements to our public schools.

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