Press Release: February 22, 2016

Pahara Institute Announces New Class of Leaders for NextGen Network

SAN FRANCISCO (February 22, 2016) – The Pahara Institute announced today the Spring 2016 cohort of leaders for its NextGen Network. These 24 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.

“Supporting outstanding leaders is crucial to our goal of achieving excellence and equity for all our public school students and to create high quality learning environments for our communities,” said Kim Smith, Pahara Institute CEO. “These NextGen Network leaders exemplify the diverse and creative leadership talent we need for the future, and we are delighted to be able to support them.”

The 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 educational 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 educational equity and excellence movement by engaging more diverse perspectives.

The Spring 2016 NextGen Network leaders are:

    • Lisa Ahn, Director of Consulting, LeaderSpring
    • Daniel Assisi, Managing Director for Data, Operations and Information Technologies, California Charter Schools Association
    • Tenicka Boyd, Senior Director of Organizing, StudentsFirstNY
    • Justin Davis, Program Officer, Kapor Center for Social Impact
    • Ian Esquibel, Executive Director, Learning Alliance
    • Marvin Figueroa, Senior Policy Advisor, United States Senate
    • Antonio Freitas, Early Childhood Deputy Director, The Children’s Aid Society
    • Maile Hadley, Senior Director of Programs, Equal Opportunity Schools
    • Onuka Ibe, Vice President of Program, College Summit
    • Anson Jackson, Associate Managing Director, Uplift Education
    • Aleesia Johnson, Innovation Officer, Indianapolis Public Schools
    • Erin Trent Johnson, Senior Director of Cultural Context, Mastery Charter Schools
    • Tara Lentz, Senior Director of Programs, Conexión Américas
    • David Lopez, Executive Director, Teach for America – San Diego
    • Jonathan J. López, Senior Service Director, City Year Los Angeles
    • Kristen McCaw, Director of Growth & Policy, Summit Public Schools
    • Jelani McEwen, Director of External Affairs, Illinois Network of Charter Schools
    • Joyce Medina Harper, Executive Director, The Dougherty Foundation
    • Makiyah Moody, Senior Consultant, La Piana Consulting
    • Sehreen Noor Ali, Vice President of Business Development,
    • Janis Ortega, National Director of Partnerships, New Leaders
    • Roy Quinto, Principal, Saint Joseph’s School
    • Michelle Russell, Principal, TEAM Englewood Community Academy
    • Sheila Sarem, Director of National Leadership Recruitment, KIPP Foundation

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

For More Information:
Idrissa Simmonds-Nastili, NextGen Director, 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 educational 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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