Education Pioneers Celebrates DC Fellows

26 July 2012

Education Pioneers Celebrates DC Fellows

On a night where Education Pioneers celebrated 53 new Washington DC-based Fellows, Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado urged the new Fellows to focus not on individual successes or failures, but on steering education reform toward a “path of continuous improvement.”

Education Pioneers’ 2012 DC Metro Area Showcase provided an opportunity to meet the new Fellows and network with Alumni, partner organizations, donors and others in the education community. This year’s summer class, DC’s largest Education Pioneers cohort, is working at 34 schools, nonprofits, and other education organizations.

With the Capitol Rotunda towering in the background, Senator Bennet called education “the most important domestic issue we face” and shared three suggestions for success that he had learned while serving as superintendent of Denver Public Schools:

  1. Identify people who are excellent at their jobs and create an environment where they can be successful.
  2. Remember that while teaching and learning are critical, schools can’t allow important systems work to suffer.
  3. Education reform can be a complicated subject, so create a shared understanding of the facts.

Education Pioneers Fellow Andrew Elliott introduced Senator Bennet. From Cornell’s The Johnson School, Andrew talked about attending schools in Arkansas where leaky roofs, moldy classrooms and dim lighting made learning a challenge. In his Fellowship, he’s working to develop a facilities plan with E.W. Stokes Charter School in Northeast DC, using his leadership skills and background in real estate to create a learning environment that helps students succeed.

Education Pioneers Founder and CEO Scott Morgan closed the program by recounting how Education Pioneers started in 2003 with the audacious goal of training 300 new leaders a year by its tenth year. While the goal seemed bold at the time, Morgan announced that in this, the organization’s ninth year, 400 new Fellows were working with partners in 16 cities.

Morgan said that success as well as the great demand for the strong leaders and managers Education Pioneers recruits has led the organization to set an even more ambitious goal – to transform education into the best led and managed sector in the U.S. economy and build a network of 10,000 Fellows and Alumni by 2023.