Leading From Our Strengths: A Message From Our CEO
Dear New Leaders Community,
Two words come to mind as this year sunsets: resilience and possibility.
As education leaders, we have faced an untold number of unprecedented challenges—and opportunities—to create schools that accelerate student learning and build a more just world. Sustained crises, like the pandemic, are not simply meant to be weathered. They also create possibilities to catapult us forward in new and bold ways.
Every day, we hear from transformational leaders across the country who are redefining what is possible in our nation’s schools—and cultivating the inherent strengths within their students, staff, families, and communities to do so. District leaders who prioritize instructional leadership. School leaders who replace inequitable systems with school cultures rooted in respect, high expectations, and trust. Educators who see unlimited possibility in all of their students. All of them galvanize us to take even greater action.
At New Leaders, 2022 meant reimagining what we do best—developing equity-minded leaders to be powerful and positive forces for change—and doing it in bigger and bolder ways. Here is how we are building on our strengths to advance transformational leadership at scale.
A first-of-its-kind partnership, our National Aspiring Principals Fellowship launched in March 2020 in partnership with two distinguished institutions, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University. The Fellowship transforms full-time educators into committed, equity-focused principals. Our inaugural cohort graduates this spring, and our next cohort begins this January, with more cohorts on the horizon. Named as a model for innovation, the Fellowship advances greater diversity and more equitable representation within district leadership pipelines.
Investing in leadership at every level, with a new exemplar site model that builds system-wide capacity—from principals to superintendents, principal supervisors to instructional leadership team members—over a multi-year period. Three school systems will serve as pilots in 2023, where we will measure our ability to increase student achievement via third-party evaluators. Our aim: drive equitable outcomes at scale across the system, its schools and their teams.
Voices for excellence and equity, through New Leaders alumni who offer invaluable insights on every aspect of education. In 2022, our alumni were featured in EdWeek, Chalkbeat, Time, The Washington Post, and the The New York Times, among others. Our alumni serve in over 1,300 school systems across the country, acting as catalysts in their schools, districts, and communities. Their stories inspire us—and all the leaders who learn from their powerful examples.
At the center of all our work is you: the people who make it possible. To every education leader, alum, partner, supporter, and staff member, your invaluable contribution fuels our commitment, optimism and resolve. Together, we will ensure excellence and equity in every school, for every student. Our shared goal is among the most important of our time.
As resilient leaders, we can do more than bounce back, we can “bounce forward.” May 2023 open up new possibilities for even greater impact and success within your leadership and the communities you serve.
Wishing you peace, good health and the happiest of holidays.
Jean Desravines, CEO, New Leaders