New Leaders Celebrates Two Decades of Developing Education Talent

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Oct 6, 2021

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Dorie Turner Nolt,; Karen Skalitzky,

As part of National Principals Month, New Leaders is celebrating 20 years of impact through education leadership training in districts and schools across the country.

“What began with a small group of eager educators has grown into a national network of K-12 leaders committed to driving excellence and equity in our school communities. Our alumni are the strongest, most effective leaders in the field,” said New Leaders CEO Jean Desravines. “Our initial vision was to reimagine what is possible for our students, especially underestimated and underserved students of color. Over the next 20 years, we plan to scale this vision by becoming the largest equity-focused and most transformational leadership development organization in the country.” 

New Leaders launched in 2001 with a cohort of 14 aspiring education leaders. Today, the nonprofit has developed more than 6,000 outstanding education leaders who reach 750,000 students in more than 45 cities nationwide. New Leaders-trained principals serve in nearly half of the 50 largest districts in the country.

New Leaders staff and alumni also reflect the communities they serve. Half of all students in K-12 public schools identify as people of color. Today, sixty percent of New Leaders alumni identify as leaders of color compared to 20 percent of principals nationwide. 

What’s more, New Leaders alumni get results for all students, educators and families. Studies by the RAND Corporation and Mathematica Policy Research show the organization’s impact:

  • Students perform better in reading and math in schools led by a New Leaders principal.
  • Students gain additional months of learning in schools led by a New Leaders principal.
  • Students have better attendance rates in schools led by a New Leaders principal.
  • Teachers stay longer in their roles or advance in leadership in schools led by a New Leaders principal.
  • New Leaders principals remain committed to their communities and lead their schools for four years or more years.

For more on New Leaders, visit


About New Leaders:

New Leaders is redefining how schools are led. Our leadership development programs build a diverse pipeline of equity-minded educational leaders. In 20 years, we have trained 6,000 leaders—sixty percent of whom identify as leaders of color. Our leaders impact more than 750,000 students in our K-12 school system annually and serve as powerful and positive forces for change in their communities.