April 2022 Aijeron Simmons

Aijeron Simmons (OAK’20) will transition into a new role as UTK Coordinator for the 21st Century California School Leadership Academy. (Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education hosts and coordinates the 21CSLA State Center in partnership with UCLA Center X and the California Subject Matter Projects.)

Through this new body of work, she will focus on preparing leaders to roll out Transitional Kindergarten for all of California’s 4-year-olds. Read more about her journey here.

April 2022 Dr. Brandalyn Hayes

“Our students can still get what they need as if they were in a physical classroom,” said Dr. Brandalyn Hayes (IND’22) in the Walton Family Foundation’s highlight of Paramount Online Academy, a new, virtual K-8 school created by Paramount Schools of Excellence, based in Indianapolis.

Paramount Online Academy is an Innovation Partner of Indianapolis Public Schools, one of six school districts nationwide to participate in the Center on Reinventing Public Education’s new effort to foster lasting innovation in a post-COVID landscape. The Walton Family Foundation supports this work, which is driving more equitable, community-driven approaches to learning. Check out the full highlight here.

April 2022 Christopher Goins

Christopher Goins (CHI’16) has been named the next President of Girard College in Philadelphia. Read more here.

Girard College is a historic boarding school in North Philadelphia that provides free education for disadvantaged children from single-parent families.

April 2022 Vanessa Gutiérrez

“For me, the stories of our participants reminded me of the strength, creativity, and persistence that lives in our schools and communities, specifically Black and brown communities. There was an understanding that folks needed to have grace and flexibility for one another.”

Chalkbeat Chicago highlights the recent study from the University of Chicago’s Consortium on School Research, which dove into the strategies and tactics that worked well regarding school-family communication amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. One key finding was that “communicating with families — rather than being haphazard or improvisational — should be governed by a clear plan designed by school leaders.” The report was co-authored by Vanessa Gutiérrez (CHI’20). Read the full article from Chalkbeat Chicago here.

April 2022 Edgar Palacios

“Latino students are rarely going to encounter a Latino teacher along their educational journey. We know that when they see themselves reflected in their teachers, they’re going to have better educational outcomes.”

KC Cares recently highlighted the work of the Latinx Education Collaborative, an organization founded by Edgar Palacios (KC’19). The organization also recently opened a new office and meeting space in Kansas City, MO. Read more here.

April 2022 TaraShaun Cain

“Nobody really focuses on the leaders,” Cain said. “And if we don’t focus on the leaders, specifically Black leaders who are experiencing stress at rates and levels that are higher than other leaders, based on the communities they serve, we will continue to see the great resignation of leaders because they don’t have the resources or the support needed to continue in this hard work.”

The 19th recently highlighted research and leaders, including Executive Director of the Black Principals Network, TaraShaun Cain (CHI’20), that underscore the importance of supporting Black Principals in the United States. See the full article here.

April 2022 Halleemah Nash

Rosecrans Ventures Founder, Halleemah Nash (CHI’17), will join the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program (EICOP) as an Executive in Residence in support of its signature program, HBCU in LA.

The HBCU in LA Internship Program is EICOP’s signature initiative and the first Los Angeles based program of its kind to provide underrepresented students with housing and the opportunity to participate in 10-week paid internships with major studios, networks, talent agencies and other global creative industry organizations.

April 2022 Garrett Webster

The South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce honored six projects for the 2022 Community Impact Awards at its Annual Dinner, and Youth Guidance was awarded the Big Impact award of the year for its Becoming A Man (BAM) and Working On Womanhood (WOW) programs in the Hickman Mills School District.

Youth Guidance in Kansas City is led by Executive Director, Garrett Webster (KC’20)

Read the full story here.

March 2022 Carolina Figueroa

Naptown United, a new Indianapolis-based soccer club, was featured in a local news segment. Naptown United is led by Stand for Children bilingual organizer and Peruvian native, Carolina Figueroa (IND’21). Carolina also expanded on the project as part of her Freedom Dreams Project during the Surge Academy program.

“We’re really concentrated on the youth in the intercity targeting our immigrant and refugee communities and our underserved communities,” President of Naptown United, Carolina Figueroa said.

Read the full story here.

March 2022 Kim Riley

The Transition Academy, an organization founded by Kim Riley (KC’20), was recently announced as one of NewSchools Venture Fund’s newest grantees. She is part of a new group of innovators — all leaders of color — who are receiving nearly $1.5 million in unrestricted funding to advance racial equity in education.

Read the full story here.