One of the preeminent programs that grooms diverse educators for executive leadership roles today announced it is accepting nominations for the third class of its Future Chiefs program. Future Chiefs are bold and innovative state and district education leaders who are transforming our nation’s schools and are ready to prepare for even larger system-wide leadership roles in our education system.
State and district chiefs have enormous influence over what America’s 50 million public school students learn and how schools function. Yet nationally, few pathways exist to help identify and prepare excellent candidates for these roles. Because there’s so little practical preparation, too many leaders are isolated once they are in their roles, lacking a community of results-oriented peers or access to all the resources they need to hit the ground running.
To fix that, Chiefs for Change is helping to build a diverse pipeline of Future Chiefs by giving talented emerging leaders a set of experiences and preparation that will enable school systems to choose skilled, ready leaders.
Chiefs for Change launched its inaugural cohort of eight Future Chiefs in 2016 and a second cohort of eight in 2017. Future Chiefs participate in a year-long program of coaching, mentorship, and collective learning, with the support of some of the nation’s most successful state and local chiefs. The program provides an unparalleled opportunity for emerging leaders to learn from and alongside expert practitioners and mentors.
Kunjan Narechania, a Future Chief in Cohort 1, is now CEO of Louisiana’s Recovery School District and a Chiefs for Change member. John White, Louisiana State Superintendent and Chiefs for Change Board Chair, said he has seen the value of the Future Chiefs program firsthand. “Being part of the Future Chiefs program has meant that Kunjan has a community of the most effective education chiefs to turn to for support. Future Chiefs helps leaders to build on their existing success and prepare them for the challenge of their roles ahead,” said White.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core to the Future Chiefs program — 75% of participants are leaders of color, and 50% are women. Nationwide, people of color make up just 6 percent of district superintendents and 12 percent of state commissioners, while more than half of U.S. students are children of color. The Future Chiefs program is injecting much-needed diversity into executive leadership roles.
“Future Chiefs is about mentorship, with a particular focus on ushering more diverse candidates into the talent pool for chief jobs, both at the state level and district level,” noted David Hardy, a Future Chief in the program’s second cohort who was recently named CEO of the Lorain City School District in Ohio. “For me to lead a system that allows me to impact the lives of young people and show them what is possible means the world to me.”
Nominations for Cohort 3 are due by November 10. Nominate a Future Chief on the Chiefs for Change website.
ABOUT CHIEFS FOR CHANGE
Chiefs for Change is a nonprofit, bipartisan network of diverse state and district education Chiefs dedicated to preparing all students for today’s world and tomorrow’s through deeply committed leadership. We advocate for policies and practices that are making a difference today for students, and build a pipeline of talented, diverse Future Chiefs ready to lead major school systems. Chiefs for Change members lead education systems serving 5.3 million students, 330,000 teachers, and 10,000 schools.