“We are here to serve. Whatever it is that our community, our teachers, our parents, and especially our students need, it’s our job to give it to them.”
A striking combination of tenacity and humility runs deep through this diverse array of education leaders. They are single-minded about improving the lives of the students and communities they serve. But they understand that they are part of an enterprise much bigger than any one person, and that the work of successfully educating and supporting students can only be done by teams of committed players.
Some are superintendents—like one who has overseen a more than decade-long effort to fully integrate new communities of immigrants and another who leads an ambitious effort to break cycles of family poverty through extensive academic and nonacademic interventions. Others are high-impact administrators responsible for turning around struggling schools or expanding the numbers of students who receive gifted education services.
All of them are humble. All of them are tenacious.
And all of them provide indisputable evidence that delivering high-quality teaching and learning in the nation’s public schools keeps its promise of putting young people on a solid path to successful and fulfilled lives.
To help find this year’s Leaders To Learn From, Education Week put out a call to readers for nominees. We also sought nominations from state school administrator groups, education reporters around the country, and experts in the K-12 field. Education Week’s own reporters identified leaders who are making a mark within the topical areas they cover. Members of the editorial staff made the final selections.
Each year, our nominations reflect a thirst among educators for two things: a little positive recognition, and some proven models to follow.
Highlighting strong leadership—in districts large and small—can energize fellow educators facing a confluence of pressures to raise student achievement, navigate budget constraints, and implement new policies.
Meet the honorees at the annual Leaders To Learn From event in Washington.
— The Editors