To Achieve Education’s Complex Work, Capacity Matters

capacity matters - EP fellows

In Las Vegas, many leaders (including EP Alumni) are doing whatever it takes to help the city’s students thrive. As Chief of Staff and External Relations for Las Vegas’ Clark County School District – the fifth-largest public school district in the country that serves more than 300,000 students – I saw firsthand how hard our staff worked to serve our young people well.

I also saw committed people stretched to their capacity. There were forward-thinking projects and ideas that we all wanted to implement to realize positive change for students and teachers. Yet we juggled complex day-to-day operations with launching our visionary ideas.

So I switched lanes. To help our nation’s education organizations overcome the hurdles they face, I recently joined Education Pioneers to help ensure that every organization has the capacity to get the important daily stuff done well and move visionary work forward.

As I learn more and more about the work of our 2,500+ pioneers, I’m struck by the diversity of experiences that they bring to the table. In addition to new perspectives from other sectors, many EP Fellows bring prior education experience – having worked as teachers, education researchers, after school program managers, and much more – and their perspectives are critical for our sector’s complex and often nuanced work.

Based on my experience in CCSD, I think often about the specific impact that these Fellows can have for school districts or school-based organizations to help get important work done well:

  • Developing and retaining high performing teachers and school leaders. Fellows with classroom experience know what it takes to be a successful teacher. They can develop professional development curriculum to support teachers’ and school leaders’ growth, ensure that critical resources are available to help schools retain their best teachers, and create marketing plans to increase awareness about the importance of rewarding top teachers.
  • Implementing new teacher evaluation systems. Our Fellows can help research implementation plans of your peer school districts and organizations, develop communications and marketing plans for your stakeholders, and help ensure that your teachers, your unions, and your community are briefed and engaged on the topic. They’ll know how to speak the same language as your educators.
  • Communicating about a new assessment system with your parents and students. Our Fellows can help with an implementation plan, including coordinating cross-department work on internal and external communications, to anticipate problems before they happen and implant steps to ensure success.
  • Creating new technology plans. Our Fellows can use their experience working with technology in the classroom to create technology plans that increase students’ access to technology both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Fundraise for special projects. Our Fellows can lead development plans and take the time you don’t have to research potential donors.

Right now, EP is connecting education organizations with a deep bench of qualified Fellows who have a variety of professional backgrounds and who can provide dedicated capacity and expertise to help move critical projects forward.

As one of our partners said, “It was fantastic to have additional capacity to really move us forward in a strategic area that I have struggled to prioritize.” From my own experience, I know this ability to push forward strategic work could be a game-changer for school systems.

Over half of the top leaders Education Pioneers selects have professional experience working in the education sector. They have been exposed to the complexity of work in the field and are ready for the next level of responsibility.

Let EP connect you with the talented people you need to move your most critical work forward for your students. Apply to partner with us today.

Daniel Tesfay, Analyst Fellow, 2014-2015, Educate Texas Kirsten Searer is the Senior Director of Communications at Education Pioneers. As a former chief of staff and external relations for the nation’s fifth-largest school district, Kirsten saw firsthand how hard educators at all levels work to serve our young people well. She also saw that it takes extraordinary people to make the extraordinary changes we need in education. Kirsten believes we can transform our education system by recruiting 10,000 of our nation’s brightest minds to make a career in education leadership and help re-think the challenges facing our schools.