Education Pioneers is uniquely positioned to find and support the talent needed to respond to this crisis and create a better future for students and communities.

Navigating Challenging Times

School systems are facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The work to re-open schools safely, recover learning, and reimagine a more equitable future for education is complex, capacity-intensive, and budget-constrained. The average student may lose more than 7 months of learning due to COVID-19, with students of color and low-income students losing up to a year—widening existing achievement gaps by 15-20%.

We must seize this opportunity to grapple with the long-standing inequities within education and build a better future. School systems need adaptive, inclusive leaders to disrupt the status quo. They need Pioneers.

The EP COVID Response Fellowship

As a trusted talent pipeline for more than 15 years, Education Pioneers will help the sector meet this moment with what we’re uniquely positioned to offer: adaptive, inclusive, talented leaders equipped to transform the sector. 

For this 12-month, paid Fellowship opportunity, we connect senior talent from our own Alumni network and beyond with a district, charter school network, or state education agency where they’ll provide Chief of Staff-level support to senior leaders as they plan and implement adaptive approaches to evolving public health policies, operational processes, and academic practices while ensuring that schools are providing equitable student learning experiences.

What will EP COVID Response Fellows do? 

Advance essential work over the course of 12 months coinciding with the school year. They’ll work directly with senior-level staff to tackle COVID-specific responsibilities; coordinating communications; liaising with public health and education agencies; and more. 

Benefit from collective solutions. Fellows will have access to a cohort of peers executing similar work across the country for structured programming, thought-partnership, problem-solving, and best practice sharing—accelerating progress for schools nationwide.

Leverage network support. Fellows will have an advisor to help them navigate their experience and an EP Alum will provide mentorship to groups of Fellows.

Who are COVID Response Fellows?

Mid-senior Level Education Leaders

Proven Collaborators & Problem-solvers

Adaptive, Inclusive, Equity-oriented People

  • 10-15 years of overall work experience 
  • 3-7 years of relevant chief of staff, project management, and/or strategy experience
  • Comfortable working directly with senior and executive leaders at an education organization or school
  • They can navigate diverse groups of stakeholders. 
  • They can diagnose problems and find creative solutions. 
  • They have experience leading through organizational and operational change. 
  • They persevere and persist through challenging and high-stakes work.
  • They grasp the nuances and complexities facing the education sector right now. 
  • They’re conversant in DEI issues, including how race, identity, power and oppression influence the system. 
  • They’ve practiced adaptive leadership and are committed to equity & inclusion.

Applications are now closed for the COVID Response Fellowship. 

  • Download the job description and Fellowship overview for applicants
  • Download this program guide for host Partner organizations

Meet Our Fellows

2020-2021 Education Pioneers COVID Response Fellows

Tirza Buelto

Providence Public Schools

Elizabeth Dill

Hartford Public Schools

Caitlin Gallagher

New Paradigm for Education

Martrice Gandy

 ReGeneration Schools

Julie Gopalan 

Rocketship Public Schools

Johntel Greene

New York City Department of Education

Karmin-Tia Greer

 The SEED Foundation

Amanda Harless

Freedom Preparatory Academy Charter Schools

Nile Harris

Clarksdale Collegiate Public Charter School

Christopher Hill

Shelby County Schools

Carissa Godwin Holsted

Shelby County Schools

Damon Hoyle

Texas Education Agency

Gaines Johnson

Inglewood Unified School District

Jean Liu

Oakland Unified School District

Vin Menon

VISTA College Prep

Danielle Moehrke

Chicago Public Schools

Charlotte Nugent

Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Caitlin Paul

Los Angeles Unified School District

Jessica Post

Yakima School District

Abbie Ridenour

Marin Promise Partnership

Aeriell Robinson

The Surge Institute

Frances Spencer

KIPP Metro Atlanta

Etna Tiburcio

Excel Academy Charter Schools

Kenneth Walk

Boston Public Schools



Learn more about our COVID Response Fellows and their new roles >>

Read press release >> 




Schools and districts are facing immense financial challenges as a result of the economic impacts of COVID-19. With the generous support of philanthropic investors, EP raised the funds to cover all Fellows' stipends and benefits. We are still seeking investors to contribute to programmatic costs for our Fellows. 

Learn More & Invest

Planning for reopening will not be easy; and is not nearly as important – nor as difficult – as execution. We'll have to be problem-solvers, flexible and responsive to data, and willing to course-correct.

Jeffrey C. Riley, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance

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