Cultivating courageous leadership to transform education.

OUR WORK

We believe in the transformative power of education to create a more just society. With a deep commitment to equity, community, and impact, our nationwide network of diverse leaders drives lasting change in public education.

Highly-skilled general managers are needed to manage complex systems-level change in education outside of the classroom. Education Pioneers fills this need for the sector by finding and developing strategic leaders to disrupt the status quo. 

Transforming education is possible, but requires sustained effort and collaboration. We develop courageous, committed leaders who build bridges in polarized landscapes, lead inclusively, and amplify solutions for long-term change.

 Inequity in education is often perpetuated by a lack of representation in PreK-12 leadership. We recruit diverse leaders who represent the students and families we serve and work in partnership with communities towards tangible outcomes and shared goals.

Our Model & Approach

Our Fellowships match emerging leaders to high-impact projects, building needed organizational capacity for education organizations while supporting Fellows on their path to systems-level general management roles. We provide Fellows with critical leadership development programming and connect them to a network of leaders across the sector, building a pipeline of changemakers outside of the classroom.

We attract high-potential leaders from various sectors, and support their transition to impactful careers in public education through short or long-term Fellowships in leading education organizations.

We lead structured learning opportunities for our Fellows, building the long-term skills, mindsets, and orientations needed in effective educational leadership.

Our cohort-based approach cultivates meaningful relationships among like-minded leaders. This supportive community enables effective collaboration, shared learning, and collective action.

History & Growth

  • 2003: Scott Morgan, a former teacher and a Stanford Law School graduate, founds Education Pioneers (EP) with a bold vision to transform the education sector with top leadership and management talent.
  • 2004: EP’s first Fellowship cohort, comprised of nine Fellows, launches in the San Francisco Bay Area. 
  • 2005: EP expands to the East Coast, hosting a Fellowship cohort in Boston.
  • 2009: EP establishes a presence in Chicago, our Midwest hub. 
  • 2012: EP receives over 10k applications for our programs in four years (2008-2012).
  • 2013: EP turns 10 and hosts an anniversary summit that convenes more than 400 Fellows, Alumni, Partners, and supporters. 
  • 2015: EP evolves its Graduate School Fellowship and Analyst Fellowship programs into a single Education Pioneers Fellowship—with summer and career tracks—to meet organizations’ and candidates’ needs.
  • 2017: EP’s Alumni network exceeds 3,500. 
  • 2018: Founder Scott Morgan transitions the role of CEO to Melissa Wu. EP celebrates its 15th anniversary and surpasses 4,000 leaders in its Alumni network.
  • 2018-2020: EP scales back programmatic operations in response to a financial crisis, downsizing from 400+ Fellows to 50 Fellows.
  • 2021-2022: After the COVID-19 pandemic hits, EP pauses all regional programs, launching two national responsive Fellowship programs to navigate the internal and global crisis period. EP’s new COVID Relief and COVID Recovery Fellowships bring critical capacity to the front lines of PreK-12 amid pandemic-related challenges.
  • 2023: EP applies lessons learned to rebuild with improved quality and efficiency, relaunching regional programming in the Bay Area, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Dallas / Houston with plans to rescale to 10+ primary regions to sustainably operate with a long-term Alumni focus. 

Where We Work

Education Pioneers is a national organization with regional programs connecting a vast community of mission-aligned leaders. With 4,600+ Fellows and Alumni in 12+ regions, our diverse network collaborates with local organizations, communities, and one another to build a more just education system. 

MISSION FIRST, HUMAN ALWAYS

We aspire to build a culture rooted in trust, empathy, and a deep commitment to inclusion. We strive to be adaptable and collaborative, because we believe that our diverse perspectives make us stronger. We’re impact-focused, united by our belief that an equitable education system is not only possible, it’s imperative. 

 

Get to know our dedicated team.

Staff

Melissa Wu

Melissa Wu is Education Pioneers’ Chief Executive Officer. She leads the national organization to realize its vision to identify, train, connect, and inspire diverse leaders

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Tracy Session

Tracy is EP’s Chief Impact Officer. He joined the EP team as Vice President, Programs where he was responsible for leading and managing EP’s recruitment,

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Ross Anderson

Ross Anderson is the Vice President, Fellow and Alumni Impact based out of his home office in New Orleans – where he leads the team

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Stacy Barr

Stacy Barr is the Managing Director of Development and is based out of Brooklyn, NY. She leads EP’s fundraising efforts to support the organization’s growth

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Emily Cochran

Emily joined Education Pioneers due to her passion for increasing academic excellence in public education and motivation to bring innovative change through empowerment. She believes

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Lourdes Laguna

Lourdes Laguna is the Vice President of Talent + Partnerships, where she focuses on cultivating quality talent and partnership pipelines for EP’s Fellowship programs and enriching

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Emily Msall

Emily joined Education Pioneers because she believes that collaborative and diverse leaders can have a transformative impact on urban education. She is excited to work

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Etna Tiburcio

Etna Tiburcio (she/her/ella) is the Chief of Staff based out of Houston, Texas and focuses on advancing organizational priorities through rigorous prioritization, processes, and strategic

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Alex Garcia

Alex Garcia is a Manager of Talent Acquisition, where he focuses on recruiting and facilitating the candidate experience for the Impact Fellowship. Alex’s motivation to

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Daisy Grandt

Daisy joined Education Pioneers because she believes that children, regardless of their background, are entitled to an excellent education that empowers them socially, emotionally, and

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Havens Kon

Havens Kon is the Director of Partnerships based out of the Greater Boston area, where she is responsible for strengthening the quality of EP Fellows’

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Conor Leonard

Conor Leonard (he/him/his) is the Director, Development. He is based out of a home office. In his role, Conor helps enable the mission of Education

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Krystle Onibokun

Krystle Onibokun is the Director of Finance based in Northern California where she focuses on strengthening financial planning, analysis, and reporting to support organizational strategy

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Eric Ortlip

Eric joined Education Pioneers with the belief that providing equitable access to quality education opportunities for all children is one of the key challenges the

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Brianne Stuard

Brianne Stuard is the Director of Fellow Impact, based out of a home office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she designs and facilitates programming for EP’s

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Aubrie Tossmann

Aubrie Tossmann (she/they) is the Director, Fellow Impact (Impact Fellowship) based out of Chicago, IL, where she leads the Impact Fellowship as part of the

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Erin Willig

Erin Willig is the Director, Alumni Impact for Education Pioneers, where she drives our efforts to create a thriving network for our EP Alums. Erin is

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Charlotte Jackson

Charlotte Jackson is the Director of Recruitment and Admissions based out of a home office in Philadelphia, where she leads the strategy and execution of

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Anacristina Somarriba

Anacristina Somarriba is the Manager of People, Culture & Experience based in Providence, where she establishes and implements consistent and effective practices to execute core

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Courtney Handle

Courtney Handle is a Manager of Partnerships based out of Anaheim, California, where she supports efforts to identify, cultivate, and steward partners for EP’s Impact

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Board

Ash Solar

Ash is a co-founder and partner at the Bay Ed Fund. Ash has dedicated his entire career to the pursuit of equity through public education.

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Beth Clymer

Beth Clymer is the Chief Financial Officer of Jobcase, Inc., a social platform empowering workers to lead better, more meaningful work lives. Prior to joining Jobcase,

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David Keeling

David Keeling serves as Chief Communications Officer for EdNavigator, a national nonprofit organization that helps busy families support their children’s success in school through parent-friendly

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Matt Lyons

Matt is the Chief Financial and Operating Officer at Hope Chicago, a nonprofit startup dedicated to providing debt-free postsecondary education to thousands of Chicago students

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Maura Marino

Maura Marino is Co-Founder and Senior Advisor of Education Forward DC, following six years as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to launching Education Forward DC in

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Nolberto Delgadillo

Nolberto recently joined the Los Angeles Unified School District as their Deputy Chief Business Officer. In this role for the second largest school district in

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Saumil Shah

Saumil Shah joined KIPP DC in 2019 and currently serves as its Chief Information & Operations Officer. In this role, Saumil leads the school operations,

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Seth Reynolds

Seth Reynolds serves as Chair of the Board for Education Pioneers. Seth is a leader in EY-Parthenon’s Education Practice. He joined Education Pioneers’ Board of

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Join our dynamic team dedicated to creating a more just education system. We strongly encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply, recognizing the immense value and strength that unique perspectives bring to our work.

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