Activate ED Launches "Education’s Rock Stars" Video Series to Attract Top Talent to Education

Video campaign kicks off with feature of Tom Vander Ark, will star prominent education leaders and provide resources for the sector
July 11, 2013 – Today, Activate ED announced that it is releasing the first in a series of 10 videos to showcase some of the top people working in the education sector to attract more top talent into the sector and provide valuable resources to those already working in education. Activate ED’s “Education’s Rock Stars” video series launches today with a video of Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart and a partner at Learn Capital. Vander Ark is also a former public school superintendent and is a director of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning.
Activate ED created the video series to further its mission to attract top leaders, managers, and analysts into education, where they can apply their diverse talents and skills in a purpose-driven career to support teachers’ important work with our nation’s students. As teachers are the most critical element to students’ success, the true rock stars in education, these leaders and the Activate ED network are committed to creating an environment that enables them to thrive.
“There’s a lot that’s similar about the leadership challenges in business and education, but it’s really important to understand that the context is very different,” said Vander Ark. “[In education] there’s a group of people who have chosen the profession for mission-driven reasons. It’s a great place for people with leadership skills toapply problem solving to make a huge difference for a community.”
The Activate ED video series highlights some of the top people working across the education sector, many of whom came to education from other careers. The lineup of “rock star” videos to come includes:

Betsy Corcoran, Founder and CEO of EdSurge;
Lydia Logan, Managing Director of Chiefs for Change at the Foundation for Excellence in Education;
Jack Elsey, Chief Innovation and Incubation Officer for Chicago Public Schools;
Sajan George, Founder and CEO of Matchbook Learning;
Andy Rotherham, Co-Founder and Partner at Bellwether Education;
Butch Trusty, Program Director, Education at The Joyce Foundation;
Mary Wells, Co-Founder and Partner at Bellwether Education Partners

Journalist Betsy Corcoran, founder and CEO of EdSurge, began writing about education technology after a long career that included stints at Scientific American magazine, the Washington Post and Forbes. “There's not a bigger, better or more fascinating challenge right now than figuring out how people learn,” Corcoran said. “How do you build tools that really correspond to the needs of the teachers and students?”
Lydia Logan, Managing Director of Chiefs for Change at the Foundation for Excellence in Education, highlights the importance of a job in education where one has the ability to “make a difference and impact future generations.” Logan said, “There are very few professions where you have the opportunity to do that, and perhaps even do it mid-career.”
In all 10 videos, these education leaders make their best case for why America’s top talent should choose rewarding careers in the education sector, share their favorite resources and talk about the best leadership advice they have received. Activate ED will be releasing the remaining nine videos, accompanied by links to education expert’s top resources, over the upcoming months.
Activate ED is a collaboration of three leading education organizations — The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, Education Pioneers, and the Strategic Data Project — each of which have missions to transform education by supplying top leaders, managers, and analysts to the field. Activate ED recruits and places graduate students, early- and mid-career professionals, and senior executives into leadership positions in education nonprofits, federal and state departments of education, charter schools, and other education organizations. For more information, visit Activate ED on Facebook, follow Activate ED on Twitter or LinkedIn, or visit

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