While 2020 has been full of challenges, The Leadership Academy has so much to be thankful for.

We have been honored to partner with school and system leaders across the country who are working harder than ever to give every one of their students the best possible learning experiences under incredibly difficult circumstances.

We are seeing leaders take incredible risks to become culturally responsive leaders. They are reflecting on their own biases and helping their teams do the same. They are examining their policies and practices with an eye toward creating schools that are intentionally built for every student.

Thank you aspiring superintendents in Massachusetts’ Influence 100 fellowship for your commitment to learning to lead as culturally responsive leaders. Thank you, district leaders across Texas, for taking the first steps toward examining student learning data and publicly acknowledging where students need better access to rigorous and culturally responsive learning experiences. Thank you, Des Moines Public Schools, for creating space to listen to the needs of students, families and teachers, and responding to those needs.

Thank you to every leader who is taking a stand, who is taking the time to examine everything from the way kindergarten teachers are talking about Thanksgiving to why some families are deciding not to return to in-person school. Thank you, leaders who are courageous enough to name that returning to business as usual in schools means returning to an unjust, inequitable system – and thus are willing to disrupt what existed and create inclusive affirming learning spaces for every student.

Please know that The Leadership Academy stands with you. We are here to support you. We are in this work together.

If you are committed to making sure every child has access to rigorous learning experiences, if you believe, as we do, that every child needs and deserves a learning environment that values them for who they are, where each child can bring their whole selves every day and feel safe and valued, then support The Leadership Academy on #GivingTuesday, Dec. 1.

Adelante,

Nancy

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Nancy B. Gutiérrez, Ed.L.D.

President & CEO

Dr. Nancy B. Gutiérrez joined the The Leadership Academy in 2014 and was named President & CEO in July 2018. Nancy is a Fall 2019 Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow and was named one of New York State’s 100 most powerful leaders in education by City & State NY in 2020. Nancy’s belief in education as a critical vehicle for equity and social justice has inspired her dedication to education. Growing up in a disenfranchised Latinx neighborhood in East San Jose, California, she witnessed first-hand the impact of limited resources and low expectations. Nancy began her career as a teacher and principal in her home community, where she was the founding principal of Renaissance Academy, the highest performing middle school in the district and a California Distinguished School. Achieving that success, she went on to lead an effort to turn around the district’s lowest performing middle school, located only two blocks from her childhood home. Nancy was named the UC Davis Rising Star and Association of California School Administrator’s Region 8 Middle School Principal of the Year in 2010. Since she joined the The Leadership Academy in August 2014, Nancy has led such accomplishments as launching the organization’s district leadership work, developing principal supervisor leadership standards and aligned curriculum and programming including the popular Foundations of Principal Supervision institute. Prior to working at the Leadership Academy, Nancy launched a program for executive leadership advancement for the New York City Department of Education that led to superintendent certification. Nancy is a graduate of the inaugural cohort of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) program where during her tenure she served as a Teaching Fellow for Harvard’s School Leadership Program, a mentor for Harvard’s Latino Leadership Initiative, and co-chair for Harvard’s Alumni of Color Conference. Nancy served on the national board of the Coalition of Essential Schools for more than a decade. She is an adjunct instructor at NYU and is a frequent speaker and instructor for the Harvard Principals’ Center institutes for School Turnaround Leaders, Urban School Leaders, and Race, Equity, Access, and Leadership. Nancy is on the Latinos for Education (L4E) teaching team, a graduate of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) Aspiring Superintendents Academy, and is a member of Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC) Board of Directors which aims to break through the polarizing divides that have consumed efforts to improve public education. Find Nancy on Twitter @nancybgutierrez or LinkedIn.