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.




Nancy B. Gutiérrez, Ed.L.D.

Lead Executive Officer & President

Dr. Nancy B. Gutiérrez is President & Lead Executive Officer (LEO) of The Leadership Academy, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and developing culturally responsive school and school system leaders to create the conditions necessary for all students to thrive. Since 2003, The Leadership Academy has done work in more than 375 school districts, state education departments, and education organizations across the country, reaching over 12,000 educators in 39 states.

Nancy began her career as a teacher and principal in her home community of East San Jose, CA, where she was the founding principal of Renaissance Academy, the highest performing middle school in the district and a California Distinguished School. Nancy also led the successful effort to turn around the district’s lowest performing middle school. She was named the UC Davis Rising Star and Association of California School Administrators’ Region 8 Middle School Principal of the Year in 2010. In 2014, Nancy joined The Leadership Academy and served in various roles before being named President & CEO in October 2018. Prior to her tenure with 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 Fall 2019 Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow and was named one of the top 100 most influential leaders in education in New York in 2020. In 2023, Nancy was named San Jose State University’s Distinguished Alumna.

Nancy is a graduate of the inaugural cohort of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) program and is a graduate of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) Aspiring Superintendents Academy. She has served as an adjunct professor for NYU, Teachers College and American University as well as an expert guest at various Harvard Principals’ Center Institutes. Nancy is a frequent keynote speaker and has authored numerous pieces on education leadership for publications including Education Week, Kappan, The74, Learning Forward’s Learning Professional, District Administrator, and Hechinger Report. She is also the co-author of Stay and Prevail: Students of Color Don’t Need to Leave Their Communities to Succeed, a revolutionary guide to disrupting harmful mindsets and practices in our schools to ensure that students can thrive in their home communities.

Nancy is a member of the Board of Directors at the Hunt Institute, brightbeam, and Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC), and serves on the Latinos for Education teaching team.

Find Nancy on Twitter @nancybgutierrez or LinkedIn.