The NYC Leadership Academy announced today that school system leaders Dr. Hector Montenegro and Dr. Kendra Ferguson have joined its Board of Directors. 

Montenegro has served as a district leader in San Diego and several districts in Texas, including Dallas and Austin, and is a past president of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS). Ferguson is Chief Executive Officer of KIPP Memphis, which has a 100 percent graduation rate, and previously led the effort to diversify and strengthen instruction in KIPP schools across the Bay Area of California.

“We are proud to have two such highly regarded education leaders choose to actively support our mission by joining our board,” said Leadership Academy Board Chair Jonathan Moses. “Their experience and expertise in both public and charter school sectors in different regions of the country will help us further expand our efforts to develop great education leaders who can improve learning for every child.”

Added Leadership Academy President and CEO Nancy B. Gutierrez, “Hector and Kendra have dedicated their careers as educational leaders to tackling inequities in schools – I’m thrilled to have them as advisors and partners in our mission to develop leaders who can close opportunity gaps for students, particularly students of color, who are too often underserved in our schools. Working with the rest of our devoted board members, they will push the organization to continue to expand the breadth and depth of our work.”

“I am honored and delighted to become a member of the Board of Directors of the NYC Leadership Academy,” said Montenegro. “I am most impressed with the work that the Leadership Academy has done in preparing leaders to guide their schools and school districts to ensure that all students are successful. I look forward to supporting the organization to continue offering top notch training and to reach more districts throughout the country.”

Said Ferguson, “I am deeply honored to be invited to join the NYC Leadership Academy board. Nancy is one of the premiere leaders in the country and it is my honor to serve and support an organization that she is leading.”

Montenegro has been a math teacher, principal, chief of staff for the Washington, DC Public Schools, area superintendent, deputy superintendent for the Dallas ISD, and superintendent of schools for three school districts in Texas. He has specialized in supporting school and district administrators to develop skills for establishing structures and communications networks needed to improve student learning and encourage teacher collaboration. He has shared his expertise in social emotional learning, English language learners, and parent engagement as a presenter, facilitator, and keynote speaker throughout the U.S. and in 22 other countries. He most recently served as a special consultant on education reform with the U.S. Embassy and Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia, Chile, and Peru. He is currently the President/CEO of Montenegro Consultant Group and Senior District Advisor for Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Montenegro holds an Ed.D. in Education Administration from University of Texas, Austin, and an M.A. in Mathematics Education from Stanford University.

Ferguson has spent more than 20 years fighting for educational equity as a teacher, principal, professional mentor, and school system leader. She is the Chief Executive Officer of KIPP Memphis, a seven-school charter management organization with a 100 percent high school graduation rate and 87 percent college matriculation rate. Much of her career has been dedicated to developing and mentoring adults to educate previously underserved children achieve excellence. Prior to her role in Memphis, Ferguson served as Chief People Officer and Chief of Schools at KIPP Bay Area Schools. During her five-year tenure there, all of the KIPP Bay Area schools attained the prestigious national Blue Ribbon designation, and the majority of students achieved success on a set of measures that indicate readiness to succeed in college. During the same period, racial diversity among the teaching staff increased from one-third to two-thirds.

Prior to her work with KIPP Bay Area Schools, Ferguson worked at the KIPP Foundation, served as consultant to charter and traditional schools across the country, and was a charter school founder for Aspire Public Schools. She serves as a mentor and coach for educational leaders throughout the country. A proud mother of three and a native of Oakland, California, Ferguson is a continual learner. She earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from National-Louis University, where she completed a dissertation on barriers to executive success for African-American women. She also holds an M.A. in Education, Policy Analysis and Administration from Stanford University and a B.A. from the University of Washington.

About NYC Leadership Academy

NYC Leadership Academy is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that builds the capacity of educational leaders, at every level of the system, to confront inequities and create the conditions necessary for all students to thrive. Since 2003, NYCLA has worked with educators in 185 school districts, state education departments, and education organizations across 33 states, Washington, D.C., and two countries.