Welcome Mary Kay Murphy - Grand Rapids Program Director

Dear Friends and Supporters of Leading Educators,

Please join us in welcoming Mary Kay Murphy as Leading Educators’ founding Program Director for the Greater Grand Rapids region. She is our first team member in Grand Rapids, and we are thrilled to have her leading our launch!   


Mary Kay brings experience as a teacher, instructional specialist, principal, district consultant, and leader in education nonprofits, all in service of the school systems with whom Leading Educators will partner. Colleagues describe Mary Kay as a consummate systems thinker and servant leader. We are so excited about the role that Mary Kay will play in supporting Grand Rapids' regional leaders, teachers, and students.

As founding Program Director, Mary Kay will lead a team of Leadership Coaches to provide professional development, consulting, and coaching to instructional leaders who serve lower-income children in the nearly 120 district, charter, and religious schools in the Greater Grand Rapids urban area.

If you would like to join Mary Kay and our Michigan-based efforts to ensure that all students have an opportunity to succeed, stop by our careers page to see if you are the missing piece of our puzzle. We are currently seeking to fill the following positions on our founding team:

Founding Managing Director: Lead the greater Grand Rapids region’s growth and impact, including leading the team and building strategic partnerships with area school systems.

Leadership Coach: Partner with schools and coach Leading Educators Fellowship participants in instructional leadership that drives student achievement.

Program Coordinator:  Lead program operations and communications between Leading Educators and district leaders, principals, teacher leaders, and alumni.  



Communications Manager
(504) 355-1253


Leading Educators Scores $3 Million Win For Chicago Schools

Leading Educators receives $3 Million federal grant for teacher leadership development in Chicago

NEW ORLEANS, LA -  November 14, 2016

Leading Educators has been awarded a $3 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support the instructional leadership development of teacher leaders across the Chicago metro area over the next four years.

Among one of the “highest-rated” applicants, Leading Educators’ proposed Chicago Common Core Collaborative would expand the implementation of innovative practices shown to have an impact on improving student achievement or student growth, closing the achievement gap, decreasing dropout rates, and increasing high school graduation, college enrollment and completion. The i3 funds would allow Leading Educators to work with Chicago principals and teacher leaders to create systemic cycles of standards-aligned professional learning.

“The Chicago Collaborative could represent an unprecedented leap forward in our quest to ensure great schools for all students,” said Jonas Chartock, Chief Executive Officer of Leading Educators. “We believe that a refined model of teacher leadership, with job-embedded, standards-aligned professional learning, working in concert with school administrators, is our strongest tool to ensure college and career readiness for all students, regardless of their background.”

As an i3 awardee, Leading Educators would be poised to continue working with school, district, and philanthropic partners to identify, document, and implement best practices in Chicago and other districts focused on teacher leadership and instructional improvement.

“Leading Educators has learned a great deal about implementing successful teacher leadership initiatives in partnership with school districts and charter schools across the country over the past five years,” said Jay Altman, Chairman of the Leading Educators board. “Their success in helping spread teacher leadership and in facilitating high-performing teams has been inspiring.  Leading Educators’ LEAP partnership with the District of Columbia public schools was pioneering, and I am confident that this new initiative in Chicago has the potential to be equally transformative.”

It is estimated that by project’s end, at least 75% of the teacher leaders who participate in the Collaborative will remain in their communities, serving more than 21,000 students.

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About Leading Educators

Leading Educators raises the academic achievement of students by developing teachers to take on leadership roles within their schools. Incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization in 2011, Leading Educators is the only national program that exclusively supports the leadership and management development of teacher leaders. Using teacher leadership as a vehicle, Leading Educators is building a nationwide movement to ensure all students have the opportunity to succeed in school and life.

Champion Spotlight - Brittany Packnett

It's always a delight to celebrate members of our community who tirelessly elevate the work, particularly when that member is one of the brightest voices of the next generation of educators. Leading Educators is excited to see Brittany Packnett recognized as one of LinkedIn’s Next Wave - Top Professionals 35 and Under.

Chief Executive Officer Jonas S. Chartock, who shared a stage with Ms. Packnett at our 2016 Leading Educators Institute, had this to say:

For way too long, the views and leadership of people of color have been overwhelmingly marginalized in conferences, panels, and other prominent education reform spaces. Brittany Packnett is unafraid to step into these forums, deftly tackling the complex intersections of race and systemic racism that impact not only communities of color, but the institutions at work within them. Her insight and generosity of spirit is nothing less than transformative. Her leadership will no doubt continue to push our thinking as we work to bring educational equity and justice for students forward.”

Check out some of the highlights from last summer’s empowering conversation with Brittany:

Brittany Packnett - On Culturally Responsive Institutions and Internalizing Racism

Click here for the rest of the conversation.


Leading Educators' CEO Jonas S. Chartock with Brittany Packnett, Vice President, National Community Alliances, Teach For America

Equity in Action at Leading Educators

Equity in Action at Leading Educators

When you look at the values we hold dear as an organization, first on the list is Equity. “We challenge historical inequity with a persistent focus on dismantling systemic racism. We work towards a more just society.”

This is not a typo. We don’t mean “equality”. As this article so eloquently explains, “Equity is giving everyone what they need to be successful. Equality is treating everyone the same.” At Leading Educators, we believe that we cannot possibly espouse any sort of equality initiatives without first addressing the historic inequity this nation was founded on, and is ever present in our classrooms. 

Good Luck, Not Goodbye

Good Luck, Not Goodbye

For those with a finger on the pulse of the state of education reform in U.S., Kaya Henderson is likely a familiar name. Heading what has been perhaps one of the most closely watched districts of the last decade, Kaya Henderson has served as Chancellor of the District of Columbia’s Public Schools for an outstanding six years.  And as of Saturday, October, 1st, she has stepped down from her post.