Libertas School of Memphis
Bob Nardo is founding Executive Director of Libertas School of Memphis. Founded in 2015 as the first Montessori charter school in Tennessee, Libertas transformed the state’s second-lowest achieving elementary school into one of its highest performing schools for at-risk students. Libertas was a 2022 national quarterfinalist for the Yass Prize for sustainable, transformational, outstanding and permissionless education. Bob also spearheaded the launch of Arete Memphis Public Montessori Residency, the nation’s first urban teacher residency offering both nationally-accredited Montessori diploma and state teaching license. Arete is tripling the number and diversity of public Montessori educators with five partner schools across the Mid-South. Bob is a noted advocate for education policy reform in Tennessee, having led multiple campaigns and served on state and local government committees, including the creation of Tennessee’s new student based funding model, revising the school accountability system, expansion of early childhood education, and equitable public facilities for charter schools. He was named 2021 Tennessee Charter School Administrator of the Year. Bob previously served as chief operating officer of the Tennessee Achievement School District, of KIPP Newark, and a similar role at the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago. Bob has taught band, choir, philosophy, and Latin. Bob earned a bachelor’s in government from American University, graduating summa cum laude, and a master’s in social sciences from the University of Chicago, earning the Earl and Esther Johnson prize for his thesis, “Charter School Effects on Chicago Public Schools.” He also holds a postgraduate diploma in character education from the University of Birmingham (UK). Bob, his wife Sara (a homeschool educator), and their five children live on a small homestead near Memphis.