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Pahara Announces New Class of Leaders for The Pahara Fellowship

(March 14, 2024) - The Pahara Institute announced today a new cohort of the highly selective Pahara Fellowship. These 24 individuals join the Pahara community of leaders, which is designed to strengthen and sustain values-driven leaders who are transforming public education so that every child is prepared to lead a free and fulfilling life.

The Pahara Fellowship is a one-year, cohort-based program that identifies exceptional leaders in the educational excellence and equity movement, facilitates their dynamic growth, and strengthens their collective efforts to dramatically improve public education, especially those serving low-income children and communities. The Fellowship provides these leaders with the unusual opportunity to step back from their demanding daily work to reflect with peers on their collective and individual impact as leaders and change agents. Fellows challenge each other to think beyond traditional silos and sector boundaries to develop strategies that enhance their effectiveness as leaders, address leadership challenges in public education, and accelerate the improvements needed to provide high-quality learning opportunities for all of our nation’s children.

The newest cohort of Pahara Fellows includes:

  • Shaan Akbar, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tutored By Teachers, Inc.

  • Joán Álvarez, National Vice President of Schools, IDEA Public Schools

  • Brenda Berg, President and Chief Executive Officer, BEST NC

  • Alicia Bolt, Associate Superintendent, Jubilee Academies

  • Tommy Chang, Chief Executive Officer, New Teacher Center

  • Melanie Askew Clark, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Élan Academy Charter School

  • Margaret Crespo, Superintendent in Residence, ILO Group & Women Leading ED

  • Farnaz Golshani, Superintendent, Environmental Charter Schools

  • Miguel Gonzalez, Head of School, Sussex School

  • Nathalie Henderson, Executive Vice President, Teach For America

  • John Kalafatas, Vice President of Scale & Integration, KIPP Foundation

  • Ebony Keys, Executive Director and Founder, Peace Academy Charter

  • Brett Lawson, Executive Director, Frayser Community Schools

  • Jael Lopes, Director of Strategic Community Partnerships, Providence School Department

  • Saamra Mekuria-Grillo, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Formation Ventures

  • Hattie Mitchell, Founder, Crete Academy

  • Ken Montgomery, Executive Director, Design Tech High School

  • Bisi Oyedele, Chief Executive Officer, Education Forward DC

  • Tera Reeves, College Access Director, Gem Innovation Schools

  • Richard Reyes, Executive Director, PLUS ME Project

  • Guerschmide Saint-Ange, Chief Operations and Talent Officer, National Association of Charter School Authorizers

  • Robert Simmons, Director, Micron Gives North America, Micron Technology

  • Brittney Stroh, Executive Director, Atlas Preparatory School

  • Cicely Taylor, Chief of Staff, Acelero Learning

To access bios and photos of the Pahara Fellows, click here.

For more information please contact

About the Pahara Institute

The Pahara Institute seeks to strengthen the movement for educational excellence and equity by developing and sustaining values-driven leaders. The guiding principle of the Pahara Institute is that bold improvements are needed in our public schools so that every child in America is prepared to lead a free and fulfilling life. Pahara’s programs are designed to identify leaders in education innovation, and through a time-tested dialogue approach, strengthen and sustain their efforts to bring about critical improvements to our public schools. For more information, please visit


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