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Pahara Announces New Class of Leaders for The Pahara Fellowship

(January 19, 2023) - 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 January 2023 Pahara Fellows are:

  • Ethan Ashley, Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, School Board Partners

  • Claire Blumenson, Executive Director and Co-Founder, School Justice Project

  • Baionne Coleman, Chief Executive Officer, Rainier Valley Leadership Academy and Founding Partner, The Global Majority Consortium

  • Seewan Eng, Executive Director, Mindful Schools

  • Conor Heaton, Vice President, Growth and Associate General Counsel, Cristo Rey Network

  • Scott Hindman, Executive Director, Excellent Schools New Mexico

  • Mike Kerr, Director of Academics, Vista College Prep

  • LeeAndra Khan, Executive Director, EPIC Academy

  • Val Kie, Senior Director of Education and Transformation, NACA Inspired Schools Network

  • AiLun Ku, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Opportunity Network

  • Myron Long, Founder and Executive Director, The Social Justice School

  • Talia Milgrom-Elcott, Founder and Executive Director, Beyond100K

  • Danielle Christina Mullings, President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, IDEA Public Schools

  • Kimberly Neal-Brannum, Founder and Executive Director, BELIEVE Schools

  • Jacque Patterson, Chief Community Engagement and Growth Officer, KIPP DC

  • Christopher Perpich, President, BRICK Education Network

  • Phil Poekert, Director, University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning

  • Edwin Quezada, Superintendent, Yonkers Public Schools

  • Sylvia Symonds, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Superintendent, Hartford Public Schools

  • Debbie Veney, Senior Vice President, Communications and Marketing, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

  • Daniel Voloch, Chief Program Officer, Girls Who Code

  • Sherese Ward, Portfolio Director, K12 Education, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

  • Sarah White, Founder and Executive Director, South Dakota Education Equity Coalition

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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