50CAN’s national Board of Directors is made up of top state and national leaders in education who are working together to ensure that we continue to expand our reach and do so with a level of effectiveness that ensures our advocacy efforts get results for kids.
I joined the 50CAN board because...
I joined the 50CAN board because advocacy plays a crucial role in helping to shape policy. Our system of universal free education is itself the result of advocacy by figures like Thomas Jefferson, who recognized that unlocking individual abilities would greatly enhance the prosperity and health of the nation. Today, we find ourselves with a system that is falling behind, failing too many children and highly resistant to change. 50CAN seeks to create the conditions where great leaders and practitioners can forge a brilliant future for public education in America.
I joined the board of 50CAN because I believe in high quality education for ALL children. 50CAN is taking on the vital work of advocacy for research based education reforms, while recognizing that this needs to be led by local leadership to drive change at the state policy level. That is what attracted the New Jersey community and business leaders to form JerseyCAN, the 6th state to partner with 50CAN, and I am proud to co-chair the Jersey
I joined the 50CAN board because we still haven’t made good on our country’s promise of equal opportunity for all children. I work every day with teachers, parents and principals who are doing their part, and their example is inspirational. But the longer I work in schools, the more convinced I am of the game-changing, gap-closing difference that student-focused state policies can make for both kids and educators. 50CAN is working to enact those policies and make an excellent education possible for all of our kids.
I joined 50CAN to make sure the education reform conversation is taking place locally and includes everyone's voice. Everyone has a role in steering all schools in all states toward excellence for all students. Often, in amplifying our own voice, we drown out quieter, but no less significant voices. The job going forward is to create a larger podium for those who are guided by the interests of children.
We are working on the biggest problem our nation faces and we are doing it at a scale that—if we do our jobs right—can actually solve that problem. And it just so happens that to do our jobs right we have to build this amazing organization that brings together passionate, talented people from across the country who in turn connect us together with leaders and advocates from across their states. It's like Jane Addams' Hull House meets Kennedy's moon shot.
I joined 50CAN because it is getting critical policy changes passed, state by state. We've got outstanding public schools of choice that can dramatically close the achievement gap if taken to scale. Taking these schools to scale as well as applying lessons learned to the broader system takes changes in the state policies that too often tie the hands of system leaders, principles and teachers.
I joined the board of 50CAN because my 21 years working in the education field have taught me that there is simply no silver bullet to solving the challenges we face. We need to be tackling this work from every possible angle. While I work day to day in the world of growing a network of high performing charter schools, I recognize that we are just one important part of a larger effort. The work 50CAN is doing represents another critically important piece to this puzzle: creating great education policy.
Quite simply, I’m passionate about doing everything we can to improve the educational outcomes of ALL our kids. We need to put our children’s needs first and focus on proven ways to transform our schools. Driving that transformation motivates me every day.
State advisory boards
- Ann Borowiec, Former CEO, JP Morgan Private Wealth Management
- Tom Kean, Former Governor of New Jersey
- Ray Chambers, Chairman & CEO, MCJ Amelior Foundation
- Samuel Cole, President & COO, Phigital, Inc.
- Ken Donovan, Trustee, R&C Donovan Family Foundation
- Mary Farrell, Director, The Maeve Foundation, Inc.
- Shané Harris, Vice President, The Prudential Foundation
- Tom Healey, Managing Partner, Healey Development
- Dr. Michael Nettles, Senior Vice President, Educational Testing Service
- Larry Rogers, Treasurer, Better Education for Kids
- Walter Shipley, Retired Chairman & CEO, Chase Manhattan Bank
- Josh Weston, Honorary Chairman, ADP, Inc.
- Christine Healey, President, The Healey Education Foundation
- Alice Johnson Cain, Vice President for Policy, Teach Plus
- Jeff Cohen, CEO, Sylvan Learning
- Omari Todd, Senior Vice President of Regional Operations, Teach For America
- Howard Stone, Administrative Specialist, Prince George’s County Government
- Michael Ciresi, Partner, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.
- Father Michael O’Connell, Pastor, Church of the Ascension
- Vernae Hasbargen, Former Trustee, Blandin Foundation
- Ann Mulholland, Vice President of Grants & Programs, MN Philanthropy Partners
- Virginia Morris, Chair, Hubbard Radio LLC
- Frank Forsberg, Senior Vice President of Systems Change & Innovation, United Way
- Addison Piper, Former Chairman & CEO, Piper Jaffray & Co.
- Lee-Ann Stephens, High Achievement Program Advocate, St. Louis Park Public Schools
- Timothy Penny, President and CEO, SMIF
- Alex Cirillo, Jr., Former Vice President, 3M
- Benson Whitney, General Partner, Argus Management, Ltd.
- Jan McDaniel, Chair, World President's Organization-Twin Cities
- Mark DeSantis, CEO & Co-Founder, kWantera
- Adiah Ferron, Counsel, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP
- Mark Gleason, Executive Director, Philadelphia School Partnership
- Marc Mannella, CEO & Founder, KIPP Philadelphia Schools
- Brook Lenfest, CEO, NetCarrier
- Mike Pearson, President & CEO, Union Packaging
- Michael Obel-Omia, Head of School, Paul Cuffee School
- Anna Cano-Morales, Director of University Relations, Roger Williams University
- Kara Milner, Rhode Island parent
- Gary Sasse, Director, Bryant Institute of Public Leadership