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...
Sandy Vargas - Board Chair
President & CEO, The Minneapolis Foundation
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.
Former CEO, JP Morgan Private Wealth Management
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 JerseyCAN board with Governor Kean. As a board member of 50CAN, I bring the local perspective to this unique partnership.
Co-CEO & President, Achievement First
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.
Senior Vice President, Programs for National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
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.
Director, Purdue Pharma & founder of ConnCAN
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.
Marc Porter Magee
CEO & Founder, 50CAN
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.
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
Peter Sidebottom, CEO of AspenWoods, LLC
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
Tom Gildee, President, Kids-R-VIPs Foundation
Michael Philips, Senior Pastor, The Kingdom Life Church
Omari Todd, Senior Vice President of Regional Operations, Teach For America
Howard Stone, Administrative Specialist, Prince George’s County Government
Laura Brod, Senior Vice President, LS2Group
Michael Ciresi, Partner, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.
Alex Cirillo, Jr., Former Vice President, 3M
Virginia Morris, Chair, Hubbard Radio LLC
Ann Mulholland, Vice President of Grants & Programs, MN Philanthropy Partners
Father Michael O’Connell, Pastor, Church of the Ascension
Timothy Penny, President and CEO, SMIF
Addison Piper, Former Chairman & CEO, Piper Jaffray & Co.
Lee-Ann Stephens, High Achievement Program Advocate, St. Louis Park Public Schools
Benson Whitney, General Partner, Argus Management, Ltd.