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Education superintendent selected for leadership academy

Photo courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Education.

State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright is among 20 respected K-12 education leaders from across the nation selected to join The Broad Academy, the nation’s most prominent professional-development program for current and aspiring school system leaders.

The two-year Broad Academy program — which is operated by The Broad Center — supports passionate, proven leaders who are deeply focused on excellence and equity for every student and family they serve. The new cohort is comprised of aspiring urban and state superintendents as well as leaders already running high-performing public-school systems as they work to grow their organizations’ effectiveness and increase their impact.

“As diverse as our Academy fellows’ personal backgrounds have been, so too are their personal beliefs about the best ways to achieve true excellence and equity in public education,” said Hoa Truong, managing director of The Broad Academy. “The opportunity and ability to listen to and learn from those with different perspectives push us all to be better at what we do.”

Wright plans to use what she learns through her participation in The Broad Academy to further advance education in Mississippi.

“Education is the greatest equalizer and is every child’s right and surest path to opportunity,” Wright said. “Mississippi students have proven they can achieve at high levels when they are provided with opportunities to succeed. We must continue to work as a state to ensure that every child has access to a quality education.”

As state superintendent of education for Mississippi, Wright spearheaded education reforms that increased early literacy skills, nearly doubled Advancement Placement participation and achievement and increased the statewide graduation rate to an all-time high. Her efforts helped push student achievement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress to improve at a faster rate than most other states and helped earn Mississippi national recognition for being one of six states that meet all 10 quality standards for early childhood education.

Mississippi State Board of Education chairwoman Rosemary Aultman said Wright’s selection for The Broad Academy shows that the nation is taking notice of her accomplishments and Mississippi’s significant achievements in education.

“With Dr. Wright’s vision and leadership, Mississippi is receiving national attention for the great strides being made toward raising student achievement statewide,” Aultman said. “Mississippi is no longer last when considering any number of academic achievement indicators, but rather Mississippi is considered a rising star by education leaders nationwide.”

The other new Broad Academy fellows include:

  • Karolyn Belcher, president of TNTP, a national nonprofit committed to ending injustices of educational inequality
  • Lamont Browne, founding executive director of autonomous schools in Aurora Public Schools
  • Michele Caracappa, chief academic officer of Success Academy Charter Schools
  • Daphane Carter, chief academic officer of KIPP Houston Public Schools
  • JoAnn Gama, co-founder president and superintendent of schools at IDEA Public Schools
  • Chad Gestson, superintendent of Phoenix Union High School District
  • Christina Grant, assistant superintendent for opportunity and innovation of The School District of Philadelphia
  • Russell Johnston, senior associate commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Christopher N. Maher, superintendent of Providence Public Schools
  • Tricia McManus, assistant superintendent of leadership, professional development and school transformation at Hillsborough County Public Schools
  • Kunjan Narechania, assistant superintendent of school improvement and chief executive officer of Louisiana’s Recovery School District
  • Rich K. Nye, superintendent of Ogden School District
  • Michelle Pierre-Farid, chief academic officer for Cleveland Metropolitan School District
  • Angela Pringle, superintendent of Richmond County School System
  • Michelle Rodriguez, superintendent of Pajaro Valley Unified School District
  • Allen Smith, chief of the Culture, Equity and Leadership team at Denver Public Schools
  • Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, superintendent of Hartford Public Schools
  • Lisa A. Utterback, executive director of Community, Schools, and Family Engagement at Omaha Public Schools
  • Calvin J. Watts, superintendent of Kent School District

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