For this week’s BTCIK, I wanted to celebrate the close of another school year by shining light on a true school leader—someone who’s taught, supported teachers, supported schools, and run schools.
So we’re lucky enough to have as a guest Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools.
Like so many involved in this work, she is a passionate advocate for the interests of kids in need. But she’s been able to turn that commitment into a number of groundbreaking accomplishments—growing TFA, launching TNTP, crafting and implementing IMPACT, and more.
There’s no doubt that were she to decide to hang up her ed-reform cleats now and apply her talents elsewhere—God forbid!—she’d be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
But there are quite a few of those in our business. What sets Kaya apart, at least in my book, are rare personal qualities that remain unseen unless you have the chance to spend some time in her company.
She’s a sophisticated thinker; you don’t achieve the professional successes she has through gumption alone. She’s courageous; though everyone knows her for her approachable style, warm disposition, and infectious smile, Kaya’s accomplishments are partly attributable to her titanium backbone.
Most importantly, though—and I wish I had a better...