NYCLA Leaders Share Expertise Nationally

February 26, 2015

Irma Zardoya, President & CEO Attends USDOE Convening

Since our founding, NYCLA has remained committed to educational equity for all students, with a particular focus on students of color. We believe that students are best able to succeed when they have role models to whom they can relate. This belief has fueled our commitment to recruiting and preparing diverse school leader candidates reflective of the student communities that they serve.

Irma Zardoya, NYCLA President & CEO, recently attended “Our Students, Our Leaders,” a U.S. Department of Education convening that brought together a small group of education leaders to make a committed effort to attract, develop, retain and advance education leaders of color committed to improving academic outcomes for K-12 students. During this convening, participants devised strategies and worked on plans for boosting existing initiatives and creating new initiatives dedicated to this goal. Irma will continue to work on her plan over the next year as part of this program.

Nancy Gutierrez, Senior Leadership Development Strategist, Presents at Raise Your Hand Texas Symposium

Nancy Gutierrez, Senior Leadership Development Strategist, recently presented at the 2015 Leadership Symposium hosted by Raise Your Hand Texas in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Nancy led two interactive sessions with more than 500 Texas school leaders to share her expertise in turnaround leadership. The session focused on what it means to lead dramatic change and highlighted:

  • How to lead both an outcome-driven and culture-dependent transformation
  • How to navigate the tension between the urgency for immediate change and creating sustainable systems and structures for continuous learning

Nancy challenged participants to think beyond “quick wins.” She asked them to consider implementing concrete organizational learning processes that create psychological safety where stakeholders are empowered to ask hard questions, disagree, and take risks that lead to authentic collaboration. This discourse created an entry point to address mental models and systems that perpetuate low expectations based on race, class, and ability in our most vulnerable communities. Nancy emphasized the role that school leaders play in creating the necessary conditions for teachers to build on students’ academic potential and ending the discourse that places blame on students and families for underachievement.

Nancy also spoke about the introduction of NYCLA’s new Aspiring Principals Program guide as a way to share our systems-thinking approach, which underpins how we collaborate with our clients.