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Chiefs for Change Adds New Cohort of 'Future Chiefs'


Eight educators—from Massachusetts to New Mexico—will be part of Chiefs for Change's second cohort of "Future Chiefs," an initiative aimed at creating a pipeline of education leaders from diverse backgrounds. 

The new group will participate in a one-year program that will include coaching and mentoring by current Chiefs for Change members. Seventy-five percent of those selected for the new "Future Chiefs" cohort are people of color and half are women, according to Chiefs for Change. 

The new cohort includes:

    • Leslie Brown, chief portfolio services officer, Broward County Public Schools, Fla;
    • Susana Cordova, deputy superintendent, Denver Public Schools;
    • Donald Fennoy, chief operating officer, Palm Beach County Schools, Fla.;
    • David Hardy, deputy superintendent of academics, St. Louis Public Schools;
    • Russell Johnston, senior associate commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education;
    • Wanda Legrand, deputy superintendent, Indianapolis Public Schools, Ind.;
    • Matt Montano, director of educator quality, New Mexico Department of Education; and
    • Alisha Morgan, executive director, Ivy Prep Academy, Atlanta

"Chiefs for Change members are deeply committed to mentoring and helping to prepare the next generation of state and district education leaders by folding them into our community of practice," John White, the organization's board chairman and Louisiana's superintendent of education, said in a statement. "It is essential that our students have well-prepared, diverse, talented individuals ready to step into education chief roles as they open up. Future Chiefs Cohort 2 is an impressive group of leaders, and my colleagues and I are looking forward to working closely with them."

Chiefs for Change grew out of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education. The group, which originally consisted of state education chiefs, spun off and became an independent nonprofit in 2015, with a shift toward talent management, diversifying education leadership, and sharing best practices. Since then, the majority of the new members have been leaders of urban school systems

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