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Teach For America CEO Transitions Into Board Role

By guest blogger Stephen Sawchuk.

This post originally appeared on EdWeek's Teacher Beat blog.

The founder of the Teach For America program, Wendy Kopp, will step down as the organization's chief executive officer, but will remain active in the organization by assuming the role of chairwoman of its board of directors.

Matt Kramer and Elisa Villanueva Beard will take over as co-CEOs, the organization said today in a press release. Both have long been members of the organization's senior leadership team.

Kopp, 45, founded TFA in 1990. From an initial cohort of 50, the organization now sends a highly select group of more than 10,000 college graduates and other adults annually into low-performing schools for two years. About a third of TFA members remain in the classroom after their commitment ends; an additional third stay in the education field in some form.

In addition to serving as board chair, Kopp will remain the CEO of Teach For All, which supports a network of 26 organizations in other countries that are also working to recruit young talent for roles as teachers and education policy leaders.

Kramer will oversee recruitment, admissions, training, and communications, among other things. Beard will be in charge of regional operations and will "represent the organization publicly," the release says.

The transition is effective March 1.

And as for Kopp, perhaps the best description of what she'll be doing in her new role comes from this message she sent to current TFAers and alumni.

"As for me, no goodbye notes please! I'm not going anywhere. ... I'll continue my regular visits with groups of you across the country and will keep speaking, writing, and tweeting on behalf of our work. I'll be an active resource to the new co-CEOs in cultivating champions for our cause, informing our strategic direction, providing advice and counsel, and deepening public understanding of our values and theory of change."

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