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Founder of ELL School Network to Step Down

Claire Sylvan will step down as the executive director of the Internationals Network for Public Schools, a group of schools around the country that serve newly arrived immigrants and English-language learners, at the end of the year.

Joseph Luft, the current deputy director, will become executive director on Jan. 1. Sylvan, the current president of the group's board of directors, will remain on the board.

The New York City-based group operates high school and middle school campuses in partnership with school districts in New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Washington area, specializing in English-language learner education, as well as providing services that many recently arrived immigrant students and their families need.

Sylvan, a longtime English-as-a-second-language and bilingual teacher in the New York City schools, founded the Internationals Network in 2004.


"Internationals Network has become a national leader in ELL education and a voice for equity under Claire's leadership and the extraordinary efforts of our school leaders and staff,'' her successor, Luft, said in a statement. "We will continue to build our national network of schools and academies to ensure all immigrant students have access to the highest quality education they deserve."

Luft has overseen the support services, professional development, and new school openings for the Internationals Network. He previously served as a teacher at the network's Brooklyn campus, founding principal of the Flushing, N.Y., campus, and as an adjunct instructor in the group's urban teacher residency program at Long Island University-Brooklyn.

"Joe is a recognized leader in the field of immigrant education with a far-reaching national network who brings a unique blend of successful experiences as well as a clear vision and deep, enduring passion for serving this multilingual population," Oliver Frankel, Internationals' board chairman, said in a statement.

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