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January 25, 2024

Pahara Announces New Class of Leaders for The Pahara Fellowship

Originally posted on The Pahara Institute

(January 25, 2024) – The Pahara Institute announced today a new cohort of the highly selective Pahara Fellowship. These 24 individuals join the Pahara community of leaders, which is designed to strengthen and sustain values-driven leaders who are transforming public education so that every child is prepared to lead a free and fulfilling life.

The Pahara Fellowship is a one-year, cohort-based program that identifies exceptional leaders in the educational excellence and equity movement, facilitates their dynamic growth, and strengthens their collective efforts to dramatically improve public education, especially those serving low-income children and communities. The Fellowship provides these leaders with the unusual opportunity to step back from their demanding daily work to reflect with peers on their collective and individual impact as leaders and change agents. Fellows challenge each other to think beyond traditional silos and sector boundaries to develop strategies that enhance their effectiveness as leaders, address leadership challenges in public education, and accelerate the improvements needed to provide high-quality learning opportunities for all of our nation’s children.

The newest cohort of Pahara Fellows includes:

    • Chad Aldis, Vice President for Ohio Policy, Thomas B. Fordham Institute
    • Valissia Allen, Chief Executive Officer, Leadership Preparatory Charter School
    • Daniela Anello, Head of School, DC Bilingual Public Charter School
    • Melissa Brookens, Superintendent of Equity, Leadership, and Schools, Aspire Public Schools
    • Melissa Connelly, Chief Executive Officer, OneGoal
    • Mark Dixon, President, A+ Education Partnership
    • Recy Dunn, Chief Executive Officer, Ascend Public Charter Schools
    • TeRay Esquibel, Executive Director, Ednium: The Alumni Collective
    • Wayne Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship
    • Ryan Mandado, Chief Education Officer, DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach Public Charter School
    • Marlon Marshall, Chief Executive Officer, The City Fund
    • Amber Medina, Chief of Schools, KIPP SoCal Public Schools
    • Bill Murphy, Chief Operations Officer, Indianapolis Public Schools
    • Bob Nardo, Executive Director, Libertas School of Memphis
    • Kelvey Oeser, Deputy Commissioner, Educator and System Support, Texas Education Agency
    • Armando Orduña, Executive Director, Latinos for Education
    • Nidhi Patel, Head of WW Strategy and Partnerships, Education, Apple
    • Jaclyn Piñero, Chief Executive Officer, uAspire
    • Miriam Raccah, Chief Executive Officer, Black, Latinx, Asian Charter Collaborative
    • Richard Rivera, Chief Program Officer, I Have a Dream Foundation
    • Chris Shropshire, Program Officer, Rainwater Charitable Foundation
    • Jessica Sie, Chief Academic Officer, Zeta Charter Schools
    • Rachel Valentin, Executive Director, Charter School of New Castle
    • Adeola A. Whitney, Chief Executive Officer, Reading Partners

To access bios and photos of the Pahara Fellows, click here.

For more information please contact

About the Pahara Institute

The Pahara Institute seeks to strengthen the movement for educational excellence and equity by developing and sustaining values-driven leaders. The guiding principle of the Pahara Institute is that bold improvements are needed in our public schools so that every child in America is prepared to lead a free and fulfilling life. Pahara’s programs are designed to identify leaders in education innovation, and through a time-tested dialogue approach, strengthen and sustain their efforts to bring about critical improvements to our public schools. For more information, please visit

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