From Baltimore to Los Angeles and Seattle back to Miami, Accelerate Institute has helped develop countless transformational leaders at schools across the country over the course of our 30-year history. Explore leaders’ stories to learn more about their dedication to delivering an equitable education for all students.

Alain Locke Charter School, Chicago

Lennie Jones

Accelerate Institute Founder Pat Ryan, Jr. says Alain Locke Charter School Founding Principal Lennie Jones “really understood intuitively what it took to create a school that would allow these children to achieve their fullest potential and how to make that work in the context of the community that we were serving.” Take a look inside Alain Locke and discover what makes Lennie so special—and so effective at closing the achievement gap.

Catalyst-Maria High School, Chicago

Dawn Sandoval

Dawn Sandoval is a 2012 Ryan Fellow who is tireless in her pursuit of academic excellence. Colleagues have a hard time keeping up with Dawn as she continues to help students at Chicago’s Catalyst-Maria High School become the very best they can be. Find out what she learned during her first year at Catalyst-Maria, and how she leveraged that knowledge to accelerate student achievement.


Foundations College Prep

Take a journey to Foundations College Prep in Chicago to find out how teachers and students are working together to excel every day. You’ll learn how Ryan Fellow Principal Sarah Hunko Baker makes use of technology, data, and expert planning to drive extraordinary results at Foundations.


Achievement Prep

At Achievement Prep in Washington, DC, Founder Shantelle Wright knows all too well the harsh realities many students face growing up in the city’s underserved and often overlooked communities. Read on for more on Shantelle’s mission to prepare students who are behind grade-level for college, wherein she prioritizes teaching reading, writing, math, and much, much more.


Community Day Charter Public School

With clarity of mission, educators can support students academically—and recruit the right candidates that are capable of doing the same. At Community Day Charter Public School in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Executive Director Shelia Balboni’s mission of lifting up the lives of students from immigrant families in the local community is at the heart of all the work that is done there.


DC Prep-Edgewood Middle Campus

DC Prep-Edgewood Middle Campus in Washington, DC is a prime example of what students can achieve when school leaders go beyond expectations. With her unwavering focus on delivering equity in education, Principal Katie Severn makes the important distinction between which ideas must be pursued—and which should be skipped—in order to meet her goals.


Gary Comer College Prep

When student performance data showed a standstill on progress at Gary Comer College Prep in Chicago, Founding Principal James Troupis knew that improving teacher development was the only way to accelerate student achievement. Find out how Troupis made data-driven decisions for his teacher development strategy—and hiring new teachers aligned with Comer’s mission.


Icahn 2 Charter School

The Core Knowledge curriculum serves as the foundation of the school model at Icahn 2 Charter School in the Bronx, New York City. Principal Brenda Carrasquillo says the curriculum is key for allowing teachers to meet the Common Core standards, while also empowering students with the mindset they need for a comprehensive, well-rounded education.


KIPP Central City

KIPP New Orleans Chief Academic Officer Todd Purvis is no stranger to motivating staff to overcome barriers. During his time as principal at KIPP Central City in New Orleans, Purvis’s leadership style required teachers to go to great lengths to support students—even meeting with parents at their homes to establish expectations.


Match High School

Matthew Collins, dean of students and data systems manager at Match High School in Boston, applies a data-driven approach to improving student behavior. By choosing to analyze demerits by different factors, Collins and his team were able to identify trends in order to penalize students accordingly—and reward them when performing well.


Sci Academy

From harnessing data to drive decision-making and hiring educators who are bought-in to school culture to cultivating an aspirational environment that compels students to succeed—Founder Ben Marcovitz applies a hands-on leadership approach at Sci Academy in New Orleans.

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