Paul Toner Joins Teach Plus as Massachusetts Executive Director

Paul Toner Joins Teach Plus as Massachusetts Executive Director

BOSTON, MA—Teach Plus, a national non-profit that empowers teachers to lead improvements in policy and practice, has announced that Paul Toner has joined the organization as Executive Director in Massachusetts.  Mr. Toner will lead Teach Plus’ policy and teacher leadership work in Greater Boston and the Commonwealth, and will oversee the Teach Plus Policy Fellowships and instructional leadership programs.  A former president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, Mr. Toner most recently served as president of the VIVA Project, an education policy nonprofit, and as an independent education consultant.

“Paul is a nationally-respected leader on education policy and among teachers,” said Dr. Celine Coggins, Teach Plus Founder and CEO.  “His deep experience in Massachusetts as a classroom teacher and union leader working on such issues as teacher evaluation, standards, and assessment, and his understanding of the state’s policy landscape are second to none.  We’re thrilled to welcome him to our team and to grow our work and partnerships in the state under his leadership.”  

“I am very excited about my new role with Teach Plus.  Public education is going through a period of enormous change and I believe that teachers must take control and lead their profession.  I have admired and supported the work of Teach Plus in developing teacher leaders and amplifying the voice of classroom practitioners in shaping local, state and national education policy.  I am looking forward to working directly with classroom teachers, district leaders, state policy makers and elected officials in Massachusetts to make sure that the voices of experienced education professionals are front and center as state and national leaders shape and implement new policies to strengthen and improve educational outcomes and opportunities for all children in our public schools,” said Mr. Toner.

Mr. Toner served as president of the 113,000-member Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) from 2010 to 2014, after serving four years as vice president.  From 1993 to 2001, he taught social studies at the Harrington School in Cambridge, MA.  He served as president of the Cambridge Teachers Association from 2001 to 2006.  As leader of the Cambridge Teachers Association and MTA, he was a strong advocate for students and his members while working with the administration and broader education community to improve labor-management relations and focus on improving outcomes for students.

Mr. Toner has served on many NEA and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education task forces and committees.  He is currently a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, the Education Commission of the States, the Massachusetts 2020 Advisory Board, and Teachers 21 Board of Directors.  Mr. Toner was a participant in Governor Deval Patrick’s Readiness Project and served on Governor Charles Baker’s Education Transition Committee. He is a Pahara-Aspen Teacher Leader Fellow.  Mr. Toner graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations. He holds a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Massachusetts in Boston and a Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School.

About Teach Plus

Teach Plus empowers excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Teach Plus runs three programs designed to place teacher leaders at the center of improvements in policy and practice: Teaching Policy Fellowship, C2 Initiative, and T3 Initiative.  The programs focus on demonstrably effective teachers who want to continue classroom teaching while also expanding their impact as leaders in their schools and in district, state, and national policy.  Since its inception in August 2009, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 22,000 solutions-oriented teachers across the country.



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