Preparing for the Next Chapter

Preparing for the Next Chapter

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

2017 will mark ten years since I founded Teach Plus. I look back in awe and gratitude at what we have accomplished since then and all of the people who have contributed to making the organization what it is. 

We have been the catalyst for a movement around teacher leadership that now has touched school districts and state houses across the nation. Our organization is impacting the profession and students beyond what I could have hoped for a decade ago. This year alone:

  • Over 12,000 teachers participated in our programming;
  • Across three cities and almost 3,500 students, our school-based teacher leaders led their previously low-performing schools to 5 points greater growth on standardized tests than their districts’ average growth. Several of our schools shed their “turnaround” status. 
  • Our Policy Fellows mobilized their peers to take over 8,500 advocacy actions leading to change on key issues like ESSA, testing, school funding, and teacher staffing. Ours were the only teachers to meet with President Obama in the Oval Office as he shaped his testing action plan.

As a former teacher, the back-to-school season is always the start of a new chapter and a moment for reflection. For me, that means asking questions like: “where do we want Teach Plus to be in a year to maximize the organization’s potential?” and “what is the best use of my skills and passion?

Without opportunities for excellent teachers to have greater influence, education cannot improve. I believe this more passionately than the day we started Teach Plus, and I plan work on these issues for the rest of my professional life.  But I also believe that this school year is the right time for Teach Plus to transition to a new CEO who can grow the organization to the next stage. It is time for Teach Plus to have a new leader with the experience and perspective to take the organization into the next chapter and further expand teacher leadership opportunities for excellent teachers in high needs schools. 

It has been 18 years since I taught in my own middle school classroom. When I launched our Policy Fellows program a decade ago, I fell in love with teaching education policy to adult learners. I plan to return to teaching full-time next fall, this time at the university level. 

Teach Plus has a stellar and engaged Board that is committed to the organization’s mission of empowering teachers to drive the transformation of our education system. The Board is launching the search for a new CEO and has partnered with Bellwether Education Partners, a leading national executive search firm, to ensure a timely and high quality process. Our goal is for day-to-day operations to proceed with as little interruption as possible during this process. 

I thank you again for your support of Teach Plus as we enter this new chapter.  

In gratitude,

Celine Coggins