Dr. Noel Anderson
Department Chairperson & Clinical Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, NYU Steinhardt
Noel S. Anderson currently holds the positions of Chairperson of the Department of Administration, Leadership and Technology and Clinical Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. In addition to serving in a variety of leadership positions in the public and private sector for over 20 years, Noel has also authored and edited numerous scholarly articles and books on urban education, youth development and youth labor markets. Noel received his B.A. cum laude from Brooklyn College, his M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. from New York University. He was recently invited to join Democratic Presidential candidate Joseph Biden’s Education Policy Committee.
Senior Director of District-Charter Partnerships, New York City Department of Education
Paul Byrne began his career as a middle school teacher in the South Bronx. He later moved to the charter sector, where he joined a KIPP middle school in Brooklyn as Dean of Students; later becoming Assistant Principal. Paul returned to the DOE in 2015, starting a pilot program that brought district and charter schools together to share strategies and thought-partner about restorative practices. When Mayor de Blasio announced his Equity and Excellence agenda, Paul was given the opportunity to expand the pilot - now the District-Charter Partnerships initiative, a collection of unique programs working to build meaningful partnerships between the district and charter sectors in New York City that lead to better experiences and outcomes for all public school students.
Ashley N. Leonard
Associate Director, To&Through Middle Grades Network, University of Chicago, Urban Education Institute
Ashley N. Leonard is the Founding Associate Director of the To&Through Middle Grades Network, a cohort of seven Chicago Public Schools dedicated to creating more equitable and supportive educational environments where middle grades students thrive. Leonard began her education career at Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and most recently, was the Executive Director for Spark in Chicago, a career exploration and self-discovery program. Leonard holds a Masters of Education in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Vassar College. She is also a proud alumna of the 2017 Surge Fellowship and the inaugural Education Pioneers Yearlong Fellowship.
Executive Director, Teach For America New York
Tia Morris is a servant leader and a passionate advocate for equity.
Tia Morris began her formal teaching career in Harlem in 1998 when she joined Teach For America. In 2002, she left the New York City public school system and joined forces with four other TFA alumni to help start the KIPP charter network in New Jersey. As a founding KIPP-NJ teacher, she was a recipient of the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award. After ten years at KIPP, Tia held Chief level central office positions in two major turn-around efforts: the Newark Public School system and the Camden City School District. Tia served as Executive Director for the New Jersey region of Teach For America prior to joining Teach For America New York as Executive Director in June 2020. Tia completed undergraduate studies at Seton Hall University and holds Masters Degrees from The Bank Street Graduate School of Education and from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Tia is a Doctoral candidate at Columbia University’s Teachers College pursuing a degree in Urban Education Leadership.