Eskolta is excited to announce the launch of our search for new executive leadership. We will be partnering with Positively Partners, an executive search firm, to begin identifying candidates for the Executive Director position over the coming months.
Eskolta’s mission is to work with educators to create a more equitable society by fostering a culture of compassion, respect, and high expectations in public schools, so students who were once left behind can thrive. We have always sought to achieve this by creating a community of educators equipped to lead school change using methodologies grounded in research, data, and student voice. We are increasingly anchoring this work in equity and justice, helping build a shared understanding of systemic inequities, and together developing critical self-awareness. Eskolta sees this change in leadership as an opportunity to continue advancing our mission. We hope to build on the progress the organization has already made toward the objectives set forth in our racial equity mission statement and goals.
While our mission is one of ensuring equity, in the past our approach to this work has not done enough to address the structural racism, patriarchy, and white supremacy in the education system. As an organization, we recognize that the work of dismantling white supremacy must begin with ourselves. Over the past year, staff raised the urgent need to focus internally on aligning our organization to its anti-racist mission. We are especially grateful to members of staff from historically marginalized groups, whose voices and experiences have been pivotal in pushing the collective to uproot systems of inequality.
Our staff has been working to transform a number of areas articulated in our public statement at the outset of the Black Lives Matter uprisings last spring. Through regular conversations and skills-building sessions on racial equity, we are examining harms reported by members of staff and working to rebuild trust. Via staff-led efforts, we are revisiting the design of professional development and performance evaluations and exploring alternative leadership models for projects and greater transparency in compensation and allocation of work.
To help strengthen and align these efforts in our external work, we have initiated a new partnership with area experts to develop a professional development plan centered on culturally responsive-sustaining education. This training prepares us to engage educators in exploration of how power, privilege, culture, and identity intersect in students’ experience and educational development and to design approaches with students as active participants in shaping instruction. All of these changes, both internal and external, lay the foundation for Eskolta to better support NYC and Boston schools in the goal of creating supportive, affirming, and effective learning environments for students.
Progress on these goals has not always been smooth and much work remains. The path we are forging is new, and is one of constant pushing, questioning, and recommitting ourselves to building a healthy, supportive, and fundamentally different way of existing. But at this moment when organizations and institutions across the U.S. are reckoning with these deeply entrenched systems of power, we know we are not alone. We embrace this opportunity to authentically live our values and we are eager to welcome our next leader to join us in this journey.
—The Eskolta staff
Qualified individuals interested in learning more about Eskolta’s Executive Director role should reach out to Positively Partners at firstname.lastname@example.org.