January 16, 2019
Chiefs for Change Welcomes Three New Members

Chiefs for Change today announced three new members have joined the bipartisan network of state and district education leaders. The new members are:

  • Janice Jackson, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Illinois
  • Orlando Riddick, Superintendent of Midland Independent School District, Texas
  • Rob Anderson, Superintendent of Boulder Valley School District, Colorado

“These chiefs reflect the regional and political diversity of our network,” said Chiefs for Change Board Chair and Louisiana State Superintendent of Education John White. “They lead systems that in many ways look very different—in red, blue, and purple states—and yet they are all doing the work that can help every child succeed. In this day and age of extreme political polarization, Chiefs for Change is a rare example of leaders who have come together around a common set of beliefs and who always remain focused on what is most important—the education of our children.”

Members of Chiefs for Change advocate for policies that promote academic achievement and share a deep commitment to excellence and equity for all students. The chiefs have worked to expand school choice initiatives, establish strong accountability systems, promote the use of high-quality instructional materials, and create pathways that ensure students graduate ready for college and meaningful careers.

Chiefs for Change recently released a new blueprint for postsecondary success. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is one of the districts that is leading innovative efforts in this area. Among this work is CPS’s groundbreaking Learn.Plan.Succeed. initiative, which is designed to support postsecondary success for students by ensuring they develop plans for life after graduation with the support of dedicated professionals, beginning with the Class of 2020. In addition, CPS has increased access to college-level coursework so that more students have the opportunity to earn early college and career credentials, making college more accessible and affordable.

“Chicago Public Schools is a national leader in postsecondary planning and is expanding opportunities for students to achieve their goals after graduation,” Chiefs for Change CEO Mike Magee explained. “As we advocate for reliable and affordable postsecondary pathways, the work that Janice Jackson and our other members are doing can serve as a model for communities across the country.”

Chiefs for Change currently has 35 members, 24 of whom are actively serving as chiefs. Of that group, 17 are district chiefs and 7 are state chiefs. Fifty-seven percent of the members are leaders of color, and 37 percent are women. One of the new members, Rob Anderson, participated in the Chiefs for Change Future Chiefs program, which aims to develop the next generation of education leaders by providing coaching, mentorship, and other learning opportunities for senior-level education administrators who want to become chiefs.

Quotes from new members

Janice Jackson: “As a lifelong educator, CPS parent, and former Chicago Public Schools student, I’ve seen first-hand how support and planning can help students achieve their postsecondary goals, and I am honored to bring that perspective to Chiefs for Change. I’m excited to join like-minded leaders who recognize our collective responsibility as educators to prepare students for postsecondary success so that students across the country view high school graduation as a milestone, not a destination.”

Orlando Riddick: “Throughout my career, I have closely followed the work of Chiefs for Change members. They are all doing impressive work that superintendents across the country can learn from. I am proud to join their community and am excited to share the important progress students and teachers are making in Midland.”

Rob Anderson: “As a new superintendent, I look forward to joining this group of inspiring education chiefs who are breaking down barriers and expanding opportunities for all students. Through my time in the Future Chiefs program, I had the opportunity to learn from many of these accomplished leaders and am honored to join them in Chiefs for Change.”

Current members of Chiefs for Change

  • Rob Anderson: Superintendent of Boulder Valley School District, Colorado
  • Malika Anderson: Former Superintendent of the Achievement School District, Tennessee
  • Katy Anthes: Commissioner of Education, Colorado
  • Robert Avossa: Former Superintendent of The School District of Palm Beach County, Florida
  • Desmond Blackburn: Former Superintendent of Brevard County Schools, Florida
  • Tom Boasberg: Former Superintendent of Denver Public Schools, Colorado
  • Steve Canavero: Superintendent of Public Instruction, Nevada
  • Emmanuel Caulk: Superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools, Kentucky
  • Christopher Cerf: Former Superintendent of Newark Public Schools, New Jersey
  • Tommy Chang: Former Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, Massachusetts
  • Sharon Contreras: Superintendent of Guilford County Schools, North Carolina
  • John Deasy: Superintendent of Stockton Unified School District, California
  • Paolo DeMaria: State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ohio
  • Susan Enfield: Superintendent of Highline Public Schools, Washington
  • Lewis Ferebee: Nominated as Chancellor of DC Public Schools, District of Columbia
  • Donald Fennoy: Superintendent of The School District of Palm Beach County, Florida
  • Deborah Gist: Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, Oklahoma
  • Bill Hite: Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Janice Jackson: CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Illinois
  • Barbara Jenkins: Superintendent of Orange County Public Schools, Florida
  • Hanseul Kang: State Superintendent of Education, District of Columbia
  • Christina Kishimoto: Superintendent, Hawaii
  • Henderson Lewis, Jr.: Superintendent of Orleans Parish School Board, Louisiana
  • Pedro Martinez: Superintendent of San Antonio Independent School District, Texas
  • Candice McQueen: Former Commissioner of Education, Tennessee
  • Scott Muri: Superintendent of Spring Branch Independent School District, Texas
  • Kunjan Narechania: CEO of the Recovery School District, Louisiana
  • Orlando Riddick: Superintendent of Midland Independent School District, Texas
  • Paymon Rouhanifard: Former Superintendent of Camden City School District, New Jersey
  • Robert Runcie: Superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, Florida
  • Christopher Ruszkowski: Former Secretary of Education, New Mexico
  • Sonja Santelises: CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, Maryland
  • John White: State Superintendent of Education, Louisiana
  • Antwan Wilson: Former Chancellor of DC Public Schools, District of Columbia
  • Carey Wright: State Superintendent of Education, Mississippi


About Chiefs for Change

Chiefs for Change is a nonprofit, bipartisan network of diverse state and district education chiefs dedicated to preparing all students for today’s world and tomorrow’s through deeply committed leadership. Chiefs for Change advocates for policies and practices that are making a difference today for students, and builds a pipeline of talented, diverse Future Chiefs ready to lead major school systems.