Contact: Lucas Held
Director of Communications
The Wallace Foundation
NEW YORK, N.Y., Feb. 2, 2012 – Will Miller, President of The Wallace Foundation, today announced the promotion of Jody Spiro, Ed.D., as Director of Education Leadership.
Spiro will primarily oversee one of the foundation's largest efforts now under way, the $75-million Principal Pipeline initiative, designed to help school districts build a corps of effective principals and to determine whether this improves student achievement across the district, especially in the highest needs schools. The answer to this question will provide education decision-makers a key missing piece of the school reform puzzle.
"I'm delighted that Jody has agreed to direct our work in school leadership going forward," said Will Miller, President of The Wallace Foundation. "She has been doing an excellent job as interim director and ensured that we and our partners have not missed a beat in this important initiative. Her skills, experience and leadership will contribute greatly to the potential of our work to yield important lessons for district leaders, as well as state and federal policymakers, on how we can effectively develop and support principals in ways that strengthen student achievement."
Spiro served as Senior Program Officer in Education since 2002 and as Interim Director since August 2011. In that capacity, she has contributed significantly to advancing the foundation's "first generation" efforts in school leadership, notably; by forging strong partnerships between states and districts; through her work with the New York City Leadership Academy and the National School Administration Manager Innovation Project; and through her leadership of the Leading Change Learning Community, Wallace's most systematic effort to date to help grantees sustain programs and practices that improved school leadership.
"It has been an honor to be involved with Wallace's education leadership work these past years and very exciting to lead the next generation initiative which grows from and furthers those efforts," said Spiro. "Together with our grantees we are all part of a vibrant learning community, and I look forward to the new lessons we will learn."
Spiro's career as a senior educator and manager of education programs has spanned the private, public, nonprofit and international sectors. Her areas of specialization include leadership, facilitating active learning and systemic change processes.
Previous positions have included: director of education at the Education Development Center's New York office of global learning; executive director of the Soros Foundations for the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union and the Baltic States; university planning officer and secretary of the board of trustees at Long Island University; senior assistant to the New York City schools chancellor; director of principals' professional development at the New York City Board of Education; and second vice president for professional development at Chase Manhattan Bank.
For many years, Spiro has served as adjunct professor at New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, teaching courses in strategic management, the management of change and international non-governmental organizations. She is a frequent presenter on the subject of school leadership and change management at professional conferences and has spoken before Learning Forward, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Education Trust and the Southern Regional Education Board, among others.
She holds her doctorate, in adult and higher education, from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has a master's degree in public administration from New York University, and a bachelor's degree from Barnard College.
She is the author of the Leading Change Handbook (2009) and Leading Change Step-by-Step: Tactics, Tools, and Tales (2011, Jossey-Bass).
The Wallace Foundation is an independent, national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for children. The Foundation maintains an online library of lessons at www.wallacefoundation.org about what it has learned, including knowledge from its current efforts aimed at: strengthening school leadership to improve student achievement; helping disadvantaged students gain more time for learning through summer learning and an extended school day and year; enhancing after-school learning opportunities; and building appreciation and demand for the arts.