July 16, 2018

Phillips Academy’s Institute for Recruitment of Teachers names Executive Director

LaShawnda Brooks has an impressive record of advancing underrepresented populations in education
Brooks is joining part of the IRT summer residency in July and will begin full time in late August.

LaShawnda Brooks has been appointed Executive Director of the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT), a Phillips Academy outreach program focused on influencing the nation’s educational systems by developing a more diverse cadre of teachers, professors and academic leaders.

Currently completing an MS in Education Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, Brooks is a research assistant for the Racial Empowerment Collaborative. A first generation graduate of the University of Virginia, Brooks joined Teach for America in 2009, serving for two years in Atlanta. Most recently, as an instructional coach for City Year, she designed, developed, and implemented curriculum for 250 AmeriCorps members in New York City. 

She also has served as a program manager at America Needs You, where she oversaw a college persistence and career development mentoring program for first generation college students. Her collaborative work resulted in 98 percent program completion and 100 percent college graduation.

I view the IRT’s mission as essential in creating a truly equitable education system.

LaShawnda Brooks

“LaShawnda stood out for her breadth of experience and for her demonstrated commitment to educational equity. She is a gifted relationship builder and a change agent with the promise of a leader who will amplify the profile of the IRT,” said Phillips Academy Head of School John Palfrey.

“I am thrilled to join Phillips Academy and the IRT community,” said Brooks. “As a first generation graduate, I’ve understood that a network of individuals and organizations have supported my journey. I have crafted my career to better understand, develop, and actualize opportunities that enable some of our most vulnerable students…I view the IRT’s mission as essential in creating a truly equitable education system.”

Brooks will succeed Asabe Poloma, who became assistant dean for international students at Brown University after nine years at the IRT, including nearly four years as executive director. Kate Slater generously served as interim director over the last six months. IRT fellows—college juniors and seniors intending to pursue graduate study in education—are on the Phillips Academy campus through August participating in their Summer Workshop. 

Beth Friedman, director of Summer Session and outreach, led the national search in consultation with Koya Leadership Partners, whose costs were underwritten by a grant from the Grayce B. Kerr Fund. Eager to welcome Brooks to campus this month, Friedman thanked the search committee* for their partnership in recruiting “a passionate educator and visionary leader who will flourish at Andover.”

*Search committee members: Julia Johannsen ’96, IRT advisory board chair; Chera Reid, IRT alumna and director of strategic learning, research and evaluation at the Kresge Foundation, IRT advisory board member; Catherine Wong, IRT Consortium chair and director of Urban Outreach Initiatives at the Lynch School of Education, Boston College; Eric Roland, Precourt director of partnerships, Tang Institute; and Nancy Jeton, special assistant to the Head of School.

Categories: Leadership, Outreach

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