Since she was appointed as the Executive Director of Teach For America Dallas-Fort Worth last year, Rea Foster made a goal to ensure the executive leadership team was more reflective of the communities and students in which they serve. In less than a year’s time, she is turning her vision and goal into a firm reality, as the executive leadership team is now 70 percent BIPOC.

“It’s important that we are talking the talk and walking the walk,” said Foster. “Diversity, equity and inclusion must be infused into so many different facets of our approaches when serving our communities. We need the young children to have a diverse palette of mentorship in many different capacities.”

Leading the charge with programming, which is a large way the organization implements diversity efforts, is newly appointed Chief Program Officer, Jessica Guthrie. She joins the executive ranks as an accomplished and creative Education Executive, possessing multifaceted experience and a proven ability to inspire transformation while managing projects, people and programs.

One of Guthrie’s bannered achievements during her tenure at Teach For America DFW was leading the efforts for the Key Outcomes & Indicators Tool for the teacher experience adopted by all 52 Teach For America regions and impacting all programmatic choices. During this process, the teams in which she managed consistently exceeded both engagement and culture goals, as well as national and state assessment scores with no gaps across ethnic sub-group. Not to mention she was also a Dallas ISD “Teacher of the Year” candidate.

“Being a teacher in the program was one of the most valuable and eye-opening experiences I’ve ever had professionally,” said Guthrie. “In fact, it changed the course of my career when a role was created within Teach For America DFW that sets the vision and direction for the teacher experience across the continuum while engaging key stakeholders.”

From the classroom to the executive leadership table, she is well-versed in maintaining a long-term, enterprise perspective of the business operations, regional results and overall team culture that is competent in -and responsive to- diversity, equity and inclusiveness.

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