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Veteran Education Entrepreneur Gloria Lee Joins NewSchools Venture Fund

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, June 9, 2010—Gloria Lee, a veteran education entrepreneur who helped to develop one of the sector’s leading organizations, will join NewSchools Venture Fund, announced NewSchools CEO Ted Mitchell.

Lee will join NewSchools on July 1 as a Partner/Entrepreneur in Residence. In that role, she will be working to incubate several new ventures that will be a part of NewSchools’ Innovation Fund. NewSchools is a venture philanthropy firm that provides funding and management support to entrepreneurial ventures that improve public education for low-income children. It is currently rolling out its Innovation Fund, the fourth fund in NewSchools’ 12-year history.

“Gloria brings an extraordinary mix of skills and experiences to the NewSchools team,” Mitchell said. “From her proven abilities as a strategist to her unequalled success as an operator of one of the finest public charter school management organizations in America, Gloria’s talents reflect the range and mix of our work. It is a perfect fit for us and for her.”

Lee most recently served as Bay Area Superintendent for Aspire Public Schools, a high-performing public charter school management organization, and was part of its founding team. A decade ago, Aspire became the first charter management organization (CMO) in the country, and one of the first investments made by NewSchools in its own early days. NewSchools worked with Aspire to help it reach successful scale; today, Aspire runs 25 schools serving 7,600 students – more schools than 92% of the districts in California. If Aspire’s schools were a district, it would have the greatest test score growth of any major district in the state, and would be the highest-performing majority-low-income major district in the state.

“It has been inspiring to be part of Aspire’s founding and growth over the past decade, enabling talented educators to prepare thousands of students for college,” Lee said. “I’m so excited to bring the lessons of that work to a new generation of innovative organizations.”

In her current role at Aspire, Lee is responsible for the “double bottom line” of academic achievement and fiscal stability. Prior to becoming Area Superintendent, she served as the Founding Chief Operating Officer of Aspire for the organization’s first eight years. As its first COO, she crafted key elements of Aspire’s growth and business strategy, and developed the systems and processes necessary to bring the Aspire network successfully from 1 school to 17 schools.

Prior to joining Aspire, Lee was a consultant for McKinsey & Company, helping Fortune 500 companies address major strategic challenges. She also founded a Bay Area office for UCLA School Management Program, a university-based school reform support organization that provided training and coaching to school principals and teachers in leadership and change management. Lee received her BS in Applied Economics at Cornell University, and both a Masters of Business Administration and Masters in Education at Stanford University.

About NewSchools Venture Fund

NewSchools Venture Fund (www.newschools.org) is a national nonprofit venture philanthropy firm that has been working since 1998 to transform public education for underserved children by supporting education entrepreneurs who create nonprofit and for-profit organizations that have the power to catalyze system-wide change.

About the NewSchools Innovation Fund

NewSchools’ fourth fund, the NewSchools Innovation Fund, will build entrepreneurial ventures that not only contribute directly to producing outstanding results at scale for underserved students, but also change the national conversation about what’s possible in public education. We will drive continued innovation in public education by supporting investments in the following areas:

• People: alternative pathways into teaching and new approaches to developing educational talent at all levels, all of which are grounded in reliable measures of student learning and achievement;
• Tools: technology-enabled products, platforms, and services that help educators improve instruction, enable customized student learning, or otherwise maximize student achievement;
• Schools, including organizations that turn around chronically failing schools and charter management organizations that create scalable, sustainable school systems; and
• Around-the-corner innovations that serve low-income students and seed the next wave of innovation to tackle the most challenging problems in public education.

Contact:
Julie Petersen
Communications Director
NewSchools Venture Fund
Phone: (415) 615-6863
jpetersen@newschools.org