Monday, June 25, 2018

SBISD Superintendent Named to Chiefs for Change

June 20, 2018

Spring Branch ISD Superintendent Scott R. Muri, Ed.D., was named today as one of four new members of Chiefs for Change, a bipartisan network of state and school district chiefs that represents some of the nation’s boldest and most innovative education leadership.

Chiefs for Change, a 3-year-old nonprofit group, includes a diverse group of leaders who believe that every child deserves a high-quality education and pathways to college and meaningful degrees. Members lead public educational systems serving more than 7 million students, 435,000 teachers and 14,000 schools.

The nonprofit increases to 31 members with the recent appointment of Dr. Muri and three other district superintendents. Joining SBISD’s leader are Superintendents Emmanuel Caulk of Fayette County Schools, Ky.; Sharon Contreras of Guilford County Schools, N.C.; and Donald Fennoy with The School District of Palm Beach County, Fla.

“We are pleased to welcome this impressive group of educators into our community,” said John White, board chair for Chiefs for Change and the state superintendent of education in Louisiana. “They have shown a deep commitment to expanding opportunity for all children and are leading innovative work in their districts. As members of our network, they will play an important role in our national and state-level efforts to promote policies and practices that are best for students.”

The selection of Dr. Muri and others followed a rigorous review process that included extensive research and staff conversations with potential candidates. The group’s Board of Directors approved their membership earlier this month.

Dr. Muri and the three other new chiefs “have implemented a range of school choice initiatives to give families greater access to excellent schools and instructional programs, supported efforts to provide all teachers with top-tier instructional materials and related professional learning, and developed programs and partnerships to set students up for success long after graduation,” Chiefs for Change states in a news release.

“Chiefs for Change is a group of state and district leaders with fresh, out-of-the-box thinking about how to create schools that personalize learning,” Dr. Muri said. “Much like our work in Spring Branch ISD, the members are developing new approaches that center around students’ unique skills, interests and learning styles.”

“With the [federal] Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) providing greater opportunities for innovation, this is an exciting time for us to share ideas and design entirely new instructional models,” Dr. Muri also said.

Dr. Muri was named SBISD’s Superintendent of Schools three years ago. From his first role as a classroom teacher, Dr. Muri has followed a career path with increasing administrative duties, but his heart is still in teaching because that’s where he believes the key work that matters takes place – with children in the classroom. 

Of the 25 active chiefs in membership, 16 are school district chiefs and nine are state educational leaders. More than half of the members are leaders of color, and more than 40 percent are women. Four key areas have been the focus of advocacy for this group:

·        Equitable access to outstanding schools
·        High-quality curriculum and the supports for teachers to use it effectively
·        College affordability and completion
·        Safe and welcoming schools where children are free to learn, free from fear
Chiefs for Change CEO Mike Magee said the four new members share all these values, but also “have a track record of acting on those beliefs and standing up for kids.”

“Each one of them is a strong, effective leader,” Magee said. “They are committed to creating schools that will allow every child to achieve his or her potential and realize the American dream.”

Chiefs for Change members include these district and state leaders:

● 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 K. Blackburn: Superintendent of Brevard County Schools, Florida
● Tom Boasberg: Superintendent of Denver Public Schools, Colorado
● Steve Canavero: Superintendent of Public Instruction, Nevada
● Emmanuel Caulk: Superintendent of Fayette County Schools, Kentucky
● Christopher D. Cerf: Former Superintendent of Newark Public Schools, New Jersey
● Tommy Chang: Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, Massachusetts
● Veronica Conforme: Former Chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority, Michigan
● Sharon Contreras: Superintendent of Schools in Guilford County, North Carolina
● Paolo DeMaria: Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ohio
● Lewis D. Ferebee: Superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools, Indiana
● Donald Fennoy: Superintendent of The School District of Palm Beach County, Florida
● Deborah A. Gist: Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, Oklahoma
● William R. Hite, Jr.: Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
● Barbara Jenkins: Superintendent of Orange County Public Schools, Florida
● Hanseul Kang: State Superintendent of Education, District of Columbia
● Christina M. Kishimoto: Superintendent, Hawaii
● Pedro Martinez: Superintendent of San Antonio Independent School District, Texas
● Candice McQueen: Commissioner of Education, Tennessee
● Scott Muri: Superintendent of Spring Branch Independent School District, Texas
● Kunjan Narechania: Chief Executive Officer of the Recovery School District, Louisiana
● Paymon Rouhanifard: Superintendent of Camden City School District, New Jersey
● Robert W. Runcie: Superintendent of Broward County Schools, Florida
● Christopher Ruszkowski: Secretary- Designate of Education, New Mexico
● Sonja Santelises: Chief Executive Officer of Baltimore City Public Schools, Maryland
● Hanna Skandera: Former Secretary of Education, New Mexico
● John White: State Superintendent of Education, Louisiana
● Antwan Wilson: Former Chancellor of DC Public Schools, District of Columbia
● Carey M. Wright: State Superintendent of Education, Mississippi

For more details on Chiefs for Change, please visit:


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