WA Charters believes firmly that community-driven solutions are the best ones.
We believe we must ensure that charter school leadership reflects the students and communities of color that charter schools serve—because racial representation influences academic and non-academic outcomes for students and that diversity within teams catalyzes innovation.
Our Aspiring Leaders program seeks to address inequities in our education system by creating pathways and providing resources for community stakeholders to generate ideas and solutions together—while at the same time cultivating critical leadership capacity at the school and board level to execute on these solutions.
Who you are
- Committed to social justice and educational equity
- Deeply invested in your community
- Critical, curious, and innovative thinker
- Challenge seeker with a growth mindset
- Passionate about engaging with underserved communities
- Located in Washington state
Aspiring Leader spotlight
I know first-hand that our country’s educational systems are profoundly inequitable. My own education was defined by inequities until I had the opportunity to attend a charter high school. That experience was truly life-changing. Because of my own charter school experience, when I heard that there were plans to open a charter school in Wenatchee, where I live, I immediately got involved.
Karla Soto Mullins, 2019 Aspiring Leader
Teachers were open and willing – I showed them how to be vulnerable about why they couldn’t connect with black and brown kids – how this was a big barrier to trust. As a Black Man bringing that context to staff, I was able to create an environment where people could share their concerns, their cultural beliefs, and their fears.
By Louis Guiden, 2019 Aspiring Leader
What we offer
Aspiring Leaders is a seven-month-long cohort-based program designed to develop the capacity of community, business, education, and policy professionals to lead within the Washington charter school sector. An important goal of the program is to increase the leadership of color within our state’s charter sector; however, applications are open to all.
- Programming to deepen your understanding of the charter public school sector
- $2,500 personalized professional development stipend to grow leadership capacity
- Mentorship with a current leader of color in the Washington education sector
- Guided visits to high-performing charter public schools
- Travel funds to attend sessions and school visits
After Aspiring Leaders
By the end of the program, participants will be equipped with the tools to find their place in the Washington charter school sector and may elect to do one or more of the following:
- START A SCHOOL
Apply to open a charter public school through our School Leadership and Design Fellowship
Serve on a charter public school board
- JOIN A SCHOOL TEAM
Apply for a staff position at a charter public school
Be an advocate for educational equity in Washington state