News Release: Longtime Charter School Leader Joins WA Charters

Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters) today announced that respected public education and charter school leader Marta Reyes-Newberry will serve as its interim chief executive officer. Reyes will lead WA Charters working to support the startup of high-quality public charter schools, focused on serving disadvantaged students who do not currently have access to high-performing public schools.

“Marta brings the knowledge and experience of more than 20 years working in public education and the charter school sector. She knows firsthand the vital role charter schools can serve in the public school system by helping to improve educational outcomes for all students,” said WA Charters Board Chair Chris Korsmo. “Most importantly, as a parent and grandparent, Marta truly understands that Washington’s position as a national leader rests on the skills and abilities of its youth.”

Regarded as one of the founding leaders of California’s public charter school movement, Reyes-Newberry has been active in charters since 1993. She has also served as a public school teacher, successfully established and operated three charter schools targeting high-risk students and served as head of a charter school authorizer in California, where her successful work with at-risk students is still replicated today.

“Every child in the state must have equal access to high-quality public schools, and I am excited to bring what I learned throughout my career to my home in Washington,” said Reyes-Newberry. “By working together, we can ensure that charter schools help drive our public school system forward inspiring students, helping them succeed in school and preparing them for college and their careers.”

In 2003, she was appointed by the California Superintendent of Public Instruction as the first director of the California Department of Education’s Charter School Division, helping to drive the growth of charter schools in the state with a focus on school quality. Prior to that, Reyes-Newberry served as the executive director of California’s El Dorado County Office of Education’s Charter Community School, Home Study Academy and Extended Day Program, which opened in 1993 as the state’s fifth charter school.

From 1993 until 2003, Reyes-Newberry served as a board member for the California Network of Educational Charters (CANEC). As board president from 2002 to 2003, Reyes-Newberry initiated the transition of CANEC into the California Charter Schools Association with the goal of strengthening and expanding high-quality charter schools for all public school children in the state. Charter schools have increased in popularity in California, as they have grown to nearly 1,100 schools serving close to half a million students, with over 70,000 students on charter school waiting lists as of last fall.

Most recently, Reyes-Newberry has served as the founder and CEO of Reyes-Newberry & Associates, a consulting firm creating sustainable, smart educational learning systems.

Charter schools are independent public schools allowed to be more innovative while being held accountable for improved student achievement. In November 2012, voters and parents came together to approve the Washington Charter School Initiative, allowing for up to 40 charter schools in the state over a five-year period.

About WA Charters
The Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters) is a statewide nonprofit organization that supports the startup of high-quality public charter schools, with a focus on serving at-risk populations and students who do not currently have access to high-performing schools. WA Charters focuses on three key areas or support: providing information about charter schools to the public at large; supporting new leaders to establish high-performing public charter schools; and building community support for public charter schools across Washington. To learn more about public charter schools in Washington, please visit http://www.wacharters.org/get-the-facts/.

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