October 5, 2017
Dear SRI Community,
We called upon you to nominate candidates to the board of directors who you believe will help SRI live out our fierce commitment to educational equity and excellence and you clearly delivered on that request. It is an honor to present the slate of candidates for the 2017 election to the SRI Board of Directors.
Since SRI’s formation in 2009, our founders knew it was important to have a board that was elected by members of our organizational community. We are committed to cultivating an organization that represents the diverse aspects of our community and is reflective of the diversity of the children and adults we serve. Maintaining a board representative of our community is critical to this goal. Thank you for nominating your colleagues, and special thanks to the fine candidates who have stepped up to serve in a leadership role in our organization.
This year the SRI Board is seeking four members who have (1) considerable experience with, (2) a strong commitment to, and (3) a positive record of working with schools and students around educational excellence and equity. We are looking for colleagues who have worked in transformative ways, particularly with students of color as well as students with language diversity. SRI hopes to increasingly focus on issues of school transformation, especially around issues of educational equity, and our new members will be able to help advance this important goal.
Now it is up to you. Read about the passion each of the candidates holds for the work and mission of SRI. Consider the rich and varied experiences and expertise that each brings to SRI and vote for all the candidates you believe will best serve in the capacity of board member for SRI. Voting is open today through midnight on November 3, 2017.
How to Cast Your Ballot
We use the process of ‘approval voting’ in our board elections. With approval voting, each affiliate can vote for as many candidates as they think are qualified for the role of board member. You are not limited by a number of votes, instead, you will review each candidate’s materials and then, if you believe they meet the criteria outlined above and would serve well as a board member, you can endorse them by acting your vote for that candidate. Approval voting is used by many organizations that are similar to SRI’s affiliate structure and we believe this strengthens our electoral process.
The four candidates who receive the most votes will be named as members of the SRI Board for a term of four years, beginning in January 2018.
If you are already an SRI Affiliate, a ballot will be sent to the email address you used to register within the next hour. When you are ready, simply cast your votes for the candidates you approve. If you do not receive a ballot, and you believe you are an affiliate, please contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not yet an SRI Affiliate but would like to participate in this election, you may do so by completing the affiliate form found here. Once you’ve submitted an affiliation form, a ballot will be sent to you via email. It should arrive within 12 hours of your affiliation form submission. If you do not receive a ballot or have difficulty completing the form, please contact Chris at email@example.com. Once you affiliate through the link above, you will receive an annual reminder to renew your affiliation with SRI.
Based on feedback from our affiliates, we are coordinating the election of our new board members with our annual Fall Meeting. Computers will be available onsite in Atlanta to support affiliation and voting. Voting will close on Friday, November 3rd, and the newly elected members will be announced on Saturday, November 4th during our Annual Meeting of the Organization. At Fall Meeting, you will also have an opportunity to meet the board candidates who are attending.
2017 SRI Board Election Candidates
listed in alphabetical order by last name
Aaron Goodson (Georgia)
The practices and philosophies of SRI are in line with my goals as an educator as well as an artist. I have the desire to make education, particularly arts education, accessible and representative of the multiple stories we all carry. I was inspired by the fierce commitment to educational equity in the SRI mission statement and would like to assist in whatever way I can to promote that mission. I think that SRI has been successful in creating a safe space for educators to reflect, talk about their practice and learn from one another, as well as creating a critical mass towards improving education in the United States. The challenge that SRI will face is to clearly define what is meant by a fierce commitment to educational equity and to be relentless in its pursuit. From my experience as an artist and my spiritual practice, I believe that we must come to know one another and build on our collective experiences in order to meet the challenge of educational equity.
Natalie Hagler (Florida)
My role as a global citizen is to actively seek opportunities for collaboration that connect my passions, education, and skill set with the needs, skills, knowledge of others to develop and/or support sustainable activities that serve both my local and global community. I am interested in serving as a Board Member for SRI because the mission and vision align with my epistemological and pedagogical beliefs about teaching and learning. My research examines the uses of protocols in communities of practice in facilitating reflective practice in pre-service teachers. In addition, my current work with teacher candidates and the topic of my dissertation are grounded in constructivist learning theory and include SRI protocols at the foundation of program design. As SRI continues to develop practices to support learning communities in examining their institutional beliefs and practices, my research agenda and need to continue to examine my own stance as a culturally responsive educator will make a strong contribution to the team. I imagine that SRI will play an instrumental role in the trajectory of my career. It would be an honor to participate in furthering the current work of SRI affiliates and in envisioning the ways the School Reform Initiative can broaden its impact on teacher education and systems change.
Lisa P. Kuh (Massachusetts)
SRI’s devotion to its members and ability to govern itself by “walking the talk” thus mirroring their work with affiliates, is impressive. I have benefitted from this directly, as SRI has been pivotal in my own development personally and professionally. I try to attend the general meeting at the end of the Winter Meetings and have gotten to see a bit of how the governance of SRI works. Being part of the future of SRI, being able to collaborate with, and contribute to, the evolution of SRI more directly would be a way to give back to an organization that works so hard for others.
I remember attending the Winter Meeting in Cambridge many years ago, the first meeting under the new governance structure as SRI. The feeling of being part of a new iteration of Critical Friendship was palpable in the crowd from the minute the meeting opened and the focus on equity never waned. The development of SRI as a viable organization is a significant contribution to the field.
Lauren Levine (New York)
I am interested in serving on the SRI Board as a way of giving back to an organization that is central to my practice. I continue to learn and grow through my many SRI related experiences including my daily work, an annual SRI seminar that I co-facilitate, and the dispositions I am able to capture as I consider our theory of action leading toward equitable outcomes for children. I am constantly reminded how much I value learning with educators and I believe being on the SRI board will further inform my practice and add value to the organization.
I believe SRI has many success, however, if I reduce it to one, I think the preservation and maintenance of the protocol library coupled with the free availability to all who choose to access them is a singularly unique success of the organization. I work with many different groups in my practice and often their intellectual property is protected in ways that make their work inaccessible to most educators. Not so with SRI.
Keri Melmed (Colorado)
SRI has played a powerful role in my practice as a school leader. The resources available for free online are used regularly at my school. From professional development, hiring, to book studies, there is a protocol guiding our work and ensuring our decisions are a result of intentional, honest, and careful dialogue. Being on the SRI Board would allow me the opportunity to give back to a community that has given me so much. Over the course of the last 22 years, my experiences in diverse learning communities and innovative schools has grown my perspective and capacity. It would be a privilege to share and collaborate with the SRI staff and Board of Directors to ensure the continued success of this worthy organization.
We know that one key component at the heart of building more equitable schools is open and authentic communication. SRI, through the protocols and principles, provides the tools for educators to think and talk which in many cases results in a shift in thinking, new understanding, or greater empathy.
Cameron Paterson (Australia)
I am interested in being on the SRI Board because of SRI’s commitment to creating and sustaining transformational learning communities and the use of facilitative leadership and protocols. I have experience contributing to many boards and working groups, both within Australia – Australian College of Educators, Australian Council of Education Leaders, Australian Curriculum Studies Association – and globally – through my work with Harvard’s Project Zero, my role as a Varkey Teacher Ambassador, my current involvement in a partnership with the UK’s Innovation Unit, and my contributions on the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report Expert Panel.
SRI is currently a US-centric organization. I don’t see this as so much of a challenge as an opportunity. We live in a global world and the creation of transformational learning communities is required beyond the borders of the USA as well as within. I believe my advocacy comes at the right time for SRI to begin broadening its reach outside the USA and to start thinking about becoming a more global organization.
Niya Randall (Georgia)
I believe in the work of SRI. The work comes in different forms for everyone. It’s when like-minded individuals come together to talk, share and grow. Every time I leave an SRI event, small or large I feel lifted to another level. The work isn’t easy, it takes real time, commitment and openness. I value the process of SRI protocols. As I think about my first experience with SRI, I remember it vividly. I walked into a room of strangers and left feeling amazed. I didn’t even realize what I was experiencing. The group leaders (my facilitators) found a way to weave an experience (a protocol) of oh, wow, yes and okay.
I want to be on the board for SRI because I believe in giving back. There are lots of people with whom I have crossed paths with. Each conversation, article, dilemma, provide new layers of knowledge for me. Also, I believe in each one teach one. I am not an expert, but I am willing to share and be open to ideas and opinions.
Analee Smith (Texas)
As an educator I have had the privilege of serving students, families and communities in various ways. I began my journey in the classroom where I directly impacted the 25 students in my room. Now, as a campus administrator, I see the larger impact I can have on many students and their families. My desire to do more continues to grow. Over the years SRI has trained and supported educators from all over the nation and beyond. Becoming a Board member of SRI would provide me the opportunity to continue the work of supporting educators. I would like to be part of the team that builds on the progress already made by SRI and expand it.
One success SRI has achieved is providing a platform for educators to come together with professional dilemmas and get support from others. Critical friendship has been central, as has been networking opportunities across the country. Having a shared language and set of tools opens up my own little school and experience in San Antonio to a much bigger movement and conversation.
Thanks to the Current Board
Thank you for your service and contributions to the work of advancing the School Reform Initiative to the next level:
- Pedro Bermudez, Florida
- Keving Fahey, Massachusetts (Past Board Chair)
- Jeffrey Galaise, New York
- Debra Laidley, California
- Donna Reid, Texas
- Casey Roberts, Virginia
Ongoing Board Members
Newly-elected board members will get to work closely with the following board members to further our mission:
- Carrie Brennan, Arizona
- Raquel Diaz, Florida
- Patricia Norman, Texas (Board Chair)
- Gillian Smith, New York
- Kari Thierer, Washington (ex- officio member)
- Gene Thompson-Grove, Massachusetts
- Deirdre Williams, Texas
Also a special thanks go to the Nominating Committee that coordinated the nomination process: Jeffrey Galaise (Chair), CC Duenes, Sharon Jones, Taylor Johnson, Ileana Liberatore, Jonett Miniel, Mark Otto, and Ana Pizano.
Thank you for being a part of this election and governance process, and for your ongoing commitment to creating transformational learning communities with a fierce commitment to educational equity and excellence.
Jeffrey Galaise on behalf of the board of the School Reform Initiative and Kari Thierer on behalf of the School Reform Initiative