Linda nathan, executive director
Linda Nathan, EdD is the first Executive Director of the Center for Artistry and Scholarship (CAS). In this role, Dr. Nathan is responsible for working with the CAS Board to develop the nonprofit’s strategy, goals, and areas of focus. She oversees key programs including the Creative Learning Schools Project as well as the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership (PSI) in partnership with the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Dr. Nathan also works closely with the leadership of Conservatory Lab Charter School to support its development as a national model of project based learning and arts immersed education.
Dr. Nathan is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she teaches a course called “Building Democratic Schools: Studio Design Workshop”. As an experienced leader in education, Dr. Nathan actively mentors teachers and principals, and consults nationally and internationally on issues of educational reform, leadership and teaching with a commitment to equity, and the critical role of arts and creativity in schools. Dr. Nathan also facilitates workshops and conversations about issues of race, equity, and culturally relevant pedagogy for school leaders, teachers, parents, and students across the nation. She blogs about many of these issues at www.lindanathan.com.
Dr. Nathan also serves on numerous nonprofit boards both locally and nationally, and is a published author. Her widely praised book The Hardest Questions Aren’t on the Test, about teaching and leadership in urban schools, was published in 2009 in both English and Spanish. Her new book, When Grit Isn’t Enough, will be released by Beacon Press in October of 2017.
Dr. Nathan previously served as Faculty Director of the Creative Educational Leadership Institute at the Boston University School of Education. Her prior positions also include Special Advisor to Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, and Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Arts in Education. Dr. Nathan was also the Founding Headmaster of the Boston Arts Academy, Boston’s first public high school for the visual and performing arts, and the Co-Director of Fenway High School, one of the first pilot schools in the Boston Public Schools. Dr. Nathan also founded two nonprofit organizations: El Pueblo Nuevo which focused on arts and youth development, and the Center for Collaborative Education which works on issues of school reform. She began her teaching career in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and then came to Boston to work as a bilingual middle school teacher.
Dr. Nathan holds a Doctor of Education degree from Harvard University, Masters’ degrees from Emerson College and Antioch University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Carmen Torres, cO-FOUNDER OF PERRONE-SIZER INSTITUTE
Ms. Carmen Torres is a veteran urban school educator and school founder. She founded the Health Careers Pathway at Brighton High School and the first pharmacy program at Fenway High School. She was founding assistant headmaster and then co-headmaster of Boston Arts Academy with Linda Nathan. Carmen has mentored many emerging school leaders. She comes to the Center from a position as a Clinical Instructor at Boston University. She has also worked as a consultant with the Educational Resource Center at BU, leading professional development workshops on culturally responsive teaching practices. She is currently the Director of Student and Family Services at Conservatory Lab Charter School.
Jill Davidson, Program Director
Jill Davidson works with schools, education-related organizations, and nonprofits as a communicator, convener, strategist, writer,editor, and speaker. Previously, Jill served as the Managing Director of the Coalition of Essential Schools, Director of Publications and Communications at Engaging Schools, and in other roles in education nonprofits. As a consultant, she's worked with the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Great Schools Partnership, School Reform Initiative, Richer Picture, Big Picture Learning, the Education Alliance at Brown University, and the Rhode Island After School Plus Alliance. Jill has also been a website producer and high school English and humanities teacher. A graduate of Brown University, Jill received her M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A widely published education writer, she's the co-author of Small Schools, Big Ideas: The Essential Guide to School Transformation. Jill lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband and three sons.
Lisa Sankowski, program manager
Lisa is a facilitator, program manager, and visual artist. She has dedicated her career to working with not-for-profit organizations that serve adults and children in creative learning environments, including the Boston Children’s Museum, the Open Circle Social Competency Program, the Boston Area Reggio Inspired Network, Courage & Renewal Northeast at Wellesley College, and the national Center for Courage & Renewal. Lisa is co-developer of Leading Together: Building Adult Community in Schools, the Center for Courage & Renewal’s approach to building shared leadership and adult relational trust in schools. Lisa is a painter and sculptor, working on and with paper. Creative expression through visual art has been a constant thread from childhood and a practice of mindful awareness, woven into everything she does. A graduate of Smith College, Lisa received her M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
sadada jackson, project manager
Sadada is an educator/facilitator/program manager/artist She has worked as an educator in Boston for all of her professional life. She has taught at a variety Boston Public Schools for 15+ years as a Theater, Dance, Yoga/Mindfulness, and/or English teacher. In addition to her role as an educator, she has headed the Arts Program at the Curley Middle School and began the Dance Program at Boston Latin Academy. In addition to teaching in the Boston Public Schools, she has taught dance at Roxbury Community College as a member of their adjunct faculty. She holds a Masters in Education through the Boston Teacher’s Residency Program, and a Bachelor's of the Arts in Theatre with a minor in English; both of her degrees are from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. As an artist, she has danced in 2 professional dance companies based in Cambridge, Jean Appolon Expressions and Reynaldo Gonzalez’s dance company, and has taught dance and yoga to students from ages 5 to 76 in a variety of contexts. In addition to being an educator and dancer, she has directed/managed a variety of school based programs: DELTAS Boston Public Schools and BCNC Red Oak Program, to name two, and has facilitated online and face-to-face professional development for teachers. A native of Boston, of African and Native American descent, she lives in Jamaica Plain and speaks French, conversational Spanish and Nipmuc.
seth racine, Consultant
Seth is the founder of Open Architects (OA), a central office support organization for school district leaders. In addition, Seth supports the Perrone-Sizer Institute. Prior to founding OA, Seth was the Deputy Superintendent for the Lawrence Public Schools receivership, where he led the implementation of the district’s strategic plan. Over the first three years of this receivership, math and ELA proficiency rose by 16 and 4 percentage points, respectively; graduation rates increased by nearly 20 percentage points; and the dropout rate was cut in half. Prior to joining the Lawrence Public Schools, Seth was the Deputy Chief Financial Officer for the Boston Public Schools where he designed and implemented a new school funding model, weighted student funding. Seth holds a MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a B.A. from Colgate University.
Rachel Sacks, Board/Community Liaison
Rachel Sacks holds a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from Boston University. She has served in a variety of administrative roles at organizations throughout the Boston area, including Boston University, Riverside Community Care, and the Freelance Players. Rachel is also a trained theatre artist, focusing on acting, directing, and puppetry. She is excited to be working for and supporting this progressive organization.