Professional Development

Leaders To Learn From 2019: A Sneak Peek

By Lesli A. Maxwell — December 05, 2018 1 min read
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One is a former foster child, now in charge of the education of 11,000 students in his hometown.

One is an instructional coach in rural West Virginia, where her work with teachers and students led to some of the strongest math performance in the state.

And one is a charter school network founder, whose drive to open good schools in a low-income community is shaped by the sacrifices his immigrant mother made to move to an affluent enclave where the public schools were top-notch.

Meet Roberto Padilla, the superintendent of the Newburgh, N.Y., school district.

Roberto Padilla

Meet Joanna Burt-Kinderman, a math instructional coach in Pocahontas County Schools in West Virginia.

Joanna Burt-Kinderman

And meet Emilio Pack, the founder and CEO of STEM Preparatory Schools in South Los Angeles.

Emilio Pack

These educators are three of Education Week’s Leaders To Learn From for 2019. We are giving you a sneak peek at these exceptional leaders in advance of the full class of Leaders To Learn From that we will reveal in February.

Though Padilla, Burt-Kinderman, and Pack work in vastly different settings amid myriad challenges, they share a powerful sense of purpose and single-mindedness about improving the lives of the students, teachers, and communities they serve.

They are risk-takers who understand that great ideas can come from anywhere. They turn to their teachers for insights and advice, they ask parents for help, they listen to what students really think, and they reach out to other partners—all in the service of children.


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