Teacher Preparation

TFA’s Wendy Kopp Transitions Into Board Role

By Stephen Sawchuk — February 13, 2013 1 min read
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The founder of the Teach For America program, Wendy Kopp, will step down as the organization’s chief executive officer, but will remain active in the organization by assuming the role of chairwoman of its board of directors.

Matt Kramer and Elisa Villanueva Beard will take over as co-CEOs, the organization said today in a press release. Both have long been members of the organization’s senior leadership team.

Kopp, 45, founded TFA in 1990. From an initial cohort of 50, the organization now sends a highly select group of more than 10,000 college graduates and other adults annually into low-performing schools for two years. A little more than half of TFA members leave their initial placements after their two-year commitment ends, though 60 percent do remain classroom teachers, according to this research paper.

In addition to serving as board chair, Kopp will remain the CEO of Teach For All, which supports a network of 26 organizations in other countries that are also working to recruit young talent for roles as teachers and education policy leaders.

Kramer will oversee recruitment, admissions, training, and communications, among other things. Beard will be in charge of regional operations and will “represent the organization publicly,” the release says.

The transition is effective March 1.

And as for Kopp, perhaps the best description of what she’ll be doing in her new role comes from this message she sent to current TFAers and alumni.

“As for me, no goodbye notes please! I’m not going anywhere. ... I’ll continue my regular visits with groups of you across the country and will keep speaking, writing, and tweeting on behalf of our work. I’ll be an active resource to the new co-CEOs in cultivating champions for our cause, informing our strategic direction, providing advice and counsel, and deepening public understanding of our values and theory of change.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.