Introducing Rethinking Schools’ New Executive Director

Dear Supporters and Friends of Rethinking Schools,

We are thrilled to introduce you to Dr. Cierra Kaler-Jones and to welcome her as Rethinking Schools’ first-ever Executive Director, effective January 17, 2023. As we begin our 37th year of publication, we could not be more excited to welcome Cierra during this key moment for Rethinking Schools and for public education in the United States.

As many of you may know, we began our Executive Director search this June. We received a huge number of applications and ended up with a diverse and talented pool of candidates. Cierra met with our search committee, the Rethinking Schools staff, our editorial board, and our board of directors. Her selection was unanimous.

”It’s a joy to welcome Cierra to lead Rethinking Schools,” said Rethinking Schools Board President Stan Karp. “We are all excited to follow her vision of social justice into the future.”   

Cierra is a teacher, a dancer, a writer, and a researcher. Most recently, she has been Director of Storytelling at the Communities for Just Schools Fund, a national collaborative that links philanthropy with grassroots organizing, which grew out of Black parents in Mississippi demanding justice for their children in schools.

You may recognize her byline from recent articles, “Coming Home to Ourselves,” about Cynthia B. Dillard’s The Spirit of Our Work: Black Women Teachers (Re)member [Summer 2022]; and “Through the Lens of Those We Love: Uplifting Oral Histories and Finding Common Threads” [Fall 2021].

Cierra is also on the leadership team of the Zinn Education Project, which Rethinking Schools coordinates with Teaching for Change, and has hosted many of our “Teach the Black Freedom Struggle” classes, which launched in March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic.

As the Executive Director of Rethinking Schools, Cierra is committed to leading with “attention, care, vulnerability, openness, and a heart for radical possibility.” 

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Cierra Kaler-Jones to the Rethinking Schools family. We’ll be sharing more about Cierra in the coming days and can’t wait for you to meet her. 

The Rethinking Schools board of directors