Carey Harris leaving A+ Schools for PA Early Learing Investment Comm.
After 12 years with A+ Schools, Carey A. Harris, Executive Director, will be leaving to run the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission.
During her tenure, she grew the organization into a powerful force for educational equity and excellence in Pittsburgh. Starting with the Report to the Community on Public School Progress, A+ Schools has become a go-to source for research, analysis, and community engagement about the complex issues facing students in Pittsburgh’s schools.
“We are so grateful for all the work Carey has done to grow this organization into the trusted advocate it is today,” said Dr. Tracey Reed-Armant, chairperson of A+ Schools Board. “Thanks to Carey, we have made huge strides for students in Pittsburgh and pioneered new ways to engage youth and parent advocates in some of our most vulnerable schools across this District.”
In her years with the organization, Ms. Harris developed and led an advocacy agenda to engage and mobilize thousands of parents, students, and community members that won increased access to art, music, library, and advanced courses for low income and African American students, and improved teacher quality practices. She tripled the organization’s budget and quadrupled the size of the staff attracting local and national foundation funding and the financial support of hundreds of individual supporters.
During her tenure, A+ Schools created unique programs and approaches that demystified public education and created opportunities for community action such as Board Watch, School Works, Teen Bloc and Parent Nation.
“In my time, I’ve seen our district change in some significant ways. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together with our partners at the district, in schools, and across the city,” said Ms. Harris. “And while it is time for me to take on this exciting new challenge with the Early Learning Investment Commission, I am confident that A+ Schools is positioned to continue making a great impact on public education on behalf of Pittsburgh’s students.”
In her new role, Ms. Harris will provide leadership for the Governor’s Early Learning Investment Commission recruiting business, civic, and educational leaders from across the Commonwealth to support investment in early childhood initiatives and the formation and successful implementation of public-private partnerships across program sectors.
“We’re excited to get someone of Carey’s caliber to take on this position,” said Michelle Figlar, deputy secretary of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning. “Pittsburgh’s youngest children will continue to benefit from her leadership as she works with our business community to build the capacity of our early education system in the Commonwealth.”
The Executive Committee of the Board of A+ Schools will be seeking proposals from prospective search firms to help find a replacement for Ms. Harris. Interested parties will have until May 27 to provide their responses. A search committee of the Board of A+ Schools, a Pittsburgh Public Schools’ parent, a student, and additional community leaders will then work with the firm to interview and identify A+ Schools’ next leader.
James Fogarty will serve as the interim director during the search process.