Since our founding, Uncommon Schools has always been driven by student achievement. Our mission has remained constant: to start and run rigorous, joyful schools that support our students in getting to and through college. With that in mind, we are excited to name Julie Jackson as our first President of Uncommon Schools.
Julie is a nationally recognized, award-winning educator who has indelibly helped define what it means to be an Uncommon school over the course of the past 20 years. Starting July 1st, Julie will oversee our 54 schools serving 20,000 students K-12, partner with CEO Brett Peiser on organizational priorities, directly oversee the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work which is central to Uncommon’s mission, and expand her external role as an ambassador for Uncommon.
Julie is quite simply a powerhouse of vision, insight, and love for students. She shared that vision in a recent speech to our school leaders:
“Dream big, think big, and stay focused on the goal: to make sure every student is seen and keep our promise of providing an educational experience that is worthy of their greatness.”
Since 1998 – as an early founding teacher at North Star Academy (NSA) – Julie has helped build our schools to what they are today, while training and mentoring hundreds of educators across the country. Her vision for great schools is what led Oprah Winfrey to ask her in 2000 to help open the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa and to become a board member of the school.
Julie will manage a team of exceptional leaders in overseeing our schools:
- Juliana Worrell will become Chief Schools Officer, K-8, taking over for Julie and bringing her talents to overseeing our 45 elementary and middle schools.
- Paul Bambrick-Santoyo will continue as Chief Schools Officer, 9-12 and K-12 Content Development – leading our 9 high schools, professional development, and college completion work to even greater heights.
- Michael Ambriz will continue as Chief of Operations – leading us in ensuring our school, regional, and Home Office operations are aligned and consistently excellent.
Juliana Worrell’s impact at Uncommon and beyond is also tremendous: founding elementary school teacher at our first NSA elementary school in 2007, Principal of three schools (including our first turnaround, NSA Alexander Street Elementary), and co-author of Great Habits, Great Readers with Paul Bambrick-Santoyo. She has most recently been serving as Assistant Superintendent of our Newark and NYC elementary schools.
With Julie and Juliana in their new roles, we are proud of the even stronger diversity of our Executive Team, and that our scholars can look to our leadership and continue to see themselves reflected. We look forward to entering the next exciting stage of Uncommon’s development as we advance our mission and strengthen our leadership now and in the years to come.