Desmond Blackburn, PhD, Steps Down as New Teacher Center CEO, Accepts Role with New York City Department of Education

·3 min read

Board Unanimously Appoints Chief Program Officer Atyani Howard and Chief Operating Officer Arthur Mills IV as Interim Co-CEOs

SANTA CRUZ, CA, Jan. 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The New Teacher Center (NTC) Board of Directors today announced that Desmond Blackburn, PhD, has stepped down from his post as Chief Executive Officer and accepted a position as Deputy Chancellor of School Leadership with the New York City Department of Education. The board has unanimously appointed Chief Program Officer Atyani Howard and Chief Operating Officer Arthur Mills IV to the roles of interim co-CEOs, effective immediately. Blackburn will support the new leadership team behind the scenes in the weeks ahead to ensure a smooth transition.

“We are grateful for Desmond’s contributions over the past four years, which have energized and focused NTC’s mission while navigating a pandemic and a racial equity movement,” said Shruti Sehra, chair of NTC’s Board of Directors. “We wish him well in New York and are thrilled he’ll carry with him the spirit of our mission, vision, and a national understanding of how to support educators to excel in their craft and knock down inequities facing students.”

During his tenure, Dr. Blackburn led the refinement of NTC’s mission to put systemically underserved students at the center of its services and worked to develop and shepherd in a five-year strategic plan to provide critical support to educators.

“I am humbled to have served NTC, helping advance its vision for equity during a critical time,” said Dr. Blackburn. “With our team and dedicated partners, we have accomplished a lot here at NTC, and I’m looking forward to bringing these successes to the students in New York City. I’m heartened by knowing that this organization will be led forward by Atyani and Arthur as co-CEOs. They are skillful leaders who have deep passion and commitment to drive the future of this essential work.”

As interim co-CEOs, Howard and Mills will lead the organization’s mission to improve teacher-student engagement in the classroom, increase educator retention, and ultimately provide an equitable, rigorous, and student-centered learning environment for learners.

“Arthur and I have been inspired by the vision Desmond has helped to bring forth. His commitment to rigorous and equitable education is the very reason we joined NTC,” said Howard. “Building on the momentum he created, our shared focus now is on carrying forward the work of advancing equity and inclusion among our priority student communities as well as here at NTC. The need for educational equity for all students is a mission that transcends any one of us. That is why we are so passionate about equipping educators and communities across our nation to improve educational opportunities for students.”

“Atyani and I are excited to continue building a sustainable organization, attract more great talent to join us, and realize the ultimate impact we seek for years to come,” said Mills IV.

The Board of Directors has engaged Offor, a leading talent search firm, to start the process of a national search for NTC's next CEO.

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New Teacher Center (NTC) is a national nonprofit focused on supporting systemically underserved students student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders. NTC partners with states, school districts, and policymakers to design and implement coaching-based professional learning programs. Its unique coaching model spans and balances educational ecosystems to build cultures of equitable, higher-quality learning, student-centered instructional strategies, increased teacher retention, and optimal teaching and learning environments where every young person feels seen, connected, and challenged to succeed.

CONTACT: Chris Roddy, Director of Marketing and Communications New Teacher Center (831) 291-0369

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