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New Teacher Center Names Desmond Blackburn CEO

NEWS RELEASE: For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Lauren Empson, Director of Communications,

New Teacher Center Names Desmond Blackburn CEO

Brevard Public Schools Superintendent, Chief for Change, and Broad Fellow to bring visionary leadership to national nonprofit

SANTA CRUZ, CA New Teacher Center (NTC), a national nonprofit focused on improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders, today announced Desmond Blackburn, Superintendent of Brevard Public Schools, Chief for Change, and Broad Fellow, as the new CEO. A former superintendent, principal, classroom teacher, and community leader, Blackburn brings more than two decades of experience leading educators driven to achieving educational equity for every student.

Blackburn was selected from a national pool of candidates and will replace founder and CEO Ellen Moir, who announced her plans to retire after leading the organization for 20 years.  

“The Board of Directors, staff, and I are extremely excited to have Desmond bring his dedication, vision, and drive to NTC,” said Moir. “He is a lifelong champion of students and has worked to help educators be their best in and out of the classroom. With his thought leadership and public advocacy for students and teachers, NTC will not only continue supporting educators, but we will expand our work and deepen our impact so that more educators receive the level of professional learning and support we know drives meaningful student outcomes.”

Blackburn has served as Superintendent of Florida’s Brevard Public Schools since 2015. As the leader of Florida’s 10th largest school district, and overseeing 75,000 students and 9,000 employees, he exercised his leadership skills to create a new vision and strategic plan for the district. Under his leadership, Brevard Public Schools achieved 65% proficiency on 3rd grade literacy assessments, the 10th highest graduation rate in the state, and three schools earned the distinguished Blue Ribbon award in 2017, the only district in the state to receive multiple


“Desmond’s first-hand experience as a practitioner, coupled with his transformative leadership, will directly benefit the educators and students we serve,” said NTC Board Chairman, Lance Fors. “Having our organization led by someone who understands and represents the communities we prioritize is critical for our future. Bringing his own experiences, professional track record, and personal commitment toward equity, Desmond will help elevate NTC’s advancement of educational equity and spark a nationwide platform for change.”

Before being appointed the Superintendent of Brevard Public Schools, Blackburn served as  Chief School Performance & Accountability Officer of Broward County Schools, the 7th largest school district in the nation. In this role, he implemented and oversaw a number of district-wide initiatives geared to increase school and teacher leadership and development. He began his career as a high school math teacher and has since served as an Area Superintendent, Area Director of School Improvement, Principal, and Assistant Principal.

“I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to lead NTC,” said Blackburn. “As both an educator and district leader, I have a thorough understanding of the challenges that teachers face in the classroom, the responsibilities of school leaders, and the important role that mentors and coaches play to help educators meet these challenges and fulfill these responsibilities. I am thrilled to be joining NTC to elevate the teaching profession and expand opportunities for students.”

Blackburn is planning to assume his role as the leader of NTC in August 2018.

“I am committed to fulfilling NTC’s mission and the promise of a public education for every student,” said Blackburn. “I look forward to working alongside the amazing staff, Board of Directors, and our partners to build on what we’ve learned and deepen the impact of our programs. Our students, especially those from underserved communities, deserve our absolute best. That’s exactly what we’re going to provide.”

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New Teacher Center (NTC) is a national nonprofit focused on improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders. NTC partners with states, school districts, and policymakers to design and implement programs that create sustainable, high-quality mentoring and professional development; build leadership capacity; work to enhance teaching conditions; improve retention; and transform schools into vibrant learning communities where all students succeed.

Leave A Reply

3 responses to “New Teacher Center Names Desmond Blackburn CEO”

  1. Jamie Ricketts says:

    NTC is getting a fantastic leader!

  2. Cheryl Lynne Lopez says:

    Looking forward to an accomplished educator who seems set and ready to provide “Onward” leadership!

  3. Hope Anderson says:

    Congratulations! It takes a dedicated hands on professional to lead and bring positive changes,

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