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Team and Leadership

Team and Leadership

Our Leadership Team

Our Leadership Team

Desmond Blackburn

Chief Executive Officer

A portrait photo of CEO smiling with two teeth.

Desmond Blackburn, Ph.D, is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New Teacher Center (NTC). NTC is a national non-profit organization dedicated…

Desmond Blackburn, Ph.D, is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New Teacher Center (NTC). NTC is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving student learning by guiding a new generation of educators. Founded in 1998, NTC works in conjunction with school districts, state policymakers, and educators across the country to…

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Atyani Howard

Chief Program Officer

Atyani Howard

Atyani Howard oversees NTC’s program vision, innovation, and client delivery while providing collaborative leadership as part of our national Equity…

Atyani Howard oversees NTC’s program vision, innovation, and client delivery while providing collaborative leadership as part of our national Equity Commission. Before her role at NTC, Howard served as the vice president of academics for The New Teacher Project (TNTP), where she led on instructional programs, business development, program…

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Arthur Mills IV

Chief Operating Officer

Arthur Mills IV

Arthur Mills IV leads NTC’s shared services, including finance, human resources, communications, operations, and digital transformation/IT groups. His experience in…

Arthur Mills IV leads NTC’s shared services, including finance, human resources, communications, operations, and digital transformation/IT groups. His experience in dynamic roles within both the private and education sectors provides him a unique perspective and strengthens the organization’s culture and operational performance…

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NTC Equity Commission

NTC is committed to our mission: to disrupt the predictability of educational inequities for systemically underserved students by accelerating educator effectiveness.

It’s a tall order that we can’t do alone.

We want to push the paradigm on what we know to be true. To do so, we need help identifying what’s hidden from view. So we’ve built a community of perspectives to ensure NTC is serving students experiencing poverty, BIPOC students, English-language learners, students with learning differences, and immigrant students. The Equity Commission (EC) is a partnership, shining a spotlight on the roots of systemic problems that harm our most vulnerable kids.

Learn more about our Equity Commission

Education Equity Commission Members

  • David Adams CEO, The Urban Assembly
  • Vernae Bezear Instructional Coach, NYDOE
  • Dr. Dawn Brooks DeCosta Principal, Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School
  • Anne Childers Teacher, Pajaro Valley School Disctrict
  • Nancy Dome Co-founder and CEO, Epoch Education
  • Sharif El-Mekki Founder & CEO, Center for Black Educator Development
  • Brandon Frame Director of Social Emotional Learning, The Urban Assembly
  • Lisa Fulton LICSW, Four Directions Behavioral Health
  • Laleña Garcia Kindergarten Teacher & Early Childhood Specialist, Rooted Kids
  • Danica Goyens-Ward Teacher and NTC Mentor Trainer, NYCDOE
  • Lindsay Kruse Independent Consultant, Educating All Learners Alliance
  • Shannon Leonard Director of Teaching & Learning, KIPP SoCal
  • Cary Matsuoka Retired Superintendent, Santa Barbara USD
  • Alejandra Meza Rising Junior, Pacific Collegiate School
  • Dr. Gholdy Muhammad Associate Professor of Language and Literacy, Georgia State
  • Carola Oliva-Olson Senior Principal Education Researcher, SRI
  • Norka Padilla Instructional Specialist, Montgomery County Schools
  • Karen Pittman CEO, Forum for Youth Investment
  • Lisa Quay Executive Director, Student Experience Research Network
  • Tanji Reed Marshall Director of P-12 Practice, The Education Trust
  • Hector Rico Director of DEI, Pacific Collegiate School
  • Zanthee Schwarzmann Rising Senior, Pacific Collegiate School
  • Dr. Aida Walqui Senior Research Scientist, West Ed

Thoughts from Our Equity Commission

“All children are equally, immensely talented and have a tremendous potential to grow. It is the responsibility of educators to develop that potential. NTC works to give educators the supports they need to do that.”

Dr. Aída Walqui
Senior Research Scientist
West Ed

We use language for our kids around self-awareness, being able to access external supports, and also being able to understand their needs and emotions. NTC’s instructional coaching process develops similar competencies in teachers themselves. And when teachers experience high-quality relationships and trust, they can reflect that into their classroom.

David Adams
Chief Executive Officer
The Urban Assembly

NTC’s professional learning series was a great way to make me really think about my practice. Before, I understood the idea of being nonjudgmental when working with new teachers, but it was hard because I didn’t have the tools or guides to keep me focused. The support I got from the series keeps me grounded.

Vernae Bezear
Instructional Coach
NYDOE

Our Board

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David Spiller

Board Secretary

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Timeline

From our kitchen table origins over 20 years ago, we’ve grown into a national leader in supporting educators.

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