Farewell from John Carwell
As many have heard, I am joining the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) to head the Charter Schools Program. While I will miss my work and the people at the Rodel Foundation, I am excited about this new and challenging opportunity.
Before I came to the Rodel Foundation in January of 2006, I had been involved with education on several levels. On the federal level, I served as a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of Education in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education where I managed grants for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. On the school level, I served as Program Director for the Institute for Student Achievement where I managed several school-based academic support programs for low‐performing students in the Fairfax County Public Schools district in Virginia. And just prior to joining the Rodel Foundation, I managed grants for educational programs that supported disadvantaged youth in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area with the Commonwealth Foundation.
The Rodel Foundation provided me with a wealth of knowledge regarding systemic public education reform. One of my chief responsibilities as Vice President of Community and District Partnerships was to find best practices in education reform from in and outside of the state and figure out how to replicate them in Delaware. In addition, I have had many opportunities to learn about charter schools and appreciate the critical role that they play in education reform. One of my most fulfilling experiences was serving on the board of Kuumba Academy Charter School, which helped me understand the joys and challenges of charter school governance and operations.
Now, on to my new role at the DDOE. I believe that charter schools should be the hub of innovation in public education where non-traditional ideas are merged with quality instruction to create great places of learning that serve as models for the entire public education system. It is vital that charter schools provide distinct and unique alternatives to traditional public schools to maximize the potential of students for whom traditional schools may not be the best fit. Delaware is seen as a leader in many ways for other states in the nation, and I’m excited to be a part of the DDOE as it explores new and innovative school models to serve as “proof points” for the entire country.
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