Greg Jobin-Leeds announces search for new president, praises departing president, Rosa A. Smith, Ph.D.

Dear Friends,

After more than five extraordinary years of visionary leadership, Dr. Rosa A. Smith has decided that next spring she will step down as President and CEO. As she leaves Schott and enters a new place in her career and life’s work — with Schott support — she will take her nationally acclaimed Black boys work to its next level. She put it this way: “The achievement results for the majority of black male students are at a crisis level and require the best thinking and practices available to us.”

I speak for our Staff and Board when I say that I am saddened by Rosa’s departure, awed by what she has accomplished at Schott, and joyful that she will carry on the good work.

Some of the numerous accomplishments during her tenure include:

The Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) and the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) in New York orchestrated an $11B win in the state’s courts in 2006 delivering desperately needed resources to create high quality facilities for New York City’s underserved public school students.  In the process, CFE and AQE created a diverse, statewide coalition, ready to continue the fight to ensure that the court ordered $5.6 billion annual dollars go for teacher development, small class size and universal Pre-k.

Schott released three State Report Cards on “Public Education and Black Male Students.” These reports unleashed a whirlwind of outrage and determined action on behalf of Black male students across America.

In Massachusetts, through our support of the Early Education for All Campaign, we gained unanimous support from both houses of the state legislature in 2006 for a universal pre-kindergarten bill.  The Schott Foundation instituted The Schott Fellowship for Early Care and Education. With a new home at Cambridge College, the Schott Fellows program is creating a steady supply of new early care and education leaders of color who are creating effective public policy, being invited to sit at critical decision-making tables, and running for public office.

Schott will continue to accelerate and expand all this great work. For 15 years we have developed and strengthened a broad based and representative movement to achieve fully funded, high quality pre-K to 12 public schools.

Over the next six months, Rosa will help us to stay focused and on course to maintain our momentum. Our powerful, well-prepared team will continue to build on Schott’s record of success.

Transitions, at their best, are times of celebration and of opportunity. Rosa and the staff have laid solid groundwork that enables us to take new steps forward to ensure that all students experience fairness, access, and opportunity in quality public schools. Schott will continue its work of developing and supporting extraordinary leaders in Massachusetts and New York who will mobilize the public to demand high quality pre-K-12 public education for the children of those states.

Please join me in thanking Rosa for all that she has done for Schott and for all of our children — and in wishing Rosa great success in all that she will continue to do.

We are working with Isaacson Miller, the same executive search firm that found us Rosa, to begin our search for a new president. Schott’s future president can look forward to leading a strong, competent staff in an organization with robust organizational systems, which Rosa and the Schott team have put in place. If you know an exceptional leader seeking an opportunity to lead an extraordinary organization like Schott, we would greatly appreciate hearing from you.


Greg Jobin-Leeds
Schott Foundation for Public Education