Jun 26 2023

Raising the Bar: Recruiting, Retaining and Diversifying the School Professional Workforce

Grantmakers for Education


June 26, 3:00 pm ET

For years, our education system has faced challenges in attracting, recruiting, and retaining qualified teachers – challenges that were made worse by the pandemic. Too many schools are struggling to fill vacancies for teachers, including with qualified teachers and other critical school professionals – such as bus drivers, paraprofessionals, nurses, and mental health professionals – positions that are essential to help our students recover academically, access the mental health supports they need, and thrive in and out of the classroom. Join senior leaders from the U.S. Department of Education to learn about their efforts to address this issue.

About the Raising the Bar Series

This four-part series on raising the bar is intended to facilitate a united effort to reimagine education as part of U.S. ED's Raise the Bar: Lead the World initiative to prepare students for a future of global competitiveness and lifelong learning. The webinar series is a collaboration between Council on Foundations, Grantmakers for Education and Hispanics in Philanthropy, and features guests from the U.S. Department of Education.

See video from the first session, Senior Philanthropic Leaders Meeting with Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona, here. See video from the second session, Creating Student Pathways for Global Engagement, here. A fourth session will cover achieving academic excellence; date and time TBA.

This event is intended for members and other education grantmakers.

There is no cost to attend this Grantmakers for Education program. Registration closes 15 minutes prior to the program time. Thank you for your patience; we review each registration in advance.

Council on FoundationsHispanics in Philanthropy

About the Speakers

Dr. Bernadine Futrell

Dr. Bernadine Futrell
Director, Office of Head Start
U.S. Department of Education

Bernadine Futrell, Ph.D., served as the director of the Office of Head Start (OHS) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Administration for Children and Families. Futrell, a Head Start child, began her career as an assistant Head Start teacher in Richmond, Virginia. She came to OHS in the Biden Administration from the National Head Start Association (NHSA), where she was most recently the senior director for effective practice. Prior to NHSA, Futrell led superintendent certification programs at the American Association of School Administrators.

She is co-author of the book ConnectED Leaders: Network and Amplify your Superintendency, and a regular contributor in research studies. Committed to service, she is a member of the advisory committees at George Mason University and Howard University.

Futrell holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, a master’s degree in educational psychology from George Mason University, a Ph.D. in education policy from George Mason University and post-graduate certificates from Complutense University of Madrid and Harvard University. Futrell and her husband are the proud parents of two elementary-aged children.

Katherine Neas

Katherine Neas
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
U.S. Department of Education

Katherine Neas is the deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the United States Department of Education. In this capacity, she serves as advisor to the U.S. secretary of education on matters related to the education of children and youth with disabilities, as well as employment and community living for youth and adults with disabilities. The mission of her office is to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes, and to raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation.

Neas previously served as senior vice president of public affairs at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). In this role, she oversaw APTA’s federal and state government public policy activities, federal regulatory affairs, grassroots and political action efforts, public relations along with payment and practice management activities. Prior to joining APTA, Neas spent 23 years at Easterseals, a national nonprofit provider of direct services to children and adults with disabilities and their families. Her roles at Easterseals included service on the senior management team, federal and state government relations advocacy, oversight of federal grants and contracts and management of the Easterseals Office of Public Affairs. Prior to Easterseals, Neas was the associate director of the American Association of University Affiliated Programs for persons with Developmental Disabilities. She also was legislative staff to Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin (D.-Iowa) of the Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy between 1987 and 1991, where she worked on all disability legislation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

A graduate of Georgetown University, she hails from Des Moines, Iowa.

Callie Riley

Callie Riley
Senior Program Officer for Education Grantmaking
Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies

Callie Riley is a Senior Program Officer for Education Grantmaking at Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. In this role, she supports efforts to increase access to high-quality instructional materials, improve aligned professional learning and understand how districts, charters and state education agencies can design systems that enable teachers to create engaging, affirming and meaningful learning opportunities for all kids, with a focus on low-income and/or Black and Latino students and multilingual learners.

Callie has collaborated with K-16 leaders from over 35 states, hundreds of districts, institutions of higher education, foundations, teachers unions and non-profits in support of the adoption and implementation of college- and career-ready standards and assessment-related policy and practice. Before joining Schusterman, she led strategic partnerships for UPD Consulting, led educator engagement for the PARCC consortium, and managed the higher education policy and practice strategy for Achieve. A child of educators, she began her career as a middle school English and reading teacher in Japan and Florida.

Callie holds a master’s in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor’s in East Asian Studies from Wittenberg University. She’s a member and past president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington DC Regional Board of Directors, served on the organization’s Metropolitan Board of Directors and is also an advisor for Boddle Learning, an edtech start up. She enjoys wandering around the globe, seeing live music and listening to the drum circle in her local park.


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