My Next Big Challenge

I’ve been in education—from classrooms to administrative offices to non-profits—for more than twenty-five years, and here at TNTP for more than ten. I stay because the work still challenges me every day, which is just how I like it. So today, I’m sharing some personal news: I’m ready to take on my next big challenge. I hope to lead an urban school district, and I’m moving on from TNTP to prepare myself to do that.

In my decade at TNTP, I’ve loved that our work has continued evolving—as we learn more about what works, but also about what doesn’t work. One of the things we’ve come to see with greater and greater clarity is that in education, real change happens at the local level. It’s not about swooping in as a new teacher, or a new principal or superintendent—and certainly not as an “expert”—and thinking you know how to fix things. It’s about partnering with communities, learning from them, building changes together that work for the long haul.


I believe deeply in the power of a quality education to change life outcomes for kids, as it has played that role for me, my brother and sisters, and their kids. As the nation has become more polarized and less inclusive, a great education seems more important than ever to ensure we’re building more informed, honest, and empathetic communities. Over the last year, I’ve struggled with a question I think many of us are asking ourselves: How can I best contribute to a positive change?

That’s what brought me to this decision. I miss working directly with teachers and students. And there’s no better time for me to make this move. I have tremendous confidence in the team of strong and experienced leaders at the helm of TNTP. Dan Weisberg will continue to oversee all aspects of TNTP’s operations, strategy, and growth as the passionate, effective CEO that he is. Two senior executives, Tequilla Banks and Crystal Harmon—who each have nearly 15 years of experience working with TNTP, as both staff and client—will continue to co-lead TNTP’s partnerships with school systems as they have for the past year. I’m leaving TNTP in good hands, and I know it will continue to thrive, fight for education equality, and challenge what’s possible in our sector as it has for 20 years.

Now, I’m excited to build on what I’ve learned at TNTP and dive deep into a single school system, learn from the community there, and help create change that lasts. That’s what I hope for, anyway. I know it’ll be a challenge—like all the work we do in education, because it’s hard work. But with the support of so many here at TNTP and beyond, I’m ready to take that on.

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, stands in front of her students while introducing them to the captivating world of science

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, introduces her students to the captivating world of science.

About TNTP

TNTP is the nation’s leading research, policy, and consulting organization dedicated to transforming America’s public education system, so that every generation thrives.

Today, we work side-by-side with educators, system leaders, and communities across 39 states and over 6,000 districts nationwide to reach ambitious goals for student success.

Yet the possibilities we imagine push far beyond the walls of school and the education field alone. We are catalyzing a movement across sectors to create multiple pathways for young people to achieve academic, economic, and social mobility.

Learn More About TNTP