Transformative Education Begins with You
The year-long Fisher Fellowship programming is designed to provide in-depth support and insight into the processes and best practices involved in school leadership—including instructional leadership, performance management, staff recruitment and selection, and developing school culture.
The Fisher Fellowship takes highly-effective educators and turns them into highly-effective leaders.
Our program utilizes evidenced-based practices rooted in the KIPP Leading for Learning Actions and in the KIPP Leadership Framework and Competencies that will prepare you to open the doors to a new KIPP school.
After one year, you will be able to set ambitious goals and to relentlessly plan and prioritize them. You will learn how to hire and retain the best of the best and to build your expertise in effective instructional design and academic standards. You will be able to demonstrate an understanding of self as a leader, your impact on others, and your overall leadership philosophy.
Expect to be challenged. Expect to be enriched. Expect to be transformed.
Unique to the Fisher Fellowship
As a Fisher Fellow you will complete four to five Residences and a School Design Plan that will challenge, empower, and equip you to found, lead, and grow a new high-performing KIPP school.
The fellowship includes four to five residencies at KIPP schools outside the fellow’s region. Each four-day residency provides fellows with an opportunity to gain insight into the instructional, operational, and performance management practices of successful schools and school leaders. Additionally, Fellows will take part in four to five week-long school and operational residencies in his/her own region.
School Design Plan
Creation of a comprehensive plan that guides all design, implementation, and growth of the fellow’s new school.
Meet Our Current Fisher Fellows
Kate BeldenFounding a KIPP K-8 school in East Palo Alto, CA
Kate started her journey with KIPP in 2007 as KIPP King Collegiate High Schools Founding 9th grade English Teacher. Over the past nine years, she has served in many different roles at King, including Grade Level Chair, Department Chair, Dean of Curriculum, Student Government Founder, Assistant Principal of Student Support, and for the past four years, Principal.
Before working with KIPP, Kate taught 6th to 8th grade English as a Teach For America Corps member at a large public middle school in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City.
Kate earned a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in English and Anthropology, and holds an M.S. in Teaching from Fordham University, and an M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from National-Louis University. Kate participated in the KIPP School Leadership Program.
Outside of school, Kate enjoys cooking, reading, traveling the world, and exploring the beautiful Bay Area. After spending many years working within high schools, Kate has become deeply aware of the importance of an excellent preK-12 education in order to best prepare our students for success in college.
She is inspired to return to her middle school roots and to learn about elementary education and she is honored to create more educational opportunities for students in the Bay Area!
Leyla Bravo-WilleyFounding a new KIPP region by opening the first KIPP Miami elementary school
Leyla Bravo-Willey, born in Nicaragua, grew up in Miami and is thrilled to return to her home community. Previous to KIPP, she was a bilingual teacher at P.S. 70 for Teach For America and taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grade.
For the last 9 years, Leyla has worked at KIPP Infinity Middle School in Harlem, NY. Currently, she serves as the Director of Lower School and has served as the Dean, 5th Grade Nonfiction Studies teacher, and school lead for character education.
Leyla has coached a variety of teachers, including nonfiction studies, writing, and specials teachers. In 2015, she received the Innovation Award from KIPP NYC for her work with character education and KIPP Circles across the region.
Leyla has been featured on NBC, PBS, The New York Times, The New Republic, and various international media outlets for her work with character education and has worked closely with the Character Lab. She has also done a TEDx talk on positive peer pressure and how it can transform school discipline.
Outside of her workday, Leyla enjoys salsa dancing/performing and spending time with her husband, Ian, and daughter, Soraya.
Lisa BoydFounding a KIPP middles school in San Antonio, TX
Originally from South Dakota, Lisa moved to San Antonio, TX in 2000 to teach. She started teaching elementary Spanish at Elm Creek Elementary and then moved to the middle school level in 2002 and taught 6th 8th Spanish and Peer Assistance Leadership at Bradley Middle School.
Lisa joined KIPP Aspire in 2005 as a founding 7th grade Spanish and Technology teacher; she was a grade team leader, and she taught Tae Kwon Do as part of the schools athletic program. She then moved to New York City in 2007 and taught middle school Spanish and Technology.
She taught in east Harlem at Harlem Village Academy and became the schools operations director and eventually the principal of the school. She thrived on the strong teacher and student culture created at the school, and served as the principal for two years before moving back to San Antonio, TX, in 2014.
Lisa currently works in the KIPP San Antonio network as an English as a Second Language coach. She received her BA in Elementary Education and Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa and participated in study abroad experiences in Spain and Puerto Rico. Lisa earned her MA in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University.
She enjoys snowboarding, traveling, hiking, camping, and visiting her family. Lisa loves spending time with her husband, Justin, and her two boys Dylan and Connor.
Delshon HenryFounding a KIPP middle school in Dallas-Forth Worth, TX
Mr. Henry was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. He has always believed in uplifting youth and has been an advocate to provide them with the educational means to be successful. Mr. Henry has taught in choice, charter, and public schools.
His experiences include principal, curriculum writer, academic dean, summer school director, community learning center coordinator, AP coordinator, department chair, and lead teacher. Mr. Henry has taught multiple grade levels from 5th through 10th. He has always had a passion for teaching and working with junior high students.
Mr. Henry’s ability to not only improve the academic status of his scholars, but also motivate and coach teachers awarded him the opportunity to become an academic dean. Mr. Henry has always believed in the importance of growing and learning.
After graduating from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with his Bachelor’s degree in Education with a focus on Urban Education, Mr. Henry obtained a Master’s degree in Education from Alverno College. Mr. Henry went on to secure his Principal License and will obtain his Director of Curriculum License by the end of spring.
Colleen KennedyFounding a KIPP elementary school in Los Angeles, CA
Prior to the Fisher Fellowship, Colleen was a Dean at KIPP Comienza Community Prep in southeast Los Angeles. As a Dean, Colleen coached and managed teachers, supported student culture and investment, and worked closely with families through the Family Leadership Council.
Prior to becoming a dean, Colleen began teaching at KIPP Comienza in 2012, teaching Kindergarten and also serving as a founding teacher for 2nd and 4th grades. From 2014-2015, she served as a Kindergarten and then 4th grade level lead, responsible for teaching, data analysis, and teacher development.
Before joining the KIPP team and family in Los Angeles, Colleen was a teacher with Mastery Charter Schools in Philadelphia through Teach For America.
Colleen received her M.S. Ed. in Urban Education at the University of Pennsylvania, and she double majored in Government and Psychology at the College of William and Mary. Outside of school, Colleen enjoys spending time with friends and family, running, reading, and exploring the scenery and sites of southern California.
Colleen is excited to continue working to prove the possible for students and families across Los Angeles as she continues her work with KIPP LA in the coming years!
Lisa McClintonFounding a new KIPP school in Houston, TX
Lisa McClinton began her career after college as a high school English teacher. She eventually completed her experience in the classroom at the middle school level as a middle school English teacher for 14 years.
She has worked as a Classroom Management Consultant, Dean of Instruction, and an Education Program Manager for turnaround schools in the Houston Independent School District. She entered the Aspiring Principals Institute with H.I.S.D. in 2008 and completed her internship at Westside High School in Houston Independent School District.
After her internship year, she led both elementary and middle schools prior to joining KIPP. Lisa joined KIPP in 2012, and became the School Leader at KIPP Sunnyside High School for the 2013-14 school year after serving as Director of Academic Projects at KIPP Houston Public Schools.
With more than 25 years in public education, Lisa earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Schreiner University and her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston.
Lisa is proud to have a daughter who is completing her last year in college to become a middle school science teacher.
Amanda RawlingsOpening joint alternative school between YES Prep Public Schools and KIPP Public Schools in Houston, TX
Amanda Rawlings is currently the Director of Student Support at YES Prep East End in Houston. She oversees a comprehensive student support program that emphasizes collaboration between academic and student support structures on campus. She leads her team to ensure that her campus provides intervention-driven discipline support, Special Education services, and social and emotional support and programming.
Amanda began her career with YES Prep in 2007 teaching 7th grade Science and Art, and then taught 9th grade Biology. She is a Kinder Excellence in teaching award recipient and has developed her leadership skills through her roles as Grade Level Chair, High School Principal, and now as the Director of Student Support, where she has developed intervention structures to better support students who lack academic and social skills.
Amanda received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University where she studied Studio Art and Biology.
Outside of work, Amanda spends time with her husband, two adopted sons (D and Willie), and three dogs. She believes in the power of service and has taken several trips to Pakistan to be present in hard places and is always looking for opportunities to volunteer with her children.
Christa ThomasFounded new KIPP elementary school in Nashville, TX
As the founding principal of KIPP Nashvilles newest elementary school, Christa is determined for each of her future KIPPsters to actualize the words of Benjamin E. Mays quote. It is her firm belief that a school should always be the heartbeat of a community, and that it is our job, as educators, to pour into the lives of our students in a way that prepares them to step into and lead in the purpose assigned for their lives.
Christa is currently the Principal at Rocketship Nashville Northeast Elementary School, where she is continuously blown away daily by the persistence and passion of her students, staff, and families.
Prior to joining Rocketship, she served as a 7th and 5th grade Humanities and Writing teacher at KIPP Ascend Middle School in Chicago, Illinois. Her former KIPPsters all still have a special place in her heart!
Christa also spent two years as a Manager, Teacher Leadership Development with Teach For America in Chicago where she fell in love with coaching and developing teachers. In the summers of 2011 and 2013, she was able to engage her love for effective instruction and teacher development as an Elementary Curriculum Specialist for the Teach For America Chicago Institute.
She began her teaching career in 2008 as a Teach For America Corps member in Jacksonville, Florida where her 4th grade students made a lasting impact on her life and shaped the person and educator she is today.
Christa received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Spelman College. Outside of school, Christa loves shopping at home décor stores and reading.
Meg WheelerFounding a KIPP middle school in Oklahoma City, OK
Meg Wheeler is proud to be the first Fisher Fellow in Oklahoma City, since 2002, where she will found a middle school in the South OKC community.
She is most recently an assistant principal at KIPP Reach College Prep and a 2015 Miles Family Fellow. Previously, she taught in Red Hook, Brooklyn as a Teach for America Corps member. She served first as the founding 8th grade English teacher and then as the 6th grade writing teacher and grade level chair.
While teaching in New York, she was also part of the founding cohort at Relay Graduate School of Education. She spent four years as the manager of a Harlem RBI softball team leading her squad to runner-up and championship accolades in the final two seasons. Upon moving home, Meg joined the team and family at KIPP Reach as an instructional coach for the writing department.
In her first year as Lower School Assistant Principal, she led the 5th and 6th grade teams to strong student outcomes that contributed to the school earning a 99% on the state report card. As Assistant Principal, she coached teachers in data-driven instruction, building content knowledge, and general pedagogy.
Meg is a native Oklahoman and a proud alumna of Oklahoma State University. Outside of school, Meg enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and puppy, Sam. She periodically trains for half marathons, loves to travel, and is an avid reader and podcast listener.
Fisher Fellowship Applicant FAQs
Attendance is a mandatory and crucial part of the Fisher Fellowship, and all Fisher Fellows are required to attend the full session.
During Institute, Fisher Fellows live and work together in dormitory-style housing. Housing and meals are paid for by the KIPP Foundation.
Because of the demanding schedule of Institute and the need to collaborate with other participants and faculty, all Fisher Fellows are required to live in the housing provided for the duration of the Institute.
The ability to open a school will be made based on a variety of factors, which include the region’s ability to find a facility, secure a charter, and acquire necessary funding to open your school.
Given this, there is no guarantee for Fisher Fellows that they will open schools once they have completed their Fellowship training year.
The KIPP Foundation provides a variety of support to school leaders once they open their school. School leaders can reach out to KIPP Foundation staff for support in operations (legal, financial, facility, accounting, public relations, and marketing); instructional leadership; specific professional development retreats for teachers and office staff; or direct professional development support.
In addition, our regional structure provides schools with oversight from regional Executive Directors. Each region also shares a school support center, which provides joint administrative, operational, and academic resources across the region. Most importantly, the region shares a strategic plan, or roadmap, for consistent execution in identifying and cultivating school leaders, maintaining high levels of quality and performance, promoting the sustainability of individual schools, and assessing future growth possibilities.
You should submit the assessment that most accurately and thoroughly demonstrates the academic outcomes achieved of the students of the teachers you coached. If you have state test results, please submit those.
If you don’t have state test results, please send the in-class assessments you used to measure student academic progress (e.g. Terra Nova).
You don’t need to share your students’ names or individual scores. You can share aggregate results at the classroom or school level.
Candidates may only apply once per application year. We do encourage candidates to re-apply in future years should they feel they are better prepared as a candidate based on additional experience they have gained.
All candidates are evaluated by the Leadership Competencies. Read more about the Leadership Competencies here.
Candidates are offered the Fisher Fellowship if they demonstrate strong skills and readiness to open a KIPP school according to our selection criteria.
Candidates are offered the Miles Family Fellowship if the selection committee believes they are high-quality candidates with the potential to develop into strong Fisher Fellows within one year.