Transformative Education Begins with You
The Fisher Fellowship is a highly-selective, one-year, cohort-based leadership program that is designed to provide in-depth support and insight into the processes and best practices involved in school leadership.
The Fisher Fellowship takes highly-effective leaders and prepares them to open a new KIPP school.
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 Launch Plan that will challenge, empower, and equip you to found, lead, and grow a new high-performing KIPP school.
The fellowship includes up to four residencies at KIPP schools outside the fellow’s region. Each three-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 up to five week-long school and operational residencies in his/her own region.
School Launch Plan
Creation of a comprehensive plan that guides the founding and growth of the fellow’s new school.
Meet Our Current Fisher Fellows
David BransonFounding KIPP New Jersey High School
David started out as a child. He was born, as most are, to parents and those parents informed a great deal of his upbringing. After attending high school in a tiny town, he attended University of Michigan, where he learned that school choice is important. During college, he took time to live in Egypt and study Arabic, and volunteered at St. Andrew’s Church, which provided school and housing for Sudanese refugees. It was there that he decided if a person wanted something done, the best move was to do something about it rather than create a plan for someone else to implement. He moved to New York to teach (two years, TFA) and thought he was most fulfilled by teaching high school. That was true until he found Rise, and there realized that teaching was about more than an age. In the time he’s been at Rise, he has moved twice, been married once (and is still,) has two sons (Will, 4, and Desmond, 1,) taken three different roles in the school (teacher, two years; teacher/GLC, three years; AP, one year; School Leader, four years.) He loves working at Rise (the way one loves one’s family,) loves working for KIPP NJ (the way one loves one’s extended family.) He previously participated in KSLP through Successor Prep, and in Fall 2019 he’s opening KIPP NJ’s second high school. David casually plays soccer, basketball, and ultimate on varying levels of seriousness and competitiveness. He doesn’t traditionally speak in the third person.
Ian BravoFounding KIPP Miami's First Middle School
|Before supporting the launch of the new KIPP Miami region, Ian worked as an AP Fellow for KIPP BOLD in Newark. Prior to the fellowship, Ian served as the founding Assistant Principal at KIPP Washington Heights Middle School in NYC from 2012-2016. There he worked to create and execute the vision and systems for student culture. As an instructional leader, Ian has formally coached over 20 teachers and leaders spanning across every core middle school subject and music. Prior to WHMS, Ian spent four years as a writing teacher at KIPP Infinity in Harlem, and three at his TFA placement school in the Bronx. After 12 years in NYC and Newark schools, Ian and his beautiful wife, Leyla, are preparing to open the first middle and elementary schools of KIPP Miami. Ian has participated in KSLP’s Teacher Leader, Leadership Team and Instructional Bootcamp programming. He received his Masters from Pace and BA from the College of Wooster, where he nerded out on Political Science, Philosophy and History. Outside of school, he enjoys reading, training, recording and performing spoken word, and living life with Leyla, and their hilarious two-year old, Soraya.|
Alison CumbleyFounding First 6th-12th grade KIPP school in Houston, TX
|Alison’s passion for education was sparked while in college where she interned at the UCLA Lab School as well as the Dorothy Kirby Juvenile Detention Facility. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in Psychology and Socio-Cultural Anthropology. After college, Alison joined Teach for America, teaching fifth grade in New Orleans, LA. After seeing firsthand the inequity in the education system, she became committed to ensuring that all students had access to an excellent education and that drive led her to find her home in KIPP Houston.|
Alison is currently in her seventh year as the School Leader of KIPP 3D Academy in Houston, TX. As a teacher at 3D, Alison taught fifth grade and seventh grade in addition to serving as a Grade Level Chair, Department Chair, and Assistant Principal before transitioning into the role of School Leader. She has participated in just about every KSLP program through the years as well as the Relay National Principals Academy Fellowship. What Alison has enjoyed most about her twelve years at KIPP has been the opportunity to see her former students return back home after college to teach the next generation of KIPPsters. As a middle school principal, Alison has seen how attending a KIPP high school can have a tremendously positive effect on a student’s path to and through college. She is thrilled to open the very first 6th-12th grade KIPP school in the 2019-20 school year and is looking forward to building a school where students can learn from one another as they grow.
In her spare time Alison enjoys taking weekend trips to random places with friends and loved ones, finding the newest brunch spots, and obsessing over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Miriam DarbyFounding KIPP Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
|Miriam began her teaching journey in the summer of 2006 in the Lesley University Teacher Residency Program at Brookwood School in Manchester by-the-sea, Massachusetts. Teaching alongside a veteran kindergarten teacher in one of the most well-resourced learning communities in New England, she learned first-hand what it means to provide meaningful educational experiences for children. After completing the teacher residency, she taught kindergarten and first grade at Zervas Elementary in Newton, Massachusetts for four years, where she continued to create rich and joyful learning experiences for her students.|
Miriam moved from Boston to DC in the summer of 2011 to join the Team and Family as a founding first grade teacher at KIPP DC Heights Academy. Miriam then taught second grade for two years before becoming an assistant principal at Heights in 2014. In 2015 she moved to KIPP DC Spring Academy where she founded and led second, third and fourth grades, before completing the Miles Family Fellowship in 2017. Most recently, Miriam has supported the KIPP DC middle schools as a floating assistant principal.
Miriam grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and studied social work and women’s studies at Providence College. She received her master’s degree in early childhood education from Lesley University. She is a twin, an aspiring equestrian and a big fan of Rachel Maddow. She enjoys reading books from her favorite writers – Mary Oliver, Emma Straub and Zadie Smith – and pushing past her limits in SoulCycle classes.
Chris FrillsFounding Assistant School Leader, KIPP Triumph Academy, KIPP St. Louis
Chris Frills is the Founding Assistant School Leader at KIPP Triumph Academy Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. He previously served as Assistant School Leader at KIPP Columbus Elementary and as 5th Grade Math teacher and Grade Level Chair at KIPP Impact Middle School in Jacksonville, Florida. Chris began his career as a Teach For America corps member and in 2015.He was named a National Finalist for the Sue Lehmann Teaching and Learning Fellowship. Chris was a Posse Scholar at Carleton College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. As a Chicago native and son of a Chicago police officer, Chris realized at a young age the crucial need for high-quality educational opportunities for people of color in communities like Chicago and St. Louis. Chris hopes to one day lead a school that demonstrates the power a quality education has in transforming educationally underserved communities. In his spare time, Chris enjoys test driving cars, reading mystery novels, and tending to his houseplants.
Diamond GrahamFounding Elementary School in New York City
|Diamond Graham will be a founding principal at KIPP: NYC in the 2019-2020 school year. Diamond is currently a Dean at KIPP Washington Heights Elementary School (KWHES) in New York, New York. Before joining the team at KWHES, she spent 2 years as the KIPP: NYC Regional Director for Elementary Mathematics and helped to found KIPP: Infinity Elementary (KIES). While at KIPP: Infinity, she taught 1st grade, 4th grade, and coached teachers around instruction. She has also spent time coaching cheerleading, leading a robotics group, and coaching teachers around Cognitively Guided Instruction. Diamond is excited to move into her 8th year at KIPP. She graduated from Georgetown University where she also spent time working at schools in Ward 7 and Ward 8 in Washington, DC. Outside of school, Diamond enjoys reading, traveling near and far, playing board games, and spending quality time with friends and family by talking about the latest news or telling corny jokes. She is looking forward to the years to come.|
Jeremy GrayFounding High School in San Antonio, TX
|Jeremy will found a new KIPP high school in San Antonio next year, and is incredibly excited! Jeremy is currently an English master teacher in San Antonio ISD teaching English 2 and serving as the English 2 lead teacher. Prior to moving to San Antonio, Jeremy spent six years in southern Arkansas – four years teaching high school Spanish and English, and two years as an assistant principal. Jeremy coached the Quiz Bowl team and served on as chair of the district teacher retention committee. In his final two years, Jeremy established systems for teacher development and coaching at the high school and led a school-wide initiative to increase diversity enrollment in Advanced Placement classes. Jeremy received his B.A. in Spanish and Political Science from Elmira College, and M.Ed in Educational Administration and Supervision from Southern Arkansas University. Outside of school, Jeremy enjoys trying out new recipes in the kitchen and walking his loving dog, Byron, along the Riverwalk.|
Juan JuarezFounding Middle School in San Antonio, TX
|Juan Juarez is ecstatic to be opening up KIPP San Antonio’s newest middle school, that will serve a community of passionate 5th through 8th grade students that will experience a rigorous education and ability to use their voice.|
For the last two years Juarez has served as school leader of KIPP Camino Academy in San Antonio. As school leader, he has created and implemented six culturally relevant performing arts programs, built strong relationships with community partnerships, and ensured that students and staff focused on exploring their identities. In addition, Juarez has established a strong focus on Data Driven practices which have resulted in increasing scores on 10 out of the 12 state tests.
Prior to being school leader, Juarez has served as an ESL coordinator, 5th grade reading, Director of Student Programs, and an Assistant School Leader. For leadership development, he has participated in the Teacher Leader Program, Miles Family Fellowship, and Successor Prep program as part of KIPP School Leadership Programs.
Juarez graduated from Southwestern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science/International Studies and at Trinity University earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. He will begin pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at San Antonio in Educational Leadership in fall 2018. Outside of school, Juarez loves listening to pop music, watch movies, and spend time with his four dogs and husband.
Jarell LeeFounding Elementary School in Chicago, IL
|Next year, Jarell will be the Founding Principal of KIPP Academy Primary in Chicago. Jarell is currently a School Leader Fellow at KIPP NJ Newark Collegiate Academy. Previously, Jarell served as the School Leader of Life Academy and as an Assistant School Leader and Miles Family Fellow at Seek Academy.|
Prior to joining the KIPP team, Jarell taught second grade at Uncommon Schools: Excellence Boys Elementary Academy as a Teach For America Corps Member. He also led the third grade team, developed a character education system, and led school-wide joy initiatives to invest scholars in school culture systems. Jarell also served as the Founding Dean of School Culture at Achievement First Aspire Elementary School, where he created systems and rituals to invest scholars and support struggling scholars. Additionally, Jarell coached teachers as the First Grade Academic Dean.
Jarell received a B.A. in Sociology & African-American Studies from Harvard University, a M.S. in Elementary Education from Teacher U at Hunter College, and a Master’s in Supervision and Administration from the University of Houston. Outside of school, Jarell loves to play with his baby son, go to the gym, watch NBA games, and wear fanny packs.
Kate MazurekFounding a Middle School in Minnesota
|Kate is currently the Director of Instruction at KIPP Minnesota. Prior to joining the KIPP Minnesota team and family this past July, she spent twelve years with KIPP Chicago. At KIPP Chicago, she was an 8th Grade ELA teacher for three years. After that she was a school leader for seven years. Kate received her B.A. in History and Math at Northwestern University and an Ed.M from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In addition, Kate has participated in the Miles Family and Fisher Fellow programming through the KIPP Foundation. Kate is excited to have the opportunity to work with the KIPP Minnesota team to provide more choice for families in the Twin Cities by opening up a new KIPP campus.|
Ashley MonteilFounding a Primary School in Houston, TX
|Ashley currently serves as the Assistant Principal at KIPP Connect Primary School in Houston, Texas. Before joining the KIPP Team and Family, Ashley was a teacher in the Houston Independent School District (HISD) for 6 years where she taught 2nd and 4th grade. Ashley attended The American University in Washington, D.C. where she earned a Bachelor of the Arts in Literature and minored in Communications. Since her career as an educator began she has earned a Masters of Education from the University of St. Thomas, a Masters of Business Administration from Rice University, and received recognition for her passionate teaching and leadership as the HISD Teacher of the Year in 2012. She plans to continue her career with KIPP in order to grow as a school leader. Ashley is excited to begin her work as a Fisher Fellow and to found a new primary school in Houston to provide students rigorous educational opportunities that will prepare them for successful careers and lives! She enjoys running and every moment she is able to spend outdoors with her dog, Max!|
Fisher Fellowship Applicant FAQs
Fisher Fellows work as employees of a specific KIPP region during their fellowship year.
Attendance is a mandatory and crucial part of the Fisher Fellowship, and all Fisher Fellows are required to attend the full session.
During Summer 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 Summer 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 Summer Institute.
The ability to open a school is 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 the fellowship.
The KIPP Foundation provides a variety of supports 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; professional development retreats for teachers and office staff; and professional development opportunities.
In addition, our regional structure provides schools with leadership from regional Executive Directors. Each region shares a school support center, which provides joint administrative, operational, and academic resources across the region. Most importantly, the region shares a strategic plan 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.