The Broad Center at the Yale School of Management has named Los Fresnos CISD Superintendent Gonzalo Salazar to the inaugural cohort of a prestigious 10-month leadership development program at Yale.
Salazar, the Los Fresnos superintendent since 2006, was selected as one of 20 educators from across the country to participate in the Fellowship for Public Education Leadership. The fellows met for the first time in a virtual session earlier this month.
The tuition-free program will gather superintendents, chief executive officers, and cabinet-level leaders from urban public school districts, charter school networks, and state-level education agencies for four week-long sessions starting in June 2021 on the Yale campus in Connecticut.
Salazar said the Broad organization reached out to him about a year ago about the fellowship, later flew him to California for an interview process that took place in Beverly Hills. The Broad Center at Yale School of Management is the successor organization to the previously independent Broad Center in Los Angles and part of the Eli and Edyth Broad Foundation.
The 20 inaugural fellows are from 11 states and the District of Columbia; 12 are leaders in traditional public school districts, two at state education agencies, and six at public charter school networks, with tenures ranging from a year to more than a decade in their current roles. Sixteen of the fellows identify as people of color.
Salazar is one of three fellows from Texas. The others are Joe Siedlecki, deputy commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, and Jaideep Hebbar, chief strategy and financial officer of KIPP Texas Public Schools, a charter school network.
Salazar said he looks forward to interacting with colleagues from across the country. He said he hopes to “convert my experiences into opportunities and initiatives that produce opportunities for students to experience success.”
A goal of the fellowship is to “build capacity and acquire skills to reach a higher level of proficiency in school leadership,” Salazar said, adding that he looks at the fellowship as an opportunity “to make our region proud, to share strategies that work for us and to share the great things happening in public school education in the Rio Grande Valley.”
The Broad Foundation is the Los Angeles philanthropy that in 2008 awarded the Broad Prize for Urban Education to the Brownsville Independent School District and a few years later awarded the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools to the Valley-based IDEA Public Schools. Both awards recognized closing achievement gaps.