Executive Director, William Robinson
William Robinson is the executive director of the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education. Robinson is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Education Pioneers alum. Prior to joining the Darden/Curry Partnership, he completed consulting work for various education organizations including the DC Public Education Fund, the Center for Better Schools and Stand for Children. Robinson began his career at McMaster-Carr Supply Company, where he helped manage its supply chain operations in Atlanta. Robinson earned his BA in Economics from Princeton University.
Senior Project Director, Mike Kight
Prior to joining the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education, Michael Kight served as the principal of a high performing urban middle school in the city of Richmond, Virginia for seven years. Under his leadership, student test scores increased from the 50th percentile to the 93rd percentile in English, mathematics, science and history. Prior to this assignment, he was an assistant principal and a fourth and fifth grade teacher
In 2009 Michael was awarded the R.E.B. Award for Distinguished Educational Leadership for Richmond City Schools. In 2011, he was one of only two principals in the City of Richmond who earned the Level II Principal of Distinction Endorsement from the Virginia Department of Education for improving student achievement, displaying effective instructional leadership, and creating a positive effect on school climate and culture in a Virginia public school.
Michael received his B.S. in elementary and middle education from West Virginia University and his M.Ed. in education administration and supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a member of the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Middle School Association and the National Education Association.
Chief Support Officer, Eric Thomas
Prior to joining UVA full-time in the summer of 2012, Eric’s most recent role in CPS was as the Executive Director of the Office of Innovation. As a member of the Superintendent’s Senior Management Team, Eric’s responsibilities included redesigning the district’s teacher evaluation system, overseeing the implementation of the district’s nearly $35 million RttT and Teacher Incentive Fund grants, facilitating the development of new schools, and launching a Principal Development Academy.
Eric became acquainted with the University of Virginia when he was asked to join the district’s turnaround efforts as a Turnaround Principal Coach.
Eric has served as an instructor in the University of Cincinnati’s Educational Leadership Program and contributed to the development of the Ohio Department of Education’s Urban Principal Licensure. Eric also has been a featured speaker, most often with a focus on developing a Positive School Culture, Leadership Development, Turnaround strategies, and supporting the needs of African-American males
National Turnaround Consultant, Josie Hernandez-Gutierrez
Josie most recently worked as an Assistant Superintendent in the Dallas Independent School District where she led school transformation in up to 62 schools at both the elementary and secondary level since 2012. Previously, Gutierrez worked in the Fort Worth Independent School District for a total of 17 years. In FWISD, she opened and headed the Office of Transformational Leadership and School Improvement (OTLSI). The OTLSI opened in December of 2010 to oversee the Redesign to Increase Schools of Excellence (RISE) initiative. . Hernandez-Gutierrez is an experienced educator and administrator, having previously worked as a Director of School Leadership, Principal, Assistant Principal, and Teacher – all in Fort Worth ISD. She graduated from Texas Christian University with her Bachelor’s degree in Education and then went on to attain both her Master’s and Doctorate in Education Administration at the University of North Texas in Denton. Hernandez-Gutierrez is deeply committed to school improvement characterized by innovative strategies, wise allocation of resources, operational flexibility, and strategic leadership. She currently focuses her energy on leadership, teaching, and change to turnaround schools.