Teach for America’s Pearl Chang Esau to lead high expectations education movement
Expect More Arizona’s Oversight Board announced today the selection of Pearl Chang Esau, Executive Director of Teach for America – Phoenix Region, as its new President/CEO.  Ms. Chang Esau, a proven, young leader, was identified through a highly competitive selection process launched in May and led by the organization’s Executive Committee, including Board Chair and Helios Education Foundation President, Paul Luna; the Arizona Community Foundation’s Chief Strategy Officer, Jim Pitofsky; Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust’s Senior Program Officer, Marilee Dal Pra; and Expect More Arizona’s current Executive Director, Nicole Magnuson.

“Expect More Arizona is fortunate to have someone of Ms. Chang Esau’s caliber taking the leadership helm at such a critical juncture in our partnership’s growth and development,” commented Luna.  “This is a pivotal moment for education in our state and Expect More Arizona’s role in shaping a shared vision and inspiring collective action is sure to have a powerful impact on our students and the long-term economic prosperity of our state.”

Ms. Chang Esau has led the rapid expansion of Teach for America in Phoenix over the past three years.   Under her leadership, the local Teach for America chapter has grown exponentially in size and financial strength.  From 2008 to 2011, fundraising increased from $4.7 million to more than $7 million.  Her experience, which will greatly benefit Expect More Arizona, includes setting the organizational vision, cultivating strategic partnerships and leading a “team” of 28 staff members, 350 corps members (teachers), and 600 Teach For America alumni in the movement to eliminate educational inequity.  Ms. Chang Esau was also instrumental in developing a collaborative partnership between Teach for America and ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College, resulting in  $19 million in funding for the Sanford Teaching Project, an innovative teacher development initiative.

She graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA, with a B.A. in Communications and double minors in Public Policy and Spanish.  A recognized “shining star” within the Teach for America system, Ms. Chang Esau started her career as a Teach for America teacher in Los Angeles.  Later, she joined the Los Angeles recruitment team, rising through various regional and national recruitment leadership positions before taking the helm of the Phoenix Region Teach for America.

Ms. Chang Esau will officially assume her new leadership position with Expect More Arizona on October 17, 2011.  Both organizations and their leadership are committed to a seamless transition and will provide appropriate flexibility to ensure Teach for America and Expect More Arizona are stable and successful through the executive transitions.   In addition to managing the team of professionals supporting Expect More Arizona, raising financial resources, cultivating strategic partnerships statewide, and working with the board on the implementation of a newly adopted strategic plan, Ms. Chang Esau will be responsible for leading the development of a multiyear business plan.

“I am excited about the enormous potential for Expect More Arizona to take an even greater leadership role in creating a culture of high expectations and influencing true change in education,” expressed Ms. Chang Esau.   “As a long-time advocate for equality and excellence in education for all children, I am honored to build on the impressive foundation that has been laid by leading Expect More Arizona into its next phase of impact.”