Ross Danis, the inaugural president and CEO of the Newark Trust for Education, announced that he is stepping down after five years at the helm of the non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring children in Newark have access to high-quality public education.
Ross Danis is stepping down from the Newark Trust for Education after a five year run.
Danis, a former teacher, principal, district administrator, foundation executive, and college dean, worked with a distinguished Board of Directors to establish the Trust as an independent, credible source of information and support for school and community leaders striving to work together to improve the Newark Public Schools.
“The Board of Directors of the Trust applauds the contributions of our inaugural leader for his stewardship of the organization. We look forward to continuing the work of the Trust to engage civic leaders as advocates for quality public education in the City, ” said Shané Harris, Executive Director of The Prudential Foundation and Chair of the Newark Trust for Education's Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors of the Trust will begin the search for new executive leadership who will further serve and engage the community.
Under Danis’s leadership, the Trust developed a host of programs designed to empower parents, policymakers, principals, students, and district leaders with credible data to inform policy and practice at the system level and to enhance collective impact through collaboration among NPS, the charter schools and the City.
Among the signature initiatives that Danis helped launch at the Trust was the creation of NET Navigator, the first online tool to track foundation investments at the school level, allowing foundations, program providers and schools to avoid duplicating efforts, or worse, introducing conflicting, or uncoordinated or aligned programs.
“There would be far less civic discourse and credible information on important education issues if not for the good and strategic work of the Trust,” said founding Board Member and chair of the External Affairs Committee Irene Cooper-Basch, executive officer of the Victoria Foundation. “Ross built a strong organization and a great team that will keep continue to serve the education needs of Newark’s children for many years. “
In 2014, the Trust adopted a comprehensive strategic plan that enabled the organization to focus on the recruitment and retention of high quality leaders, assist in the return to local governance, and foster equitable access to high quality public schools.
Danis will remain involved in education in Newark after he leaves the Trust on Aug. 1. He was appointed by Governor Christie and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka to the Newark Educational Success Board, which is charged with putting Newark on a path toward a return to local governance of its schools after 21 years of state operation – a goal shared by the Board and staff of the Newark Trust.
Danis has not yet announced his plans, saying only that he will continue to be to be engaged in the struggle to improve public education. “What I learned from the good people of Newark will inform my work for as long as there are children who face obstacles that limit their access a great education.”