Theory of Action

Focused on strategic communications and public engagement, Leading Now enables superintendents to access and apply messages and trust-building strategies in service of ALL students.

Origin Story

While K-12 superintendents have always been public officials, the role has never been as political as it is now: curriculum, professional development, and school board dynamics are subject to high-stakes scrutiny and fast-moving state legislation. Our country needs courageous leaders at the top of every system to prioritize and accelerate student learning, addressing years of inequities and the devastating effects of a pandemic.

We started Leading Now in 2021 to offer a combination of peer-driven learning cohorts and tech-enabled professional learning to a broad range of superintendents across the country. With the right support, superintendents can defuse tension and seize the opportunity of this moment to rally adults around the potential and needs of ALL children.

Mora Segal and Caitlin Sullivan

Our Community

How we work

We provide district and system leaders with strategic communications resources and strategies within a trusting community of peers so that they may navigate their environments intentionally and advance their student-centered priorities. Member benefits includes:

Learning Cohorts

  • One in-person convening and four virtual sessions, with virtual peer coffee chats over the course of 15 weeks
  • Cohort sessions are grounded in a leader’s problem of practice and include an expert briefing + resources that superintendents can immediately apply

Direct support and tailored referrals

  • Strategic advisors available for just-in-time assistance to navigate particularly intense or complex situations
  • Connections with partner organizations that can lean in to priorities adjacent to strategic communications (e.g., academic strategy, talent recruitment)

Virtual Community

  • Monthly briefing sessions and superintendent roundtables, a password-protected resource library, Slack channels for peer and expert connectivity


Public Education

Our democracy depends on public schools to prepare the next generation of engaged, independent thinkers.

Common Ground

Shared values help keep the focus on student learning and away from politics.

School System Leaders

They carry a profound responsibility on their shoulders and deserve the highest quality support in a trusting community.

Our Team

The center of gravity of our work: 175 superintendents from across the country who have joined learning cohorts and programming with us since fall 2021. The team of staff and advisors below are committed to serving the strengths and needs of our community.


Executive Director


Senior Advisor

Anisa Sullivan Jimenez

Managing Director, Programming & Communications


Operations & Finance Director


Membership Director


Operations Manager

dr. Cheryl

Superintendent in Residence


dr. Andre Spencer

Superintendent, Teaneck Public Schools (NJ)

Andrea Foggy-Paxton

Founder & CEO, Foggy-Paxton Consulting

Andy Plattner

President, Plattner Communications

JoSEPH Hettler

Chief Partnership Officer, K12 Coalition

Erin McMahon

Founding Partner, McMahon Partners LLC

DR. Cheryl Watson-Harris

President and Executive Director, Achieve Atlanta