Elisa Villanueva Beard

elisa-villanueva-beard

Guest Blogger

CEO, Teach For America

Houston, Texas

Elisa Villanueva Beard is the chief executive officer of Teach For America. Her passion for educational equity comes from personal experience. Elisa grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas and developed a deep commitment to Teach For America’s mission as a student at DePauw University, where she was one of just a few Mexican-American students.

Her journey with Teach For America started in Phoenix, where she taught first- and second-grade bilingual education as a 1998 corps member. She joined Teach For America’s staff in 2001 to lead the organization’s work in her hometown in the position of executive director. Elisa was inspired to take on this role because she saw her community beginning to have a different conversation as a result of the work her corps members and alumni were doing. Four years later, she stepped into the role of chief operating officer, leading Teach For America’s field operations. In this role for eight years, Elisa led Teach For America’s dramatic expansion as it grew from 22 regions to 46. It is Teach For America’s regions where the organization’s program is put into practice and where 80 percent of its funding is raised.

In 2013, Elisa was named co-CEO of Teach For America alongside Matthew Kramer. In 2015, Matthew Kramer stepped down, and Elisa became the sole CEO. Under her leadership, Teach For America currently impacts more than 750,000 students in over 2,600 schools.

Elisa holds a B.A. in sociology from DePauw University. She lives with her husband, Jeremy, and their four sons in Houston.

RECENT POSTS

Posted Apr. 14, 2016
tfarecruit11015477_1116286771730583_1600803811609875140_n

We’re Changing Some Things at Teach For America, But We’re Still Rallying the Next Generation of Leaders

Teach For America’s biggest contribution to the broader fight for educational equity and excellence is bringing thousands of remarkable young…

By Elisa Villanueva Beard

Read Post

OUR NETWORK

Featured Posts

Posted Feb. 14, 2017
segregation

In the Fall of 1978, I Got on a Bus From My White Neighborhood and Learned That Separate Is Not Equal

When it came time to get on the bus, some of my friends didn’t go with me. Their parents pulled them out of public school that year. Too disruptive, they said. Maybe too violent, they worried silently.…

By Maureen Kelleher

Read Post

Posted Feb. 14, 2017
cps-lawsuit-families

These 5 Chicago Families Are Taking Illinois to Court and All I Can Say Is It’s About Time

Frustrated by decades of unfair funding for Chicago Public Schools (CPS), five families and CPS sued the state for racial discrimination. According to the suit,…

By Peter Cunningham

Read Post

Posted Feb. 14, 2017
loveteaching

Just Listen to How People Talk About Their Favorite Teacher and You’ll See Why I #LoveTeaching

The following is an excerpt from Tom Rademacher’s book, It Won’t Be Easy: An Exceedingly Honest (and Slightly Unprofessional) Love Letter to Teaching. The book…

By Tom Rademacher

Read Post

Browse by Date

Keep Up With
Education Post

Sign up for weekly emails featuring our top blog posts:

What We’re
Tweeting