Elisa Villanueva Beard

Guest Blogger

CEO, Teach For America

Houston, Texas

Elisa Villanueva Beard is the chief executive officer of Teach For America. Elisa’s journey with Teach For America started as a 1998 corps member in Phoenix. She joined the staff in 2001 to lead the organization’s work in her hometown in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Four years later, she became chief operating officer, leading Teach For America’s field operations as the organization expanded from 22 to 48 regions, growing its network from 12,500 to more than 43,000 leaders in 2013 while improving student outcomes each year.

In 2015, Elisa became chief executive officer of Teach For America. Today, under her leadership, Teach For America impacts hundreds of thousands of students each year in some 2,500 schools across the country. The Teach For America network of 65,000 leaders is working inside and outside the education field to ensure that all children have the access and opportunity to reach their full potential and achieve their dreams.

Elisa holds a B.A. in sociology from DePauw University. She sits on the boards of the Holdsworth Center and Leadership for Educational Equity. She lives in Houston with her husband, Jeremy, and their four sons.

RECENT POSTS

Posted Sep. 30, 2020

If We Don’t Do Something Radical Now We Will Fail Our Kids

This has not been the “back to school” we look forward to each year. In these early days of the…

By Elisa Villanueva Beard

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Posted Apr. 14, 2016

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

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Featured Posts

Posted Nov. 30, 2020

Without Data, We Can’t Fight for Our Students’ Futures

Sometimes, data can seem pesky. Just ask the folks who continue to suggest that coronavirus spikes are merely the result of increased testing. “You know…

By Garris Landon Stroud

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Posted Nov. 30, 2020

It’s Not a Discipline Problem, You’re Just Not Engaging Your Students

Here’s a dirty little secret about teachers that few people care to admit: Many teachers with poor classroom management aren’t strong instructional. I would never assume…

By Rann Miller

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Posted Nov. 23, 2020

One Memphis Mom (and Grandma) Has a Thanksgiving Message for Joe Biden

Sarah Carpenter, executive director of Memphis Lift, spent much of the 2020 primary season bringing her message—her plea—for liberation from failing schools to all who were…

By Erika Sanzi

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