Miles Family Fellows Celebrate a Successful Year

By Wendy Hassett & Liz Meehan, KIPP Foundation

This month, members of the 2011-12 Miles Fellowship class traveled to Philadelphia, PA, for their final meeting as a cohort. For this close-knit group who have spent the past year learning together, the meeting was an opportunity to reflect on lessons learned, visit some of KIPP Philadelphia’s schools, and celebrate the completion of their leadership development experience.

Founded in 2006 with the generous support from the Miles Family Foundation, the Miles Fellowship is a two-year pathway to school leadership at KIPP designed for educators with a proven track record of success in schools serving disadvantaged students. Individuals interested in becoming Miles Fellows participate in a rigorous, national selection process.

Once selected for the program, Fellows hone their instructional leadership skills through a number of carefully crafted professional development opportunities through KIPP School Leadership Programs while simultaneously teaching and leading in a KIPP school. After successfully completing their Fellowship year, participants are invited to apply for the Fisher Fellowship to found and lead a new KIPP school in an underserved community. To learn more about one Fellow’s experience in the program, check out the recent blog post by Michael Horne, Miles Family Fellow and Dean at KIPP TRUTH Academy in Dallas, TX.

In just four years, 44 individuals have successfully completed the Miles Family Fellowship and nearly 80 percent of those are now serving in leadership positions at KIPP. With an additional 17 Fellows completing the program this month, it has proven to be an incredibly effective vehicle for attracting and retaining entrepreneurial leaders to KIPP, as well as providing our growing KIPP regions with a steady pipeline of outstanding leadership talent.

“The Miles Family Fellowship has been instrumental to the growth of our region,” asserts Jamal McCall, Executive Director of KIPP Memphis. “Over the past two years, five candidates for KIPP Memphis have been selected to the program. I believe the Miles fellowship has enabled us to attract talent to our region and build a strong leadership pipeline.”

The Miles Family Fellowship is a truly unique opportunity that would not be possible without the support of the Miles Family Foundation. Driven by the idea that a single school leader has the power to transform not only the lives of thousands of students but also their families and entire communities, the Miles family believes that giving to KIPP’s leadership development programs is a smart investment with a tremendous exponential effect.

Hear more on this in an interview with Mike Miles:

When asked what inspired the Miles family to become the founding investors in the fellowship, Mike Miles shared, “We decided long ago to ‘pay back’ for our blessings; it was just a question of means. Our family has experienced the power of creating and following our own personal visions and we were looking for a partner with like beliefs. KIPP school leaders drive organizations that help our children to develop their own personal visions…in addition to providing the tools required to achieve them. What could be better than that?”

If you or someone you know is interested in this unique pathway into school leadership at KIPP, click here to learn more.