The Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership at Hale (PSi) develops a network of adaptive leaders who champion racial justice and equity, integrate artistic and design thinking, and engage youth and families to mobilize teams that transform educational and community-based organizations.
Named after Vito Perrone and Ted Sizer, PSi is a leadership certificate program that can also lead to graduate credit and/or completion of the Massachusetts Performance Assessment for Leaders (PAL), a requirement for principal licensure. The program immerses leaders in school settings and community-based organizations and employs a design thinking approach to leadership development.
PSi invites interest and applications from individuals who are:
Emerging school and nonprofit leaders who are ready for the next step
Experienced and creative educators willing to take risks and challenge the status quo
Open-minded thinkers committed to engaged learning and racial justice
Working professionals eager to join a network
Individuals who are passionate about creative leadership, whether they self-identify as an artist or not
Engaged community members, advocates, and organizers
PSi provides opportunities to grow as creative leaders, visionary resource managers, head teachers, chief talent developers, community organizers, and skilled politicians. It does so through three leadership lenses and seven practices. Read more about these below.
Apply to join PSi’s 2023-2024 Cohort! Information sessions are underway, and the application deadline is April 15, 2023. Contact Program Manager Lisa Sankowski if you have any questions.
The Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership (PSi) was founded by Linda Nathan and Carmen Torres in 2015 as the Creative Educators Leadership Institute (CELI) at Boston University. PSi has added a cohort per year since, and in 2021, left the Center for Artistry and Scholarship to become one of Hale’s professional development programs. We invite you to meet our participants.
Emily Chen, 7-8 Math Teacher, Boston Green Academy, Boston MA
Angela DiPesa, Senior Director of Student Services at Breakthrough Greater Boston
Shaunalynn Duffy, Director of Operations, sprout & co. / Powderhouse Studios, Somerville MA
Chris Flaherty, Producer, PorchProductions, Boston MA
Valduvino Goncalves, Student Development Counselor, John D. O’Bryant High School, Roxbury MA
Amy Gonzalez, 7th Grade English Language Arts Teacher, Rindge Avenue Upper School, Cambridge MA
Cassandra McGraw, Founder, Brown Educator Experience, Washington DC
Nicole Pelletier, Instructional Coach and Teacher, New Mission High School, Boston MA
Tess Plotnik, Institutional Giving Manager, Emmanuel Music, Boston MA
Alec Resnick, Director, Powderhouse Studios, Somerville MA
Heron Russell, Outdoor Guide, Intrepid Academy at Hale, Westwood MA
Maura Tighe, Artistic Director, Boston Arts Academy, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA
Bob Tobio, Math/Special Ed, Mary Lyon Pilot High School, Brighton MA
Shantae Toole, Principal, Mozart Elementary School, Roslindale MA
Amy Wedge, Visual and Media Arts Content Specialist, Boston Public Schools
Nancy Zimbalist, Content Team Leader, Charlestown High School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA
COHORT 1 (2016–2017)
Eliza Casella, Director of SEL, Climate, and Culture, Salem Public Schools, Salem MA
Dr. Brian Gellerstein, Director for Fine and Performing Arts, Framingham Public Schools, Framingham MA
Josue Gonzalez, Executive Director, Project STEP, Boston, MA
Weddee Neufville Henry, Literacy Director / Instructional Support Coach, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA
Dan Kelly, Gavin Foundation, Boston MA
Kendra Martin, Team Leader, Vocal Music Teacher, Lilla G Frederick Pilot Middle School, Boston MA
June Murray, Social Studies Teacher, Hudson High School, Hudson MA
Dana Reder, Director of Student Services, Neighborhood House Charter School, Dorchester MA
Nasrin Samadi, Dean of Curriculum and Instruction, Lawrence High School, Lawrence Public Schools
Guy Michel Telemaque, Teacher, Boston Arts Academy, Boston MA
Valerie Vasti, Literacy Coach, Mohawk Trail Regional School District, Shelburne Falls MA
Bethy Verano, Principal, Hurley K-8 School, Boston MA
Jamie Andrade, Art Teacher in Rivers and Revolutions, Concord Carlisle High School, Concord MA
Jennifer Barefoot Smith, Teacher/Counselor, Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, Boston MA
Michelle Brito, Leadership Coach, Lynch Leadership Academy at Boston College, Newton MA
Colleen Casey, Teacher, Mary Lyon School, Brighton MA
Lydia Cochrane, Co-Principal, St. Johnsbury Lower School, St. Johnsbury VT
Kati Delahanty, Transformation Instructional Coach, Brighton High School, Brighton MA
Rachel Eio, World Language Curriculum Coordinator, Brookline High School, Brookline MA
Donna Glick, Retired Director of Education, Huntington Theatre Company
Donna Harris, Community and Culture Leader, Josiah Quincy Upper School, Boston MA
Tim Kelleher, Teacher, Josiah Quincy Upper School, Boston MA
Damen Kelton, METCO Director, Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, Sudbury MA
Gizelle Lev, Vice Principal, Barbieri Elementary School, Framingham Public Schools
Adrianne Level, Program Leader, Boston Day & Evening Academy, Roxbury MA
Carolyn Meadows, Senior Project Manager, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA
Katy Ramon, Math Teacher, Heatherwood Middle School, Mill Creek, WA
David Sullivan, Math Teacher, Mary Lyon Pilot High School, Brighton MA
Tyrone Sutton, Assistant Head of School, Boston Arts Academy, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA
David Wientraub, English Teacher, Newton South High School, Newton MA
Eytan Wurman, Director of Fine and Performing Arts, Dedham Public Schools, Dedham MA
Meet Our Faculty
Sung-Joon “Sunny” Pai, Director
Sunny is Director of School and Professional Programs at Hale. Previously he held several roles at Charlestown High School, including Director of Systems and Innovation and Director of the Diploma Plus (DP) Programs. Sunny and his team created DP’s performance-based model for students who have not yet been successful in high school. DP is committed to establishing a culture of growth, where all students—especially students who have struggled in traditional academic models—can achieve at the highest levels. Sunny has also served as Chief of Staff at Charlestown High, facilitated teams such as the Leadership Team, Guidance Team, and Math Team, and consulted with the Office of High School Support for Boston Public Schools. Sunny began working in BPS as a student teacher in 1998 at Fenway High School. The following year, he became a founding faculty member at Boston Arts Academy (BAA). He was also on the founding faculty of Rainier Scholars, an enrichment program for BIPOC students in the Seattle Public Schools. Sunny completed both the Principal Residency Network principal-training program and the Boston Principal Fellowship. In 2005, Sunny was also founding principal at the Media Communications Technology High School (West Roxbury Educational Complex) and served there for four years. Sunny was recognized in 2016 by the Boston Globe as a Bostonian of the Year for his leadership with the DP program, and he is a winner of the Lawrence W. O’Toole Award.
Will “Will. C.” Chalmus, Curriculum Developer and Lead Faculty Member
Will Chalmus (aka Will C.) is a highly skilled facilitator of personal, communal, and leadership development. Will C. is currently an adjunct professor at Brandeis University with an Ed.M. from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Theater Arts from Brandeis. He is most known for his work with the Centre for Playback Theatre, an organization that runs the international school of this community-building form of improvisation theater based on personal narratives. In addition to serving on the board of directors and as faculty for the Centre for Playback, Will C. has also founded various Playback Theatre companies in New England and has led programs and provided consultations for many non-profit organizations in the US, Canada, Germany, Brazil and Australia. Will C. is also a highly respected poet, playwright, hip-hop artist, and M.C. that performs solo acts and with numerous groups nationally. He is also a teaching fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Education as well as a teaching assistant for multiple courses in the Education Department of Brandeis University. Will C. is currently building a Playback Theatre company in Cambridge Port as a Flow Grant recipient from the Cambridge Arts Council.
Lydia Cochrane is Co-Principal of the St. Johnsbury School, St. Johnsbury, VT. Before this Lydia was an Extended Learning Time Director with Citizen Schools in Chelsea, MA. Lydia fell in love with teaching as a middle school math teacher at the Washington Irving Middle School in Roslindale, MA. She is passionate about educational leadership and works with PSi to get the right people in leadership roles. She currently lives in Peacham, VT with her partner Avery, their foster kiddo, two dogs (soon to be three!), two cats, three goats, two ducks, and eight chickens.
Angie UyHam is the founder of the Cambridge Educators Design Lab which uses community driven-design to address pressing challenges in education and beyond. The Design Lab strives to change the historically top-down approach in education, to create opportunities for students and educators to invent novel solutions, and to leverage community partnerships in a powerful new way. Angie received her M.B.A. from Babson College, M.Ed. from Boston University, and B.A. from the University of Michigan. For two decades, she worked as a classroom teacher as well as literacy coach and reading specialist. Currently, she is the District Design and Innovation Coach for the Cambridge Public Schools. Angie is passionate about the intersection of education, innovation and social change and is working on how school districts can change the way problems are identified and addressed. She believes that all students and educators are innovators when given the time, space, and opportunity to do so. In addition to her work with the Cambridge Public Schools, Angie leads a Community Design Lab supporting the opportunity for multiple stakeholders to be shared visionaries and decision makers in their communities.
Meet Our Guest Speakers and Facilitators
Almi Abeyta, Superintendent, Chelsea Public Schools
Mirko Chardin, Head of School, Putnam Avenue School, Cambridge Public Schools
Steven Cohen, Senior Lecturer in Education and the Peace and Justice and American Studies Programs, and Adjunct in the History Department, Tufts University
Sue Crumbaker, Program Design Coordinator, Hale
Kiame Mahaniah, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Lynn Community Health Center
Seth Racine, CEO, Open Architects
David Rosenberg, Partner, ERS
Damon Smith, Principal, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School
Gene Thompson-Grove , Professional Learning Facilitator
Patrick Tutwiler, Superintendent, Lynn Public Schools
Robert Vinci, MD, Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, and The Joel and Barbara Alpert Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine
Sarah Westbrook, Director of Professional Learning, Right Question Institute
Curriculum and Logistics
Leadership Lenses and Practices
PSi’s curriculum develops leaders from the perspective of three lenses:
Artist – accessing inspiration and utilizing creativity, design, risk taking, and experimentation to solve complex problems; artists persist and consider, refine, and illuminate many different approaches.
Educator – committed to racial justice and equity, and informed and driven by research and data; drawing upon a deep knowledge of child and adolescent development; and applying a profound understanding of theories of learning to prepare students for academic and personal success.
Community-Based Leader – employing a culturally competent understanding of the assets and needs of youth and families in a given community to engage effectively in a dynamic collaborative process of community growth, development, and networking.
We ensure participants develop and grow as creative leaders, head teachers, community organizers, visionary resource managers, chief talent developers, and skilled politicians across seven leadership practices:
Anti-racism—continually confronting racism, in self and in others, policies, systems; a contender in the fight for racial justice; centering BIPOC voices; learning from individuals as well as scholarship; embracing intersectionality
Community mobilization—advocating and organizing for systemic change; convening the community around common values, a common mission, and a dynamic strategy
Continuous reflection—seeking the community’s expertise and growing in self-knowledge by consciously considering our own experiences, actions, feelings, and responses and our impact on the individuals, groups, and systems in which we engage and lead; broadening this reflection to accurately and continually diagnose the dynamic needs of those individuals, groups, and systems
Creativity—engaging, risking, experimenting, and persisting; using a design thinking approach to address complex challenges
Effective communication—listening and communicating regularly, proactively, clearly, inspirationally to engage hearts and minds for action
Ethics—exhibiting moral courage; practicing sound management and transparency; embracing human imperfection and uncertainty in the service of justice
Informed instruction—demonstrating data-driven and performance-based instructional leadership and deep commitment to the academic/intellectual/social/emotional/civic/ professional development of youth and adults
PSi partners with Cambridge College, which has developed and offers the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership Certificate program. If you are interested in applying to this program, please click here for more information, or email Rudy Thomas or call him directly at 617-873-0417.
August and April Intensives and Monthly Cohort Sessions
PSi requires participant attendance at, and active participation in, all PSi classroom sessions, field experiences, and events, including multi-day August and April Intensives and one or two full-day class sessions each month from September through June. In addition, participants will attend a 1- to 2-hour online Section Group meeting each month, to be scheduled. District Fellows will also have an additional 1- to 2-hour online meeting each month for district-specific conversations, to be scheduled. See the current 2021-2022 PSi Syllabus and Schedule.
Monthly Assignments in Preparation for Sessions and Projects
On time completion of monthly reading and homework assignments in preparation for each session is required. Participants are notified of assignments at least one month in advance.
PSi Capstone Leadership Project
The PSi Capstone Leadership Project, which PSi builds toward throughout the year, is participant-driven and independently designed to suit the professional goals and interests of each individual in the cohort. The Capstone Leadership Project must: (1) address an opportunity for growth in the participant’s learning community AND (2) leverage a partnership between a community-based organization and their home organization. Participants are expected to develop a project that improves outcomes for youth and families using the resources of their home organization as well as a community-based organization.
Tuition for the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership is $5,000 per individual—this represents only 45% of the actual cost of the program, which is subsidized by supporters of PSi.
We know programs like PSi require significant investment both in time and funds. Past participants have pursued financial support from many sources. Please do not let cost be a barrier to applying. Contact Lisa Sankowski if you would like to discuss cost.
PSi partners directly with school districts that provide PSi district fellowships tailored to meet each district’s leadership development goals. If you are an employee of our current partner districts (Chelsea, Framingham, or Somerville), or if you are a district leader interested in establishing a partnership with PSi, please contact Lisa Sankowski for more information.
About Vito Perrone and Ted Sizer
Vito Perrone was a professor of education at the University of North Dakota and Harvard University. He was a leading advocate for humanistic and regimentation – free public education. Upon receiving an award from the Cambridge Peace Commission, he spoke of his apprehension about public school systems that encourage teachers to “accept the message of test scores rather than go beyond them.” He always used questions to further his students’ thinking and in this instance asked, “What if our children and young people learn to read and write but don’t like to and don’t? What if they don’t read the newspapers and magazines, or can’t find beauty in a poem or love story? What if they don’t go as adults to artistic events, don’t listen to a broad range of music, aren’t optimistic about the world and their place in it, don’t notice the trees and the sunset, are indifferent to older citizens, don’t participate in politics or community life?” With a teacher’s rhetorical urgency, he added, “Should any of this worry us?” Vito mentored countless generations of emerging teachers and leaders. He is also the author of the book “Letters for Teachers.”
Ted Sizer founded The Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) in 1984 when he was the ctair of the education department at Brown University. At its height, CES had over 1,000 member schools in the US and around the world that subscribed to a set of 10 common principles such as: “Student as work; teacher as coach;” “Learn to use one’s mind well;” “Less is more: depth over coverage;” “Personalization.” These were revolutionary ideas in the early 1980s and many still consider CES’ focus on democracy and equity as essential to the healthy development of schools and communities. In 1994, with his wife, Nancy, they founded Francis W. Parker Charter School in Devens, Massachusetts. Sizer is best known for his trilogy of books: Horace’s Compromise, Horace’s School, and Horace’s Hope—that deeply influenced generations of progressive educators, school reformers and school leaders.
PSi has given me many tools, strategic, moral, and technical, to approach a whole host of ideas, problems, projects, etc. It has also given me a network of colleagues as well as an introduction to local leaders in Boston. It takes one out of the weeds of one’s own world/work and allows you to not only to get a bird’s eye view of your own work, but also a look at your work through the lenses of your teachers and colleagues. It forces you to be creative and vision-oriented as well as makes you practice how you articulate and advocate for your ideas. —Josue Gonzalez, Director of Education, Rockport Music
This program was the turning point in my career that I needed, and it gave me confidence and agency in my abilities as a leader in education. Everyone who is aspiring to leadership needs a program with mentors who can put a mirror up to you and help you find those aspects that you already have in yourself that will help you on your path towards leadership. —Michelle Brito, Principal, Mother Caroline Academy & Education Center
I wasn’t quite sure what journey I needed/wanted to be on at this juncture of my career. Wow, in the past year, my definition of myself as a leader radically changed and deepened. This program opened so many pathways for me as a practicing leader, renewed my confidence in actions that I have undertaken over the years, but also invigorated my desire to adopt new ways of leading both in the department that I run, as well as the arts organization as an entity. —Donna Glick, Huntington Theatre Company
The program asks you to think about the role that the arts and community organizations play in school leadership in way that traditional leadership programs do not. It also asks you to look deeply at one issue that you are passionate about and do a deep investigation into how to create change. —Rachel Eio, Brookline High School
My year with PSi was a transformative experience. The program gave me insight into the various dimensions and capacities of leadership. The particular artistic lenses that the program engages spoke directly to me as an artist and as a creative leader. It prepared me for a kind of leadership that I could not imagine prior and gave me the confidence to pursue my doctorate. —Brian Gellerstein, Cambridge Public Schools
The most important aspect for me was that there are skills, talents, and ways of thinking that I believe are latent within us all and, with the shared experiences provided by PSi, are teased out and strengthened into formidable tools. —Guy Michel Telemaque, Boston Arts Academy
My identities as an artist and community-based leader have carried into my work as an educator; namely my adaptive mindset, intentional collaborations, and vision for access and inclusion. [Through PSi] I have grown in two new areas that have been essential to my lens as an adaptive district-level leader: a deeper understanding of learning science, and focus on equity. —Rhianon Gutierrez, Digital Learning Specialist, Boston Public Schools