Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership

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.

The application period for PSi’s 2023-2024 Cohort will open soon, and its first online information session is Thurs. Dec. 8 from 7:30–8:30 PM on Zoom. Register to attend, and contact Program Manager Lisa Sankowski if you have any questions.

Our Community

Meet Our Students and Past Participants

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.

COHORT 7 (2022–2023)

Meet our current cohort.

COHORT 6 (2021–2022)

Crystal Alcala, Assistant Principal, Sarah Greenwood K-8 Dual Language School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Patricia Arévalo, Assistant Principal, Chelsea High School, Chelsea Public Schools, Chelsea MA

Laurinda Baccus, Assistant Headmaster, 9th Grade Academy, Madison Park High School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Ildulce Brandao, Assistant Head of Lower Division, The Park School, Brookline, MA

Lisa Cook, Director of Continuing Education, Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences (SCALE), Somerville Public Schools, Somerville MA

Georgette Copeland, Special Education Teacher, ABA Based Classroom K2-2nd, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Dave DiPietro, Interim Social Studies Department Head, Somerville High School, Somerville MA

Demetrius Fuller, Art Teacher, Sokolowski School & Art Department District Lead, Chelsea Public Schools, Chelsea MA

Rebecca Iyore, Dean of Curriculum and Instruction, The Lower School Academy, Lawrence High School, Lawrence Public Schools, Lawrence MA

Chris Madson, English Teacher / Lead Teacher, John D. O’Bryant School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Luz Maldonado, Registrar, Fenway High School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Jessica Martinez, Student Support Coordinator, Fenway High School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Emily Monteiro, Consultant, Crossroads for Kids, Duxbury MA

Taryn Moon, Director of Instruction, Mary Lyon K-8 School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Juan Mora y Araujo, Director, EdStudios

Caitlin Nelson, Equitable Literacy District Coach, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Peter Pappavaselio, Performing Arts Lead Teacher, Chelsea High School, Chelsea Public Schools, Chelsea MA

RL Reynolds Lupo, Director of Student Support, William E. Russell School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Anthony Rhodes, Dean of Discipline, Fenway High School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Marianela Rivera, Consultant, HomePlace Collective, Lawrence MA

Alex Sanchez, Director of Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning, Chelsea Public Schools, Chelsea MA

Cam Scott, Data and Accountability Manager, Boston Day and Evening Academy, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Sneha Walia, History Teacher, Boston Latin Academy, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Lynn Weisse, Third Grade Teacher, Edgar Hooks Elementary School, Chelsea Public Schools, Chelsea MA


COHORT 5 (2020–2021)

Jossie Mar Bailey, Instructional Coach, Roosevelt K-8 School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Loredana Da Graça, Director of Language and Literacy, Orchard Gardens K-9 Pilot School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Joram Dade, 7th and 8th Grade Science Teacher, Higginson-Lewis Middle School, Boston MA

Gina Claude Desir, Lead Teacher, Thomas J. Kenny School, Boston Public Schools, Dorchester MA

Amanda Dillingham, Science Program Director, East Boston High School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Joshua Fidalgo, Dean of School Culture, Dearborn STEM Academy, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Danny Flannery, 1st and 2nd Grade Teacher, Mission Hill School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Dylan Gschwind, Education Coordinator, Maritime High School, Northwest Maritime Center, Townsend WA

Noreen Hassan Haddadi, Teaching Fellowship Bilingual Specialist, BPS Teacher Pipeline Programs, Office of Recruitment, Cultivation & Diversity, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Arlene Hudson

Pierre Jean, Assistant Principal, Needham High School, Needham Public Schools, Needham MA

Mandy Lam, Humanities & ESL Teacher, Josiah Quincy Upper School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Tia Lawrence, Principal, Malden Early Learning Center, Malden Public Schools, Malden MA

Jordan Manchester, Assistant Head of School, Middle School, Boston Latin Academy, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Teresa Marx, Chemistry Teacher, Needham High School, Needham MA

Michelle McGahan, Vice Principal, Framingham High School, Framingham Public Schools, Framingham MA

Beth Peters, Teacher, Adams Elementary, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Melissa Pires, Family Liaison, Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Rebecca Poirier, Assistant Principal at the Snowden International School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Lea Serena, Boston Teachers Union, Boston MA

Ryan Solero, District Music Facilitator for Lawrence Public Schools, Lawrence MA

Lindsay Gabriela Thornquist, 6th grade Bilingual Ed. Math and Spanish Language Arts Teacher, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Reginald Toussaint, Executive Director of The Achieve Program, Dedham MA

Kendwy Valdez, Principal, Tracy Elementary School, Lynn Public Schools, Lynn MA


COHORT 4 (2019–2020)

Aaron Altman, Early College and Career Pathways Director, Charlestown High School, Charlestown MA

Shannin Antonopoulo, Project Manager, Artist Proof Studio, Johannesburg, South Africa

Jacquelline Carolan, Director of Social Emotional Learning, Mary Lyon K-8, Brighton MA

Mayra Cuevas, Universal Preschool Coach, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Kareem Cutler, Director of Academic Advancement, Student Support, and Operations, New Mission High, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Aytul Farquharson, Music Teacher, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Chris Fitzpatrick, Math Coach, Beebe School, Malden MA

Joshua Garver, Strings Teaching Artist, Beaver Country Day School, Chestnut Hill MA

Sheldon Hitchens, Director of Impact, 2 Gen at United Way of Dane County, MI

Sheila Jacobo-Ahmed, Social Worker, UP Academy Boston, Dorchester MA

Jennifer Lambertz, Instructional Facilitator, Mary Lyon K-8, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Paige Lemieux, Development Coordinator, Alumni Affairs & Development, Harvard University, Cambridge MA

Sonia Lowe, Assistant Principal, Saltonstall School, Salem MA

Alison Mann, Assistant Director of Early Childhood, Somerville Public Schools

Katie McGuire, Accelerated Improvement and Inquiry Manager with the Office of Data and Accountability for Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Giovany Morales-Ramos, Director of Technology, Citizen Schools, Boston MA & CAS Board Member

Genevieve Nouveaux, Teacher/Strategist, Greater Egleston High School, Roxbury MA

Tiffany Rice, Middle School Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Global Education Practitioner, Buckingham Browne & Nichols

Jennifer Rose-Wood, Special Education and Humanities Teacher, Fenway High School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Allison Ruane, Instructional Coach, Browne Middle School, Chelsea MA


COHORT 3 (2018–2019)

Jiar Ahmed, 9th & 10th Grade Small Learning Community Leader, Charlestown High School, Boston Public Schools, Charlestown MA

Farah Assiraj, Deputy Chief Academic Officer for Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Lauren Blumberg, 2nd/3rd Grade Teacher, Learning First Charter Public School, Worcester MA

Caitlyn Castillejo, ESL/Humanities Teacher, Charlestown High School, Charlestown MA

Shameka Charley, Software Development Instructor at Year Up Greater Boston MA

Michelle Dean, Community and Culture Leader, Josiah Quincy Upper School, Boston MA

Frank DeVito, Executive Director, Equity Lab Charter Schools Inc., Lynn MA

Christina Farese, Instructional Coach, Putnam Avenue Upper School, Cambridge MA

Rhianon Gutierrez, Director of Digital Learning, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Michele Harney, Business Teacher, Somerville High School, Somerville MA

Meghan Harrington, Lynch Leadership Academy Fellow, George Conley Elementary School, Boston Public Schools, Boston MA

Wyatt Jackson, Drama (Musical Theatre) Teacher for the Dedham Public Schools, Dedham MA

Bernadine Lormilus, Martin Luther King, Jr. K-8 School, Dorchester MA

Kendra Lamb, Lower School Director (K1-2), Boston Renaissance Charter Public School, Hyde Park MA

Taheera Massey, Teacher / Yoga Teacher, Conservatory Lab Charter School, Dorchester MA

Jeff Shea, Instructor, School of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, Tufts University, Medford MA

Glen Sherman, Director of Teaching & Learning—Math, Boston Teacher Residency/Dudley Street Neighborhood School, Roxbury MA


COHORT 2 (2017–2018)

Emily Bekenstein, Director of Operations, Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School, Boston MA

Caitlin MacLeod-Bluver, Reading Specialist & Coach, Winooski High School, Winooski VT

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

Yoelinson Castillo, Edwards Middle School, Boston 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


CELI (2015–2016)

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

Core Faculty

Sung-Joon “Sunny” Pai, Co-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.

Linda Nathan, Co-Director

    Linda Nathan, Ed.D., Co-Founder of the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership, is also an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she teaches a course called “Building Democratic Schools: Studio Design Workshop.” As an experienced leader in education, Dr. Nathan actively mentors teachers and principals, and consults nationally and internationally on issues of educational reform, leadership, teaching with a commitment to racial justice and equity, and the critical role of arts and creativity in schools. Dr. Nathan facilitates workshops and conversations about issues of race, equity, and culturally relevant pedagogy for school leaders, teachers, parents, and students across the nation. She blogs about many of these issues at www.lindanathan.com. Dr. Nathan’s widely praised book, The Hardest Questions Aren’t on the Test (2009), is about teaching and leadership in urban schools and was published in both English and Spanish. Her second book, When Grit Isn’t Enough (2017), was released by Beacon Press. Previously, Dr. Nathan previously served as Faculty Director of the Creative Educational Leadership Institute at Boston University School of Education, Special Advisor to the Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, and Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Arts in Education. Dr. Nathan was also Founding Headmaster of Boston Arts Academy, Boston’s first public high school for the visual and performing arts, and Co-Director of Fenway High School, one of the first pilot schools in the Boston Public Schools. Dr. Nathan founded two nonprofit organizations: El Pueblo Nuevo, which focused on arts and youth development, and the Center for Collaborative Education, which works on issues of school reform. She began her teaching career in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and then came to Boston to work as a bilingual middle school teacher. Dr. Nathan holds a Doctor of Education degree from Harvard University, master’s degrees from Emerson College and Antioch University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

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.

Guest Faculty

Hervé Anoh

    Dr. Hervé Anoh is the founding headmaster of the Mary Lyon Pilot High School, a fully inclusive school for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. He received his Ph.D. from Lesley University, a CAGS & a Master in Biogeography and Climatology from the University of the Ivory Coast, a Master of Science from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and a Master of Education from Wheelock College. Previously, Dr. Anoh worked as a teacher and program director at the Mary Lyon K-8 School. For the past 24 years, Dr. Anoh has worked to create or change conditions enabling all students to maximize their potential in a fully inclusive environment for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Dr. Anoh serves as mentor for principal interns in various principal training programs including the Principal Residency Network (Northeastern University) and Harvard Graduate School of education. He also serves as an inclusionary practice consultant both at the national and international level.

Yarima Ariza

    Yarima Ariza is Director of Professional Learning and Instruction at the Boston Arts Academy where she facilitates the Instructional Leadership Team and leads efforts in the areas of professional development, instructional coaching and educator evaluation. Yarima moved to the US from her native Colombia in 1994. She earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a MA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Columbia College. In 2004 Yarima became a National Board Certified Teacher in Art and recently renewed her certification making her the only NBCT in Art in BPS. Yarima has been an art educator for 19 years. She has taught in Chicago and Miami and at the Mario Umana Academy in East Boston where, in addition to being an Art Teacher, Yarima served as a Teach Plus/T3 Teacher Leader facilitating and leading the work of the Specialties team. In 2012, Yarima earned a Masters in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she was honored with the ‘Leadership in Education Award.’ After graduating from Harvard, Yarima became an Education Pioneers’ Graduate School Fellow. She worked at the central office of the Boston Public Schools under the guidance of the Chief Academic Officer, developing a tool for school administrators to assess culturally proficient practices in the classroom. This tool focused on channeling efforts to support teachers in closing the opportunity gap through the gradual implementation of practices that improve the performance of underachieving students, mostly students of color, English language learners, and students from marginalized groups. Yarima is a founding member of the BPS ALANA affinity group. In 2014 she also became an instructor and mentor in the areas of Visual Arts and Specialties for the BPS Accelerated Community to Teacher (ACTT) Program, an initiative of the Office of Human Capital to increase the number of top teachers in the district who reflect the racial, cultural and linguistic diversity of our students and our community. Since 2015 she has served as the ACTT lead designer and program coordinator. In 2017, Yarima was awarded a Conant Fellowship to pursue a second graduate degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she received a Master of Education in School Leadership-Principal Licensure strand.

Lydia Cochrane

    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.

Kati Delahanty

    Kati is Transformation Instructional Coach at Brighton High School, Boston Public Schools. She taught English Language Arts for 9 years at Charlestown High School and was a founding teacher and program developer for the Diploma Plus program and Chief Academic Officer there. Kati has her M.Ed. from the Boston Teacher Residency program and a B.A. in English from the University of San Diego and is an alum of PSi (in its earlier iteration as CELI, Boston University). Kati also teaches a Literacy Across the Curriculum course for Boston Teacher Residency.

Rodolfo Morales

    Rodolfo is the principal of the Phineas Bates Elementary School in Roslindale, MA, where he works to strengthen inclusive and culturally responsive practices. He is a lifelong Boston resident who has continuously demonstrated a commitment to the education of Boston Public Schools students, with a focus on increasing educational equity for all students. Rodolfo is a learner of English as a second language. This personal history has helped with his professional success as a bilingual educator. Rodolfo began his teaching career at the Joseph J. Hurley K–8 School in 2011 as a dual-language Spanish 4th-grade educator. In addition to his role as a school leader, Rodolfo co-leads professional development for 23 BPS leaders, focusing on ensuring systems and structures for teachers meet a standard of excellence in planning. Rodolfo earned a B.S. in Marketing Communications from Emerson College, an M.Ed. through the Boston Teacher Residency Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston, an Ed.M. in School Leadership, as a Conant Fellow, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is a graduate of the Lynch Leadership Program at Boston College. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Boston College’s Professional School Administrator Program.

Angie UyHam

    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
  1. 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
    Monica Hall, PhD, Leadership Development Administrator, Boston Public Schools
    Kiame Mahaniah, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Lynn Community Health Center
    Seth Racine, CEO, Open Architects
    Megan Reed, Director of Leadership Development at Boston Public Schools
    David Rosenberg, Partner, ERS
    Damon Smith, Principal, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School
    William Thomas, Head of School, New Mission High School & BCLA, Boston Public Schools
    Gene Thompson-Grove , Professional Learning Facilitator
    Patrick Tutwiler, Superintendent, Lynn Public Schools
    Bethy Verano, Principal/Directora, Hurley K-8 Dual Language School, Boston 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
Graduate Credit

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.

MA Performance Assessment for Leaders (PAL)

For participants seeking to qualify for Massachusetts principal licensure, PSi provides significant coaching support to complete PAL Tasks at no additional cost. Participants seeking to qualify for Massachusetts principal licensure are also required to arrange their own placement in a 500 hour apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed principal in a Massachusetts public or charter school. Learn more at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website. Also see the MA DOE Administrative Leadership Guidelines and Rubric.

Expectations and Cost

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.


The full annual fee for the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership is $5,000. 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 PSi Program Manager Lisa Sankowski if you would like to discuss cost.

District Fellowships

PSi partners directly with school districts to provide PSi district fellowships tailored to meet each district’s leadership development goals. If you are an employee of our current partner districts Boston, Chelsea, or Salem, of if you are a district leader interested in establishing a partnership with PSi, please contact PSi Program Manager Lisa Sankowski for more information.

About Vito Perrone and Ted Sizer

Vito Perrone

    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

    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

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