Broad Academy Alumni Named Superintendents-In-Residence

Chris Barbic and Lillian Lowery — both lifelong educators, former urban school superintendents and Broad Academy alumni — have been named superintendents-in-residence by The Broad Center.

They join John Deasy and John Simpson, who also serve in this capacity, in participating in professional development sessions for The Broad Academy and The Broad Residency programs as well as providing mentoring and executive coaching to members of the Broad Center network who are in leadership roles in urban public school systems.

Barbic was the founding superintendent of Tennessee’s Achievement School District, a statewide effort in collaboration with parents and community partners to boost student achievement in persistently low-performing schools. During his tenure, average student proficiency in the state’s lowest-performing schools grew four times faster than did average proficiency in the rest of the state — at a time when Tennessee was the fastest-improving state in the country.

Before joining the ASD, Barbic was the founder and chief executive officer of YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, which is among the top-performing charter school networks in the nation and won the inaugural Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools in 2012. More than 70 percent of YES Prep alumni are currently enrolled in college or have already earned a degree, and nearly all of them are the first in their families to attend college. Barbic completed the Broad Academy in 2011.

As Maryland’s state superintendent of schools, Lillian Lowery oversaw one of the nation’s leading state education systems, focusing on the importance of college preparation as well as readiness for real-world, in-demand career pathways. Under her leadership, high school graduation rates reached historic highs for all student groups, even while the state implemented more rigorous standards for student learning. In recognition of her achievements, the National Association of State Boards of Education named her the Policy Leader of the Year in 2015.

Prior to her role in Maryland, she was Delaware’s secretary of education, where her ability to bridge differences helped the state win one of the first two federal Race to the Top grants. Her first role running a school system was as superintendent of Delaware’s largest local education agency, Christina School District. She is a member of the 2004 Broad Academy cohort.

“These two outstanding educators bring more than 60 years of collective experience in creating robust learning opportunities for all young people and maintaining a relentless pursuit of equity,” said Becca Bracy Knight, executive director of The Broad Center. “We are grateful for their guidance and expertise as we support the next generation of servant leaders in urban public education.”

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