Hunt-Kean Leadership Cohort 4 Fellows Continue Education Policy Learning During Second Convening in Seattle

August 10, 2018

Seattle, WA – Our fourth cohort of twenty high-ranking state officials and political leaders from across the country met in Seattle, Washington on August 8-10, 2018 to complete their second and final session of the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program, a nine-month immersion in state-level education policy. The fourth cohort convened for their first session, Setting a Vision for Education Success, on December 6-8, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

The second session, Educator Effectiveness & School Leadership, explored the challenges of preparing, recruiting, and retaining highly effective teachers and school leaders. Fellows studied how state policies related to educators can positively impact student outcomes and educational equity, including how to measure teacher and school leader quality and how to develop effective compensation systems.

The HK Fellows were joined by six Hunt-Kean Fellows Advisory Board Members – Gov. Jim Hunt (NC), Gov. Tom Kean (NJ), Gov. Jim Douglas (VT), Gov. Dave Heineman (NE), and Gov. Bob Wise (WV). During the program, Fellows have the opportunity to engage with the governors and learn from their practical experience leveraging state executive office to create systemic improvement in education.

Speaking about her experience, Virginia State Senator Jennifer McClellan shared, “As a Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellow, I appreciate being able to discuss and debate education policy with peers from across the country and the political spectrum.”

The 2017-2018 Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows include:

  • Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R-MO)
  • U.S. Representative Dan Boren (D-OK)
  • Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R-AZ)
  • State Senator Jason Carter (D-GA)
  • Governor Bethany Hall-Long (D-DE)
  • Governor Jenean Hampton (R-KY)
  • State Senator Jeff Hayden (D-MN)
  • Attorney General Maura Healey (D-MA)
  • Comptroller Glenn Hegar (R-TX)
  • State Senator Mike Hilgers (R-NE)
  • Attorney General Curtis Hill (R-IN)
  • State Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-VA)
  • State Senator Greg Reed (R-AL)
  • Director of Consumer and Business Services Cameron Smith (D-OR)
  • Attorney General Josh Stein (D-NC)
  • Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-NJ)
  • State Senator Gray Tollison (R-MS)
  • State Representative William Tong (D-CT)
  • Secretary of State Mac Warner (R-WV)
  • State Representative Monica Youngblood (R-NM)

National experts joined the bipartisan cohort over the three days to discuss the importance of student success, educator evaluation systems, teacher preparation, and teacher compensation and pension.

Fellows engaged with national leaders including: Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute; Dan Weisberg, CEO of TNTP; Brad Jupp, Senior Fellow at The Aspen Institute; Dr. Josh B. McGee, Executive Vice President of Results-Driven Government for the Arnold Foundation; Anthony Randazzo, Executive Director of the Retirement Security Foundation; Dr. Frank Hernandez, Harold and Annette Simmons Endowed Chair in Educational Leadership and Associate Dean of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Southern Methodist University; Tamara Azar, Chief of External Relations for the National Center for Teacher Residencies; Andy Cole, Consultant with The Wallace Foundation; and Jackie Gran, Chief Policy and Evaluation Officer, New Leaders; along with principal and teacher pairs from K-12 schools across the country.

“Policymakers across the U.S. are confronting these issues on a daily basis,” said Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, President & CEO of the Hunt Institute. “Exposing state leaders to key education policy issues at this point in their careers is vital to ensuring that when the time comes to make decisions, they are equipped to lead a conversation about real change in their states.”

Before the second convening in Seattle, Fellows also had the opportunity to participate in regional visits to innovative programs, state-specific briefings in their home states, and distance-learning opportunities, such as webinars.

“Education is so important to all that makes our country, our democracy, our economy, and our people prosperous. With each new cohort of Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows, I am inspired by this generation of great education leaders who will work to ensure equity and excellence in our public schools,” said co-founder, Governor Thomas Kean.

Since its launch in 2014, the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program has established a network of over 70 Fellows representing 44 states. Ten Fellows entered 2018 gubernatorial races across the nation with three Fellows currently serving in gubernatorial roles – Governor Kate Brown of Oregon, Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa, and Governor Jeff Colyer of Kansas. Cohort 1 Fellow, Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto of Nevada, currently serves in the U.S. Senate.

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About The Hunt Institute
An affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, The Hunt Institute is a recognized leader in the movement to transform public education. Marshaling expertise from a nationwide partner network since it was established in 2001, The Institute brings together people and resources that help build and nurture visionary leadership and mobilize strategic action for greater educational outcomes and student success.

About the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows
The Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program seeks to partner with senior-level political leaders who have the knowledge, skill, and will to be effective, reform-minded education policymakers at the state level. Named for renowned education governors Jim Hunt (D-NC | 1977-1985; 1993-2001) and Tom Kean (R-NJ | 1982-1990), the national, nonpartisan Fellowship launched in the fall of 2014. Through the Fellowship, the Institute’s vision is to help political leaders develop a deeply rooted vision for educational improvement. For more information about Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows, please visit

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