PEP Leadership Team Grows

Greenville, SC – Public Education Partners (PEP) has positioned itself to deepen its role and impact in Greenville’s education sector with dynamic additions to the Leadership Team.

Dr. Ansel Sanders has stepped into the role of President and CEO after serving as PEP’s Associate Director since June 2015.

“I am deeply honored and humbled by the opportunity to take the lead at Public Education Partners,” Sanders said. “To build on the great work this organization has done on behalf of schools, teachers, and students for 30 years is invigorating, especially when you have a great PEP staff and board, school district, and community ready to continue and expand our impact.”

For much of the organization’s 30-year history, Grier Mullins stood at the helm. But Sanders, who holds a doctorate in education leadership (E.d.L.D.) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and previously served on the founding leadership team to open Greenville County Schools’ A. J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering and design Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School, will guide PEP’s course through 2017 and beyond.

“Ansel’s experience in public education, as well as his vision of what is possible, makes him the right leader to continue the great work done by PEP and Grier Mullins. Through his experience, PEP is exploring ways to deepen and broaden the impact we seek to make on strengthening our schools and student achievement” PEP Board Chair Lee Yarborough said. “A strong public education system makes for a stronger community, and Greenville is fortunate to have Ansel’s leadership as PEP continues fulfilling its mission in Greenville County Schools.”

Guided by a strategic plan set in place by its Board of Directors, PEP’s has two strategic goals: “Foster Innovation and Student Success in Schools” and “Deepen Connections Between Schools and the Community.” In 2017, PEP is working to achieve these goals by:

  • Reducing summer learning loss through its Make Summer Count reading program that provides more than 18,000 students in 29 high-need elementary schools the opportunity to select free books to build home libraries and attend Family Reading Nights to encourage literacy in the home.
  • Mitigating the critical shortage of middle and secondary math and science teachers by partnering with Greenville County Schools on the Greenville Alternative Teacher Education (GATE) program, which provides professionals with a math or science background an alternative route to certification.
  • Keeping middle school students on track for high school graduation as a partner in the OnTrack Greenville Middle Grades Success Initiative, in which four PEP Literacy Coaches provide specialized training and strategies to teachers to create engaging learning environments.
  • Building community knowledge about education policies and issues by playing the role of an intermediary organization, participating in collective-impact initiatives, engaging the community in advocacy efforts, and hosting community knowledge-building events.

With these objectives in mind, PEP strengthened its internal capacity to fulfill its mission by expanding the Leadership Team.

Neha Parthasarathy will be the new lead for PEP’s portfolio of programs, guiding Make Summer Count and developing innovative initiatives aimed at elevating and modernizing the teaching profession. The duo of Steve Hairston, Public Policy and
Advocacy Director, and Craig Stine, Senior Researcher, will strengthen PEP’s ability to share policy and advocacy information to build knowledge in the community about issues facing public education and Greenville County Schools’ students and teachers.

“I am thrilled with the depth of knowledge and passion for education Neha, Steve, and Craig bring to PEP,” Sanders said. “Their addition to the Leadership Team will allow PEP to continue to be at the forefront of strengthening public education in Greenville County.”


About Public Education Partners

Public Education Partners (PEP) collaborates with community partners to introduce innovative programming in schools and deepen connections between schools and the community in an effort to strengthen public education and student achievement in Greenville, South Carolina. PEP is Greenville’s only independent non-profit solely dedicated to investing in and improving public education.

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