The BES Fellowship

What Fellows Are Saying

Yutaka Tamura

“BES has recognized that in order for a school to excel and sustain its excellence for generations of students, the leader must be highly prepared and continually developed. The BES Fellowship gives access to a team of qualified coaches and a network of like-minded colleagues, and pulls back the curtain on the practices of high-performing schools around the country. And, the program is doing all this with high fidelity on a national scale.”

Yutaka Tamura
2002 BES Fellow, Founder of Excel Academy Charter Schools, Boston, MA

Rebecca Francis

“The BES Fellowship was unlike anything I have ever experienced. The access to the expertise of founders and the leaders in my cohort, and the opportunity to study high-quality schools across the U.S., made it a truly invaluable experience.”

Rebecca Francis
2018 BES Fellow, Founder of Elevate Collegiate, Houston, TX

Mitch Flax

“The BES Fellowship raised my bar and sharpened my lens in preparation to open and lead our school. One of the most valuable experiences was being able to see leaders, teachers, and strong systems in schools across the U.S. work in concert to produce student learning and joy.”

Mitch Flax
2017 BES Fellow, Founder of Valence College Prep, New York, NY

Dr. Josh Pinto Taylor

“The two-year Community Co-Design Fellowship has given us the gift of more time to build a co-design team; to authentically engage the community; to include parents, students, and educators in our planning process; and to design a school that’s responsive to what we are hearing through the stories of young people and their families. There are not a lot of organizations that are invested in giving people the time and resources required to deeply engage with the community, to study effective school models, and to construct a comprehensive vision for school. The BES Fellowship gives us those resources.”

Josh Pinto Taylor, Ed.D.
2020 Community Co-Design Fellow, Founder of The Anchor School, Atlanta, GA

Shara Hegde

“The BES Fellowship helped me see everything that went into running an excellent school. When I was on the ground in my community, I knew exactly what I needed to do – the questions I needed to ask, the level of preparedness I needed to bring, and the level of work I needed to put into making a vision a reality. I’m grateful to have had an experience that showed me what it took to do the work successfully before actually doing the work.”

Shara Hegde
2008 BES Fellow, Chief Schools Officer, Alpha Public Schools, CA

Ignacio Prado

“Coming from the classroom and anchored in having a strong passion and vision in instruction and community building, I only know of one way to take the leap and learn the operational, technical, financial, and leadership skills to found an excellent school to match that vision: the BES Fellowship.”

Ignacio Prado
2015 BES Fellow, Founder and Executive Director, Futuro Academy, NV

Ben Samuels-Kalow

“The BES Fellowship showed me that while there is no one way to run an excellent school, all excellent schools start with a clear plan. I’m grateful for the ongoing coaching, practice, school visits, and residencies in BES schools, all of which remind me that everything is still possible for kids, even when the work is hard.”

Ben Samuels-Kalow
2017 BES Fellow, Founder and Head of School, Creo College Prep, NY

Nina Rees

“Developing leaders that can get charter schools off to a great start from day one is the best way to ensure students will achieve. No one does this better than BES. It is hard work, but critical to the success of the movement.”

Nina Rees
President & CEO, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools