At Marshall Leadership Institute, we believe transformational leaders already exist within your school community. Marshall Leadership Institute helps you find and nurture those leaders. We nurture leaders through their entire career journey, from the moment a teacher first considers becoming a school leader, through the early stages of leadership, to the time they’re ready to lead change beyond the walls of a single school. Our vision is that every school in the country has a leader who is willing and able to make their school better on behalf of every student they serve.
Our values guide the way we partner with public charter school communities to unlock powerful school leadership from within.
Marshall Leadership Institute models a belief in, and pursuit of, a bright future for schools and their communities. Our approaches to pipeline and leadership development are constructive, creative, and relentless in the face of obstacles.
No matter where schools or leaders are in developing their pipelines and leadership, Marshall Leadership Institute helps schools and leaders build on what they already have. Leveraging an assets-based approach, Marshall Leadership Institute helps schools and leaders learn more about their systems and themselves, define leadership for their communities, and build on their current programming.
We know the work to build the schools that our young people deserve is never done. At Marshall Leadership Institute, we aim not only to support schools and leaders with strategies to improve their schools, but we use those same strategies to improve our programming for those we serve.
Five fundamental beliefs guide our approach to nurturing leaders.
We believe leadership is developed, and exists, within a school community. Leadership just needs the proper conditions to bloom. We focus on helping school communities create these conditions.
Historically, school leadership has been an isolating profession, leading to burnout and turnover. Marshall Leadership Institute intentionally fosters community and connection in its school leadership development, giving leaders the ongoing supportive networks they need to thrive.
School leaders need skills they can apply right away. That’s why our programs are designed to be intensely practical and actionable: we leverage problem-based learning, consultancies, simulations, feedback, and reflection to build skills that can be used right away.
We believe there is no single “right way” to respond to the many challenges that arise on school sites. We expose leaders to a variety of solutions and help them to select the ones that fit with their authentic leadership style and school contexts.
Every student deserves a school experience that meets their unique needs and promotes their full potential. By helping leaders develop the mindsets and practices that support students who are traditionally underserved, Marshall Leadership Institute cultivates leaders who create equitable schools where all students thrive.
97% of Marshall leaders would recommend the program to others interested in leading schools. Within three years, 80% of Marshall Leadership Institute alumni pursued and received school leadership roles.
Principal, Lumen High School
“My work with Marshall Leadership Institute has enhanced my leadership and the experiences of students within my school. During one of our cohort sessions, we focused on the work of building a restorative school culture. After completing some powerful readings, discussing with my cohort, and receiving coaching from the Marshall Leadership Institute facilitators, I had a transformative moment: I realized that my school’s faculty’s hearts were in the right place, but our systems weren’t. I went back to my school clear on what we needed to do. We re-invested in proactive community building rather than just focusing on recovering after harm was done. Without a doubt, we made significant, systemic improvement in our culture and are moving towards a more joyful school community.”
Founded by Greg Ponikvar — former Founding Executive Director of Summit Olympus High School in Washington — and co-facilitated with school leaders from across the country, Marshall Leadership Institute is deeply rooted in the unique perspective and needs of school leaders who are working to create change at every level of their school system.
Greg Ponikvar serves as the Executive Director of Marshall Street. He is also the founder of the Marshall Leadership Institute and moderator of the Leadership Fellows Program, where he dedicated himself to building scalable solutions to problems facing the training and retention of high-quality and diverse school leaders. Greg received his Master of Arts in Education and teaching credential from Stanford University. He was a founding History Teacher at Everest Public High School, where he earned his National Board Certification. Greg then founded the Summit Expeditions Program, where he led a team of teachers offering elective, enrichment, and passion-exploration courses across the Summit Public Schools network of schools in California. He then moved to Tacoma, Washington to be the founding principal of Summit Olympus High School, which was among the first public charter schools’ in the state to graduate a diverse group of students with a 100% college acceptance rate.
Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Ayanna Gore was the first in her family to receive a college degree. After college, Dr. Gore started as a high school science teacher and then went on to lead school turnaround efforts in 2016 as a school leader at Chicago Public Schools (CPS). After CPS, Dr. Gore served as a school leader and Executive Director of Summit Sierra High School in Seattle from 2018-2021 where her leadership focused on developing anti-racist leadership within students. Dr. Gore is currently the Vice President of Selection at Teach For America (TFA) working on creating equitable selection systems. Dr. Gore holds a B.S. in Biology from Loyola University—Chicago and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from DePaul University. In her free time, she enjoys being a dance mom for her four-year-old and teaching fitness classes.
With nearly two decades in the classroom as a teacher and school leader at Summit Public Schools, Kelly is now the Chief of Staff supporting Summit’s 15 public schools. She is featured in Prepared: What Kids Need for a Fulfilled Life as the founding History teacher of Summit Prep. Kelly is the parent of two kids who have taught her what it means to love fiercely and passionately, even when you are wondering why they just cannot put the towels in the bathroom
Rahman has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, executive director, leadership coach, and expert on equity for more than 25 years. As an educator at the District of Columbia Public Schools, Rahman gained prominence as a turnaround specialist for low-performing schools. Rahman then served as the nation’s first Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office on African American Affairs, appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser, and chaired the Committee for Equity and Access in all Neighborhoods as part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative. Currently, Rahman is the CEO of Inside Urban, where he helps leaders grow beyond basic diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to build anti-racist, inclusive organizations. Rahman holds a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia and a Master in Education Administration from Trinity Washington University.
Launched by and for school leaders, Marshall Leadership Institute helps unlock the teacher-to-school leader pipeline for public charter school communities across the United States.
Ready to build a sustainable leadership pipeline that cultivates powerful school leadership from within your community? Marshall Leadership Institute partners with school communities to build a pipeline of transformational leaders from your community.
Looking for individual support for your schools’ current leaders? Marshall Leadership Institute offers cohort-based learning to accelerate the development of authentic and powerful leadership skills within your current leaders.
Facing a challenge and looking for responsive support from an experienced coach? Marshall Leadership Institute offers one-on-one personalized coaching to help leaders tackle the daily challenges of running a school.