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Shayna Hammond, Founder & CEO, Teach To Lead

Shayna Hammond has worked tirelessly for educational equity and excellence throughout her career. As the Founder and CEO of Teach To Lead (T2L), she is supporting school leaders in doing the same.

As a child, Shayna experienced the ugliness of racism and the redeeming power of a culturally inclusive teacher. Therefore, when she became a Teach For America corps member in 2002, she focused on inclusivity as a cornerstone to her leadership ethos. Shayna’s inner fire lit up her 3rd grade students at Baltimore’s Belmont Elementary, earning her the Peter Kannam Award for the greatest academic gains of the TFA-Baltimore Corps and leading her to be named as one of five National Finalists for the Sue Lehmann Award for Excellence in Teaching.

After receiving similar results as a fifth-grade English Language Arts instructor, Shayna was catapulted into school leadership. As a principal, she experienced the challenges of being a young, ambitious leader leading stakeholder groups with varying needs; the negative impact of endemic racial and socioeconomic inequities on the educational system; the need for transformative school leaders to support dramatic gains in student learning outcomes; and, the lack of mentorship and support for school leaders, particularly those working in equity-seeking communities.

Despite the challenges, Shayna cultivated KIPP Ujima’s first Leadership Team and led them to create a professional learning community dedicated to differentiated instruction, character education, cultural proficiency, and innovative scheduling models that provided adequate time for collaborative planning and data analysis. Under Shayna’s leadership, her school became the highest-performing public middle school in Baltimore.

These first years of Shayna’s exceptional career–along with her subsequent experiences supporting principals at 20 schools of choice serving more than 7,000 students in the Baltimore City Public School System, and driving the KIPP Foundation’s teacher leader professional development work nationally, impacting 26,000 students in 109 schools–set the foundation for the creation of her groundbreaking leadership development and coaching organization, Teach To Lead.

Through a research-based set of five core competencies and the development of T2L’s Educational Equity Framework, Shayna and her team provide leadership development and coaching to leaders and organizations who serve equity-seeking communities in “showing up” as the bold, authentic individuals they need to be to effect long-term, systemic change for schools and communities. Over the past five years, T2L leaders have attained the kind of results that must occur for justice in education to be realized, including earning the highest gains in achievement of any DC charter school, dramatically reducing staff turnover and increasing student retention, earning Tier 1 status for the first time in a school’s history, and drastically decreasing suspension rates.

Shayna brings with her an unparalleled ability to listen deeply, ask thought-provoking questions, develop others, build high-performing teams and cultures, and offer visionary insights—all the hallmarks of an exceptional coach and leader. Shayna extends the urgency she brings to her work beyond her role as the leader of Teach To Lead; she is a founding board member at Digital Pioneers Academy, the Achievement Committee Chair of the Rocketship DC Board, and a board committee member for Two Rivers Public Charter Schools, where she is guiding a middle school expansion effort.

Shayna earned a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology with minors in Business and English from James Madison University, a Master’s degree in the Art of Teaching from Johns Hopkins University, and a Master’s of Education degree focusing on Administration and Supervision from National-Louis University. She completed the KIPP School Leadership Program at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Certificate in Leadership Coaching Program at Georgetown University. Shayna is also a part-time faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education’s PENN Literacy Network.

When Shayna’s not actively working toward educational equity and excellence, she’s enjoying quality time with her two children, Judah and Joelle, learning a new sport, showing up for her Tribe, or exploring a new venue for spiritual growth and renewal.