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Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership

School Leadership
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Empowering Change

Do you work in education? Are you eager to take the next step in your career? Build the skills, capacity, and confidence to lead innovative, equitable, democratic schools.

Program Overview

Named after Vito Perrone and Ted Sizer, PSi is a leadership certificate program that can also lead to graduate credit and/or completion of the Massachusetts Performance Assessment for Leaders (PAL), a requirement for principal licensure. The program immerses leaders in school settings and community-­based organizations and employs a design thinking approach to leadership development. 

PSi invites interest and applications from individuals who are:

  • Emerging school and nonprofit leaders who are ready for the next step
  • Experienced and creative educators willing to take risks and challenge the status quo
  • Open-minded thinkers committed to engaged learning and racial justice
  • Working professionals eager to join a network
  • Individuals who are passionate about creative leadership, whether they self-identify as an artist or not
  • Engaged community members, advocates, and organizers

Our Community

The Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership (PSi) was founded by Linda Nathan and Carmen Torres in 2015 as the Creative Educators Leadership Institute (CELI) at Boston University. PSi has added a cohort per year since, and in 2021, left the Center for Artistry and Scholarship to become one of Hale’s professional development programs. We invite you to meet our participants.

COHORT 8 (2023–2024)

Meet our current cohort.

COHORT 7 (2022–2023)

Julie Allen, Assistant Principal, East Somerville Community School
Aisha Banda, K-5 Social Studies Coordinator, Lexington Public Schools
Talia Etedgee Brown, Department Head for Fine and Performing Arts, Newton South High School
Branden Carr, Assistant Principal, Browne Middle School, Chelsea
May Chau, K-12 Visual Arts Supervisor, Somerville Public Schools
Yamilis Cruz, Assistant Principal, Bentley Academy Innovation School, Salem
Leanne DeRosa, Assistant Principal, Salem High School
Julie Gilmartin, Content Based Literacy Coach, Wright Academy, Chelsea
Alec Lapan, Dean, Chelsea High School
Patrick Melo, Redirect Counselor, Education and Career Advisor, Somerville Public Schools
Nicole Olusanya, BPS Arts Expansion Initiative Director, EdVestors
Richard Romanoff, K-8 District Lead Music Teacher, Chelsea Public Schools
Dayshawn Simmons, President, Somerville Educators Union
Jane Victor, Science Program Director, Boston Latin Academy

COHORT 6 (2021–2022)

Crystal Alcala, Assistant Principal, Sarah Greenwood K-8 Dual Language School, Boston
Patricia Arévalo, Assistant Principal, Chelsea High School
Laurinda Baccus, Assistant Headmaster, 9th Grade Academy, Madison Park High School, Boston
Ildulce Brandao, Assistant Head of Lower Division, The Park School, Brookline
Lisa Cook, Executive Director, The Clubhouse Network, Roxbury
Georgette Copeland, Special Education Teacher, ABA Based Classroom K2–2nd, Boston
Dave DiPietro, Interim Social Studies Department Head, Somerville High School
Demetrius Fuller, HOMies Integration Coach, Frank M. Sokolowski School, Chelsea
Rebecca Iyore, Assistant Principal, 9th Grade, Lawrence High School
Chris Madson, English Teacher and Lead Teacher, John D. O’Bryant School, Boston
Luz Maldonado, Family Liaison, Madison Park High School, Boston
Jessica Martinez, Community Field Coordinator, Boston Day and Evening Academy
Emily Monteiro, Consultant, Crossroads for Kids, Duxbury
Taryn Moon, Asst. Principal and Math Curriculum Specialist, Alcott Elementary School, Concord
Juan Mora y Araujo, Executive Director, Center for Artistry and Scholarship
Caitlin Nelson, Equitable Literacy District Coach, Boston Public Schools
Peter Pappavaselio, Coordinator for Performing and Visual Arts, Chelsea Public Schools
RL Reynolds Lupo, Assistant Principal, William E. Russell School, Boston
Anthony Rhodes, Dean of Discipline, Fenway High School, Boston
Marianela Rivera, Executive Director, Fortaleza, Lawrence
Alex Sanchez, Director of Family and Community Engagement, KIPP MA
Cam Scott, Director of Data and Analytics, North Carolina Region of KIPP
Sneha Walia, History Teacher, Boston Latin Academy
Lynn Weisse, Social Emotional & Academic Development Coach, Boston Public Schools

COHORT 5 (2020–2021)

Jossie Mar Bailey, Instructional Coach, Roosevelt K-8 School, Boston
Loredana Da Graça, Director of Language and Literacy, Orchard Gardens K-9 Pilot School, Boston
Joram Dade
Gina Desir, Multilingual Instructional Coach, Office of Multilingual & Multicultural Education, Boston
Amanda Dillingham, Science Program Director, East Boston High School
Joshua Fidalgo, Dean of School Culture, Dearborn STEM Academy, Boston
Danny Flannery, Literacy Coach, Hooks Elementary School, Chelsea
Dylan Gschwind, Education Coordinator, Maritime High School, Townsend, WA
Noreen Hassan Haddadi, Assistant Principal, Hill-Roberts Elementary School, Attleboro
Arlene Hudson, Director of Talent Development, Phalen Leadership Academies
Pierre Jean, Assistant Principal, Needham High School
Mandy Lam, Humanities and ESL Teacher, Josiah Quincy Upper School, Boston
Tia Lawrence, Principal, Malden Early Learning Center
Jordan Manchester, Assistant Head of School, Middle School, Boston Latin Academy
Teresa Marx, Chemistry Teacher, Needham High School
Michelle McGahan, Vice Principal, Framingham High School
Beth Peters, Teacher, Adams Elementary, Boston
Melissa Pires, Family Liaison, Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School, Boston
Rebecca Poirier, Assistant Principal, Snowden International School, Boston
Lea Serena, Boston Teachers Union Elementary Field Rep
Ryan Solero, Lead Teacher, Visual and Performing Arts, Cambridge Public Schools
Lindsay Thornquist, Co-Leader, BTU Pilot School, Boston
Reginald Toussaint, Executive Director, The Achieve Program, Dedham
Kendwy Valdez, Principal, Collins Elementary School, Lynn

COHORT 4 (2019–2020)

Aaron Altman, Associate Dean of PK12 Partnerships, Northern Essex Community College
Shannin Antonopoulo, Project Manager, Artist Proof Studio, Johannesburg
Jacquelline Carolan, Director of Social Emotional Learning, Mary Lyon K-8, Brighton
Mayra Cuevas, Universal Preschool Coach, Boston Public Schools
Kareem Cutler, Dir. of Academic Advancement, Student Support & Operations, New Mission High
Aytul Farquharson, Music Teacher, Boston Public Schools
Chris Fitzpatrick, Math Coach, Beebe School, Malden
Joshua Garver, Strings Teaching Artist, Beaver Country Day School, Chestnut Hill
Sheldon Hitchens, Director of Impact, 2 Gen at United Way of Dane County, MI
Sheila Jacobo-Ahmed, Assistant Principal, Unidos Academy, Lawrence High School
Jennifer Lambertz, Director of Teaching and Learning, Mary Lyon Pilot School, Brighton
Paige Lemieux, Development Coordinator, Alumni Affairs & Development, Harvard University
Sonia Lowe, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment 6–12, Salem Public Schools
Alison Mann, Assistant Director of Early Childhood, Somerville Public Schools
Katie McGuire, Accelerated Improvement and Inquiry Manager, Boston Public Schools
Giovany Morales-Ramos, Director of Technology, Citizen Schools, Boston
Genevieve Nouveaux, Teacher and Strategist, Greater Egleston High School, Roxbury
Tiffany Rice, Middle School DEI and Global Education Practitioner, Buckingham Browne & Nichols
Jennifer Rose-Wood, ELA and Special Education Teacher, Boston Arts Academy
Allison Ruane, Instructional Coach, Browne Middle School, Chelsea

COHORT 3 (2018–2019)

Jiar Ahmed, 9th and 10th Grade Small Learning Community Leader, Charlestown High School
Farah Assiraj, Chief of Teaching and Learning, Council of the Great City Schools
Lauren Blumberg, Focused Instructional Coach, Abbey Kelley Foster Charter School, Worcester
Caitlyn Castillejo, ESL/Humanities Teacher, Charlestown High School
Shameka Charley, Software Development Instructor at Year Up, Boston
Michelle Dean, Community and Culture Leader, Josiah Quincy Upper School, Boston
Frank DeVito, Executive Director, Equity Lab Charter Schools Inc., Lynn
Christina Farese, Instructional Coach, Putnam Avenue Upper School, Cambridge
Rhianon Gutierrez, Director of Digital Learning, Boston Public Schools
Michele Harney, Business Teacher, Somerville High School
Meghan Harrington, Interim Principal, West Zone Early Learning Center, Jamaica Plain
Wyatt Jackson, Executive Director, We Move in Color Collaborative, Inc.
Bernadine Lormilus, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School, Dorchester
Kendra Lamb, Lower School Director (K1-2), Boston Renaissance Charter Public School
Taheera Massey, Teacher / Yoga Teacher, Conservatory Lab Charter School, Boston
Jeff Shea, Instructor, School of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, Tufts University
Glen Sherman, Dir. of Academic Programs & Teacher Development, Dudley Street School, Roxbury

COHORT 2 (2017–2018)

Emily Bekenstein, Director of Operations, Orchard Gardens K–8 Pilot School, Boston
Caitlin MacLeod-Bluver, Reading Specialist & Coach, Winooski VT High School
Emily Chen, 7–8 Math Teacher, Boston Green Academy
Angela DiPesa, Senior Director of Student Services, Breakthrough Greater Boston
Shaunalynn Duffy, Director of Operations, sprout & co. / Powderhouse Studios
Chris Flaherty, Producer, PorchProductions
Valduvino Goncalves, Student Development Counselor, John D. O’Bryant High School, Boston
Amy Gonzalez, 7th Grade English Language Arts Teacher, Rindge Avenue Upper School, Cambridge
Cassandra McGraw, Founder, Brown Educator Experience, Washington DC
Nicole Pelletier, Instructional Coach and Teacher, New Mission High School, Boston
Tess Plotnik, Institutional Giving Manager, Emmanuel Music, Boston
Alec Resnick, Director, Powderhouse Studios
Heron Russell, Outdoor Guide, Intrepid Academy at Hale Education, Inc.
Maura Tighe, Artistic Director, Boston Arts Academy
Bob Tobio, Math/Special Ed, Mary Lyon Pilot High School, Brighton
Shantae Toole, Co-Founder & Co-Director, First Teacher, Roxbury
Amy Wedge, Visual and Media Arts Content Specialist, Boston Public Schools
Nancy Zimbalist, Content Team Leader, Charlestown High School

COHORT 1 (2016–2017)

Eliza Casella, Director of SEL, Climate, and Culture, Salem Public Schools
Yoelinson Castillo
Dr. Brian Gellerstein, Director for Fine and Performing Arts, Framingham Public Schools
Josue Gonzalez, Executive Director, Project STEP, Boston
Weddee Neufville-Henry, Literacy Specialist, Boston Day and Evening Academy
Dan Kelly, Gavin Foundation, Boston
Kendra Martin, Team Leader, Vocal Music Teacher, Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School, Boston
June Murray, Social Studies Teacher, Hudson High School
Dana Reder, Director of Student Services, Neighborhood House Charter School, Dorchester
Nasrin Samadi, Dean of Curriculum and Instruction, Lawrence High School
Guy Michel Telemaque, Visual Arts Faculty & BAA Gallery Director, Boston Arts Academy
Valerie Vasti, Literacy Coach, Mohawk Trail Regional School District
Bethy Verano, Principal, Hurley K-8 School, Boston

CELI (2015–2016)

Jamie Andrade, Art Teacher in Rivers and Revolutions, Concord Carlisle High School
Jennifer Barefoot Smith, Teacher and Counselor, Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers
Michelle Brito, Leadership Coach, Lynch Leadership Academy at Boston College
Colleen Casey, Teacher, Mary Lyon School, Brighton
Lydia Cochrane, Co-Principal, St. Johnsbury VT Lower School
Kati Delahanty, Transformation Instructional Coach, Brighton High School
Rachel Eio, World Language Curriculum Coordinator, Brookline High School
Donna Glick, Retired Director of Education, Huntington Theatre Company
Donna Harris, Community and Culture Leader, Josiah Quincy Upper School, Boston
Tim Kelleher, Teacher, Josiah Quincy Upper School, Boston
Damen Kelton, METCO Director, Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School
Gizelle Lev, Vice Principal, Barbieri Elementary School, Framingham Public Schools
Adrianne Level, Program Leader, Boston Day and Evening Academy
Carolyn Meadows, Senior Project Manager, Boston Public Schools
Katy Ramon, Math Teacher, Heatherwood Middle School, Mill Creek WA
David Sullivan, Math Teacher, Mary Lyon Pilot High School, Brighton
Tyrone Sutton, Interim Head of School, Boston Arts Academy
David Wientraub, English Teacher, Newton South High School
Eytan Wurman, Director of Operations, Suzuki School of Newton

Leadership Lenses

Join a cohort of teachers, school leaders, and staff as you explore creative leadership from the perspectives of educator, artist, and community-based leader.

Committed to racial justice and equity, and informed and driven by research and data; drawing upon a deep knowledge of child and adolescent development; and applying a profound understanding of theories of learning to prepare students for academic and personal success.

A teacher works at a table.

Accessing inspiration and utilizing creativity, design, risk taking, and experimentation to solve complex problems; artists persist and consider, refine, and illuminate many different approaches.

A group of musicians playing together.

Employing a culturally competent understanding of the assets and needs of youth and families in a given community to engage effectively in a dynamic collaborative process of community growth, development, and networking.

Educators walk around their community.
PSi cohort outside in a large circle.

We ensure participants develop and grow as creative leaders, head teachers, community organizers, visionary resource managers, chief talent developers, and skilled politicians across seven leadership practices:


Continually confronting racism, in self and in others, policies, systems; a contender in the fight for racial justice; centering BIPOC voices; learning from individuals as well as scholarship; embracing intersectionality

Community Mobilization

Advocating and organizing for systemic change; convening the community around common values, a common mission, and a dynamic strategy

Continuous Reflection

Seeking the community’s expertise and growing in self-knowledge by consciously considering our own experiences, actions, feelings, and responses and our impact on the individuals, groups, and systems in which we engage and lead; broadening this reflection to accurately and continually diagnose the dynamic needs of those individuals, groups, and systems


Engaging, risking, experimenting, and persisting; using a design thinking approach to address complex challenges

Effective Communication

Listening and communicating regularly, proactively, clearly, inspirationally to engage hearts and minds for action


Exhibiting moral courage; practicing sound management and transparency; embracing human imperfection and uncertainty in the service of justice

Responsive & Inspired Instruction

Actively demonstrating deep commitment to the academic, intellectual, social-emotional, civic, and professional development of youth and adults; consciously working to provide an organic learning environment, inclusive of disequilibrium, with the purpose of finding joy and humility through investing in the overall growth and development of the entire learning community

Scholarship recipient and her family.

August and April Intensives and Monthly Cohort Sessions

PSi requires participant attendance at, and active participation in, all PSi classroom sessions, field experiences, and events, including multi-day August and April Intensives and one or two full-day class sessions each month from September through June. In addition, participants will attend a 1- to 2-hour online Section Group meeting each month, to be scheduled. District Fellows will also have an additional 1- to 2-hour online meeting each month for district-specific conversations, to be scheduled. See our current Syllabus and Schedule.

Monthly Assignments in Preparation for Sessions and Projects

On time completion of monthly reading and homework assignments in preparation for each session is required. Participants are notified of assignments at least one month in advance.

PSi Capstone Leadership Project

The PSi Capstone Leadership Project, which PSi builds toward throughout the year, is participant-driven and independently designed to suit the professional goals and interests of each individual in the cohort. The Capstone Leadership Project must: (1) address an opportunity for growth in the participant’s learning community AND (2) leverage a partnership between a community-based organization and their home organization. Participants are expected to develop a project that improves outcomes for youth and families using the resources of their home organization as well as a community-based organization.

PSi cohort posing in front of building.

Graduate Credit

PSi partners with Cambridge College, which has developed and offers the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership Certificate and awards graduate credit for interested PSi participants. Learn more.

MA Performance Assessment for Leaders (PAL)

For participants seeking to qualify for Massachusetts principal licensure, PSi provides significant coaching support to complete PAL tasks through the apprenticeship track at no additional cost. Participants seeking to qualify for Massachusetts principal licensure are also required to arrange their own placement in a 500 hour apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed principal in a Massachusetts public or charter school. Learn more at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education‘s website.

District Fellowships

PSi partners directly with school districts that provide PSi district fellowships tailored to meet each district’s leadership development goals. If you are an employee of our current partner districts (Cambridge, Chelsea, Framingham, Revere, Somerville, Westwood), or if you are a district leader interested in establishing a partnership with PSi, please contact Lisa Sankowski for more information.

PSi cohort reading on staircase.

Vito Perrone

Vito Perrone was a professor of education at the University of North Dakota and Harvard University. He was a leading advocate for humanistic and regimentation – free public education. Upon receiving an award from the Cambridge Peace Commission, he spoke of his apprehension about public school systems that encourage teachers to “accept the message of test scores rather than go beyond them.” He always used questions to further his students’ thinking and in this instance asked, “What if our children and young people learn to read and write and don’t like to and don’t? What if they don’t read the newspapers and magazines, or can’t find beauty in a poem or love story? What if they don’t go as adults to artistic events, don’t listen to a broad range of music, aren’t optimistic about the world and their place in it, don’t notice the trees and the sunset, are indifferent to older citizens, don’t participate in politics or community life?” With a teacher’s rhetorical urgency, he added, “Should any of this worry us?” Vito mentored countless generations of emerging teachers and leaders. He is also the author of the book “Letters for Teachers.”

Ted Sizer

Ted Sizer founded The Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) in 1984 when he was the chair of the education department at Brown University. At its height, CES had over 1,000 member schools in the US and around the world that subscribed to a set of 10 common principles such as: “Student as work; teacher as coach;” “Learn to use one’s mind well;” “Less is more: depth over coverage;” “Personalization.” These were revolutionary ideas in the early 1980s and many still consider CES’ focus on democracy and equity as essential to the healthy development of schools and communities. In 1994, with his wife, Nancy, they founded Francis W. Parker Charter School in Devens, Massachusetts. Sizer is best known for his trilogy of books: Horace’s Compromise, Horace’s School, and Horace’s Hope—that deeply influenced generations of progressive educators, school reformers and school leaders.

Curriculum Insight

Explore what our next cohort will learn.

PSi has given me many tools, strategic, moral, and technical, to approach a whole host of ideas, problems, projects, etc. It has also given me a network of colleagues as well as an introduction to local leaders in Boston. It takes one out of the weeds of one’s own world/work and allows you to not only to get a bird’s eye view of your own work, but also a look at your work through the lenses of your teachers and colleagues. It forces you to be creative and vision-oriented as well as makes you practice how you articulate and advocate for your ideas.

This program was the turning point in my career that I needed, and it gave me confidence and agency in my abilities as a leader in education. Everyone who is aspiring to leadership needs a program with mentors who can put a mirror up to you and help you find those aspects that you already have in yourself that will help you on your path towards leadership.

I wasn’t quite sure what journey I needed/wanted to be on at this juncture of my career. Wow, in the past year, my definition of myself as a leader radically changed and deepened. This program opened so many pathways for me as a practicing leader, renewed my confidence in actions that I have undertaken over the years, but also invigorated my desire to adopt new ways of leading both in the department that I run, as well as the arts organization as an entity.

The program asks you to think about the role that the arts and community organizations play in school leadership in way that traditional leadership programs do not. It also asks you to look deeply at one issue that you are passionate about and do a deep investigation into how to create change.

My year with PSi was a transformative experience. The program gave me insight into the various dimensions and capacities of leadership. The particular artistic lenses that the program engages spoke directly to me as an artist and as a creative leader. It prepared me for a kind of leadership that I could not imagine prior and gave me the confidence to pursue my doctorate.

The most important aspect for me was that there are skills, talents, and ways of thinking that I believe are latent within us all and, with the shared experiences provided by PSi, are teased out and strengthened into formidable tools.

My identities as an artist and community-based leader have carried into my work as an educator; namely my adaptive mindset, intentional collaborations, and vision for access and inclusion. [Through PSi] I have grown in two new areas that have been essential to my lens as an adaptive district-level leader: a deeper understanding of learning science, and focus on equity.

Make Change Today

A member of our team will be glad to discuss PSi with you. Submit your information and we’ll be in touch. You’ll also receive Hale’s monthly eNews.

Learn More! Sign up for Emails

Large red barn in the woods.

Join PSi’s 2024-2025 Cohort

Information sessions are coming up and our application is now available. If you aren't ready to apply or can't attend an info session, submit your contact information above to join Hale's mailing list.

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