Boston, MA – February 15, 2017 – Veronica Conforme was unanimously selected by the UP Education Network board to serve as the network’s second CEO after an exhaustive national search. Conforme will take over as CEO of UP Education Network in July of 2017 after serving as Chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) of Michigan for the last three years.
“Veronica Conforme is uniquely qualified to lead UP Education Network through its transition from a Boston-based startup to a statewide partner in school turnaround work,” said Mitchell Chester, Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “Veronica’s collaborative approach will serve her well in leading UP into the next chapter of its work in Massachusetts.”
Conforme comes to UP with a strong national profile as both an experienced practitioner and dynamic leader. In addition to serving at the senior most levels of two of the country's largest urban school districts, Conforme is a graduate of the esteemed Broad Superintendent's Academy. Broad Academy has successfully recruited and trained many of the nation's top urban educators.
“I commend UP for recruiting such a dynamic leader to take the helm. More than 93% of UP students are young people of color with Latinos representing 52% of the students,” stated Carol Fulp, President and CEO of The Partnership Inc. “As a bilingual public school student from the Bronx herself, Veronica has a personal perspective, in addition to her exceptional professional expertise, that will be invaluable to UP students and families.”
As Chancellor of EAA, Conforme oversaw the 15 lowest performing public schools in the City of Detroit. Conforme’s collaborative work with educators and families was transformative for kids. Under Conforme’s leadership, EAA made great strides with over half of students achieving 1.5 or more years’ growth in reading and math. For over a decade prior to that she served in senior leadership roles in NYC public schools including as Chief Operating Officer overseeing a $23 billion budget and 130,000 employees. Conforme also worked as Vice President for the Access to Opportunity campaign at The College Board where she led a campaign to ensure that low-income students had access to college.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with UP’s amazing students, families, teachers, staff, community, and district partners to continue to transform chronically underperforming public schools across Massachusetts,” said Veronica Conforme. “I am fully committed to serving students in Boston, Lawrence, and Springfield and promoting high standards, excellence, equity, and a joy for learning for all.”
UP Education was founded in 2011 with the mission of delivering an outstanding education to the same students, at the same schools, as the previously underperforming schools. Since its inception, UP students have achieved historic results with some of the highest year-to-year student growth in Massachusetts’ history. Over the course of the last six years UP has tripled in size – serving over 3,000 students in Boston, Lawrence, and Springfield.
“We’re excited to have someone of Veronica’s caliber at the helm of the UP Education Network,” stated Farhad Nanji, Chair of the Board of Trustees for UP Education Network. “Veronica brings a diversity of experience and expertise in school turnaround work that uniquely qualifies her to build on UP’s track record of success in Massachusetts.”