Raven Love - teacher at East End

Investing in Extraordinary Talent

Fulfilling our mission of increasing the number of students from underserved communities who graduate from college prepared to lead can only be accomplished by having top-notch talent.

Determined to do whatever it takes to not only attract diverse, extraordinary talent but also increase inclusivity, retention and development of our teammates, YES Prep launched the Leading Excellence program in 2013. The program built a pipeline of future leaders within the organization that aspired to lead at a high level. These individuals were chosen based on a rigorous selection process that included essays, an interview and other leadership assessments.

While all participants benefited from the program, and some ascended the professional ladder, YES Prep began a radical redesign in both the vision and mission of the program at the end of last school year.

Leading Excellence reinvisioned

With the express purpose of being centered on equity, YES Prep is relaunching the program with the driving goal of developing campus leaders by providing them equitable access to training and development that prepares them for an eventual promotion.

From this year forward, all Resident Principals and Principals will receive training in adaptive leadership skills that YES Prep believes are most important, including but not limited to acting equitably, empowering and delegating, and building trust. Every campus leader at the Director level and above will also participate in the program, with their learning and development progressing alongside their year of service as leaders at YES Prep.

Furthermore, Leading Excellence will also continue to build YES Prep’s bank of adaptive leadership resources, build out coaching resources so campus-based leaders feel confident in coaching others, and consider expanding the program to other leaders across the system.

And leading the program…

Moving up the ranks herself within YES Prep, Stephanie Kaplun was promoted to Director of Leadership Development with the focus of revising and relaunching Leading Excellence. Kaplun first joined YES Prep through the North Central campus as a Dean of Instruction and eighth-grade math teacher, shortly thereafter moving into Director of Academics. In 2016 she joined the administrative office to support and create programming for instructional leaders across YES Prep. 

"YES Prep's re-designed Leading Excellence program and associated resources have allowed our organization to codify what we value most in leaders and describe the actions we expect leaders for equity to take,” commented Kaplun. “This opportunity has allowed us to provide development that is focused on the intersection of identity, privilege and power in service of greater equity for ALL staff and students."

Proud supporter of Leading Excellence

This program is, in part, made possible by the support of Enbridge. Regan Kasman, Community Investment with Enbridge, shared, “Enbridge is proud to be one of YES Prep's longest corporate funders. We welcome the opportunity to invest in the Leading Excellence program as a cohort of prepared school leaders is critical to YES Prep's long-term sustainability and the students receiving a strong educational foundation.”

Join our team!

We're looking for passionate, qualified candidates to Lead Houston Forward. To learn more and apply, click here.