Phoenix, AZ — Great Leaders Strong Schools announced today the addition of two prominent national leaders to the Board of Directors bolstering the impact of the organization. The new board members will be replacing Kim Wold, Executive Director of Prosper and Jaime Molera, Partner at Molera Alvarez, who both served for two years.
The community and industry leaders joining the Board of Directors include:
Ariel Johnson: Executive Director of DC Charter School Action, the District of Columbia’s only 501c4 advocacy organization that focuses on promoting and supporting charter public schools to advance educational equity.
Luke Ragland: Senior Vice President of The Daniels Fund and board member of the Colorado Charter School Institute, the statewide charter school authorizer.
Armando Ruiz, CEO Servant Leader of Espiritu Schools and recent Arizona State Board of Education Member, will continue to serve on the governing board.
“When we launched Great Leaders Strong School two years ago, we knew there was a demand for innovative and forward-thinking policy ideas to improve our state’s K-12 education system,” said President and Founder Emily Anne Gullickson. “Kim and Jaime were instrumental during these formative years of our organization, and we appreciate their leadership and service. We are thrilled to welcome our new board members who are passionate about ensuring all K-12 students access to high-quality schools and learning opportunities.”
Great Leaders Strong Schools was established in 2020 with the mission to provide equal access to quality schools for all Arizona students. The bipartisan organization advocates for community-driven K-12 education policies where students are the top priority.
More about our board members:
ARIEL JOHNSON: Ariel leads as executive director of DC Charter School Action, the District of Columbia’s only 501c4 advocacy organization that focuses on promoting and supporting charter public schools to advance educational equity. She also serves as Chief of Staff for the DC Charter School Alliance, the sister organization of DC Charter School Action. Most recently, Ariel served as a Chicago-based attorney and Chief of Staff for the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, and directed political strategy for the organization’s sister entity INCS Action, the third largest super PAC in the state. Her passion for education equity stems from her own experiences as a lifelong resident of the South Side of Chicago in under-resourced communities.
LUKE RAGLAND: Luke leads as the Senior Vice President of The Daniels Fund and serves on the board of the Colorado Charter School Institute, the statewide charter school authorizer. Prior to joining The Daniels Fund, Luke served as the President of Ready Colorado, a leading 501c4 education advocacy organization based in Denver. Previously, he served as Vice President of Policy at Colorado Succeeds, practiced commercial litigation at a firm in Denver, and worked in the White House. Luke grew up in rural Colorado with a strong understanding of the needs of remote communities in the Mountain West and lives in Denver.
ARMANDO RUIZ: Formerly the youngest Hispanic legislator elected in the state, Armando served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1981 to 1991 and served in the Arizona State Senate for one term as well as a policy advisor to Governor Fife Symington on community development issues. He recently served on the Arizona State Board of Education. Armando is CEO Servant Leader of Espiritu Schools, one of the first charter schools in Arizona, and leads Espiritu Community Development Corporation.
About Great Leaders Strong Schools
Advancing policies and cultivating leaders who advocate for providing all K-12 students access to high-quality schools and learning opportunities that are close to them, with a priority on students in high-poverty communities.