Dr. M. T. Speller, CEO
Dr. M. T. Speller is an educational leader with more than 15 years of experience. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Rochester, and her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Speller’s decision to become an educator was born from a desire to provide equity and access for students of color. She believes that all students can succeed with the right resources and support. She intentionally pursued teaching and leadership opportunities in areas where young people were experiencing the most challenges. As a former high school teacher, assistant principal, principal and executive director, she never settled for mediocrity from her students or staff.
During her tenure as principal at the Harlem Children’s Zone, Promise Academy Charter High School, all of her students graduated on time, and all were accepted into college. While serving as the executive director in the same district, students continued the tradition of excellence. Under her leadership, students were accepted into some of the country’s top colleges and universities, including Cornell University, Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania. Accomplishing this goal was not simple. After learning about some of the early struggles that her former students faced as they transitioned to college, Dr. Speller worked with her team to reimagine the high school experience for her students by creating a school community that was more aligned with the demands of post-secondary education. Read about her journey in Repositioning Educational Leadership. This journey allowed her to examine and refine her own leadership practice. Dr. Speller’s experience as a teacher, school leader, district leader and executive director give her a unique perspective.
Dr. Speller’s is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University and the College of Staten Island. Her research focuses on culturally relevant leadership, school reform, college and career readiness and college persistence with a special emphasis on Black and Brown students.