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Reach names new Executive Director

The Reach Education, Inc. (Reach)  Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Jennifer Cartland as its next Executive Director, following a national search led by Good Insight. Dr. Cartland has served as interim director since December 2021. She began her new role in May 2022.

“We know first-hand the transformational leadership Dr. Cartland will bring to Reach,” said Patrick Howard, Board Chair of Reach.  “Her passionate commitment to youth education in D.C. and extensive experience in community engagement will be instrumental in our work to close achievement gaps and advance literacy skills among the historically marginalized young people we serve.”

Prior to the pandemic, more than half of students in the District of Columbia had fallen behind in reading by the third grade, and 80 percent didn’t read at grade level entering high school. Data shows the achievement gap for D.C. students of color has widened during the pandemic. With Reach’s award-winning tutoring and leadership development programs planned to return in-person in the 2022-2023 school year, the selection of Dr. Cartland marks a movement to reinvigorate Reach’s innovative programming and accelerate the organization’s impact.

“We have the opportunity to transform the lives of young people at Reach, not only by building literacy skills but by empowering youth to see themselves as leaders in their own education and in their communities,” said Dr. Cartland. “As Interim Executive Director for the last five months, I have learned more about the dramatic effects that the last two complicated years have had on our young people and how much Reach teens have missed being part of this community. I am committed to helping Reach lean into the challenges our community faces, and doing all I can to position this organization for continued growth and success as its next Executive Director.”

About Dr. Jennifer Cartland

A lifelong educator, Dr. Jennifer Cartland has led teams, schools, and nonprofits to drive change for youth and youth-serving organizations. Skilled at system design, strategic planning, and innovating, she centers her work in building strong relationships to guide organizational transformation.

In nearly a decade of service as Principal for DCPS’s Capitol Hill Cluster Schools, Dr. Cartland was instrumental in the development of children and educators across three campuses, serving preschool to eighth grade. She continued in educational leadership roles to mentor, coach and support transformational educators and school leaders in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Rhode Island. As Senior Director of the Flamboyan Foundation, she mobilized community-based organizations, public charter school networks, and public school district leaders to create new pathways for family engagement to support student achievement.

Most recently as a consultant to the Special Olympics, and as Executive Director of the Washington Nationals Youth Academy, she championed participation of youth in underserved communities while building effective teams to deliver and expand programming.

Dr. Cartland’s community service extends to service on the board of directors for the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital and FRESHFARM. Dr. Cartland was honored as a 2022 Social Impact Women to Watch by Nonprofit HR, which recognized women who exhibit extraordinary leadership in their organizations and the communities they serve. 

Dr. Cartland earned her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from The George Washington University, and a BA from The Catholic University of America.

About Reach Incorporated

Founded in 2009, Reach’s mission is to develop grade-level readers and capable leaders by preparing predominantly Black and Brown teens who have experienced significant academic challenges to serve as tutors and role models for younger students, which results in improved literacy outcomes for both. With a focus on District of Columbia students in Wards 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, Reach is one of the D.C. Public Schools’ three priority literacy partners working in schools where there is a significant need for literacy support. Reach has supported more than 700 teens and elementary school students to increase their literacy skills.

About Good Insight

With a mission to connect good causes to great leaders, Good Insight is an executive search firm and governance consultancy serving the social sector. They plan leadership transitions, recruit talented senior executives, and strengthen boards of directors. Good Insight focuses on leadership searches for small and mid-sized nonprofits with a nationwide reach. To learn more, visit www.good-insight.org.

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