Hello from New Executive Director Cassie Schwerner

A letter to the Morningside Center community - and an invitation to be in touch. 

 Cassie Schwerner joins Morningside Center's staff!

Cassie Schwerner (second from right in the front row) joins Morningside Center's staff!

I am honored and delighted to join Morningside Center's staff, board, schools, and community! I'm excited to work with you to build on the important work that Morningside Center and Tom Roderick have done over the past 35 years.
In these first few months of my tenure, I will focus on listening and learning from the whole Morningside Center community - including you. Whether you are a teacher, principal, student, parent, DOE official, UFT rep, or afterschool provider, I would love to hear from you! 

I invite you to email me at cschwerner@morningsidecenter.org, and tell me:

  • What do you value and what have you learned from Morningside?
  • What should we do more of?
  • What are the areas where you feel we have some growing to do? 

I also want you to get to know me.
My career and my passion is working to achieve positive social change and racial justice through public education. After graduating from Earlham College, I took a job with the writer Jonathan Kozol. The work I did as a researcher and editorial assistant contributed to the book that would become Savage Inequalities. The experience served as a training ground for me over the next 30 years.
I spent the next two decades in various positions at the Schott Foundation for Public Education, a national public fund that serves as a bridge between philanthropic partners and public education advocates.
At Schott, I was immersed in many of the same social and racial justice issues that are at the center of Morningside's work today. I spent the last decade supporting grassroots-led strategies for restorative practices in our public schools, working to end harsh discipline policies that disproportionately target our African American, Latino, and Native American students. We began working on campaigns such as #SolutionsNotSuspensions at a time when the wider education field was just was beginning to understand the importance of educating the whole child.
The last project I led was a Schott initiative called Healthy Living and Learning Communities, which aims to provide a framework (incorporating education, health, safety, school climate, and community power) to equip parents, students, and public school systems to create healthy community climates that are just and fair. 

I am the proud mother of two New York City public school students, Ezra, a junior in high school, and Vivian, in eighth grade.
I am thrilled to join the tremendous staff of Morningside Center, who are working every day to bring transformative change to our schools and our society. I look forward to being part of the Morningside Center community with you. I hope you'll be in touch!