Tom Roderick Introduces Morningside Center’s New Executive Director

After an intensive search process, Morningside Center's board of directors has appointed Cassie Schwerner to succeed Tom Roderick as executive director of Morningside Center. 

Dear Friends of Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility,
In April I sent out an email saying that after 35 years of leading Morningside Center, I would be stepping out of my position as executive director during 2018. I am writing to share the exciting news that after an intensive search process, the board of Morningside Center has appointed Cassie Schwerner to succeed me as executive director of Morningside Center. I'll be turning over leadership of the organization to Cassie on November 5 after a transition period.  
I am confident that Cassie is the right person to build on what Morningside Center has accomplished and to enhance the depth, scope, and impact of our work. A life-long advocate for social justice, Cassie has spent her 31-year professional career deeply engaged with issues of poverty, race, gender, and educational equity. Her areas of expertise include early education, pre-k to 12 public education, equity, education organizing, educational reform, fund raising, strategic planning, nonprofit capacity building, organizational development, and strategic communications.
Cassie comes to us from The Schott Foundation for Public Education where she served most recently as Senior Vice President for National Partnerships. During her 22 years with The Schott Foundation, she helped transform a small family foundation into a national public fund with powerful strategic impact. Cassie's work with the Schott Foundation has involved both raising funds from individuals and foundations and providing grants to dozens of organizations across the country that promote educational equity and fully resourced early education and pre-k to 12 public schools.

 Cassie SchwernerCassie has extensive professional relationships throughout the philanthropic world, including active participation in multiple donor collaboratives and senior leadership on philanthropic organization boards. She served a six-year term on the Board of Directors of Grantmakers for Education and stewarded the Schott Foundation's involvement as a founding member of the steering committee for Communities for Public Education Reform, a national donor collaborative that generated more than $30 million for the field of education organizing. She is currently on the board of New York Appleseed, an organization that advocates for school integration in New York City.
Prior to joining the staff at The Schott Foundation in 1996, Cassie worked as editorial assistant to Jonathan Kozol, researching and editing the manuscripts for Savage Inequalities and Amazing Grace, and assisting Kozol on other projects over a ten-year period. She remains a close advisor to Kozol and serves as a trustee of his Education Action Fund.
Cassie graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Earlham College and earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Boston College, where she specialized in social movement theory. Her dissertation, "Sing a Song of Justice," focuses on multicultural organizing. She is the proud mother of two New York City public school students, Ezra and Vivian.
Cassie sees Morningside Center's work as striving to create in classrooms and schools what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called "the beloved community"-a vision deeply needed in this moment of history. That vision has inspired Cassie throughout her career, as demonstrated by her 30-plus years of work envisioning and advocating for equitable school communities. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue new dimensions of that work as executive director of Morningside Center.
Cassie says that she is ready for a new adventure. I am honored that she has chosen to have her new adventure with Morningside Center!
With warmth and gratitude,
Tom Roderick