NEWARK, N.J., June 06, 2012 - Shané Harris, vice president of The Prudential Foundation, has been appointed chair of the board of the Newark Trust for Education, the city’s independent local education fund dedicated to developing, coordinating and focusing ideas, resources and expertise to improve education for all children in Newark.
“Shane Harris is the right leader at the right time to move the Trust to its next level of impact and effectiveness,” said Ross Danis, president and CEO of the Newark Trust for Education. I have come to know Shané as a highly dedicated and extremely knowledgeable non-profit executive. I am looking forward to working closely with her as she takes the reins of the Newark Trust for Education – an organization that she helped build.”
Harris was instrumental in launching the Newark Trust for Education as a local education fund—one of 80 LEFs operating in 36 states, serving over 12 million students that are part of the Public Education Network (PEN) – by organizing and supporting a two-year process that involved more than 100 Newark community stakeholders. She was named to the board in November 2010 and elected vice chair in June 2011.
“We have a terrific board. The members have more than 250 collective years of experience working in Newark on behalf of children and their education,” Harris said. “I am honored to serve as chair of such a distinguished board that is dedicated to such a worthwhile endeavor.”
Harris has oversight responsibility for the distribution of approximately $25 million in Prudential Foundation grants each year. She manages the Foundation’s program strategy and its staff; advises senior management on Prudential’s support of education issues; and is responsible for the education policy of the Community Resources Department at Prudential.
“I have seen firsthand how the Public Education Network’s local education funds can make a significant improvement in education outcomes in challenging environments in cities all over America,” Harris said. “I look forward to helping to expand the capacity and impact of the Trust, while working side by side with community leaders, policymakers, and educators to ensure that all Newark’s children have the education they deserve.”
Harris replaces Dr. Clement A. Price, a Rutgers–Newark Distinguished Professor of History who served as the Trust’s founding board chair. Price will continue as a member of the board and chair of its nominating committee. “Dr. Price is in a class by himself. Who could ask for a better founding board chair? There is no question in my mind that we would not be here without him,” Danis said.
Price said his goal as board chair was to see the organization through its initial launch and step aside when it was stabilized and on track to succeed. “Because Newark has been my home and the center of my academic life for over a quarter of a century, and because I care deeply about our youth, serving as the founding board chair of the Newark Trust ranks among the most meaningful and important civic responsibilities of my public life in Newark,” Price said. “I look forward to supporting Shané and to continuing to work with the board to ensure that our children have access to the education they all deserve,” Price said. “If past is, indeed, prelude to the future, the Trust will continue to have a positive impact on the landscape of education reform in Newark and beyond.”
Since its launch in January 2011, the Trust has designed and launched four major initiatives and raised over $2 million from 12 foundations to support the alignment and coordination of resources in sustain public education reform efforts in Newark. In addition, the Trust continues to inform and engage the public around critical education issues. Most recently the Trust’s Committee of Advocates hosted a candidates’ forum for the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board election. It was attended by more than 300 citizens. The event was streamed live on the Internet and broadcast on local cable access channels in the weeks prior to the election.