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Tresha Francis Ward

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Tresha Francis Ward
Strategic Advising

Background: Tresha Ward is partner at Bellwether Education Partners. She has 14 years of experience in education. In her role at Bellwether, she has worked across pre-K through 12th grades and a variety of school models supporting them as they start up, scale, or improve their instructional programs.

Prior to joining Bellwether in 2017, Tresha spent eight years in a number of leadership roles with the KIPP charter school network. Her most recent role was as a managing director of schools for KIPP NYC, where she focused on school turnaround. She was also the school leader development director for the KIPP Foundation. In this role she provided support to 200+ KIPP school leaders either through the creation of leadership development programming, as an instructor for instructional leadership, or through direct coaching. Additionally, Tresha supported chief academic officers and school leaders in KIPP’s Texas regions on academic strategy implementation.

In 2010, she opened KIPP Legacy Preparatory School, an internationally focused school in Northeast Houston within KIPP Houston Public Schools. Tresha grew KIPP Legacy to ~800 kids in grades pre-K through 3rd. The school now serves 900+ students in grades pre-K through 4th.

Tresha has served as a leadership coach and independently consulted with organizations and schools for several years.

She attended Vanderbilt University for her bachelor’s degree and Stanford University for her master’s degree and started her education career as a Teach For America Houston corps member in the Houston Independent School District. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband.

Experience at Bellwether: instructional improvement strategy, academic strategy implementation support, readiness-to-grow assessments and planning support,  instructional coaching, organizational effectiveness, longterm strategic planning, leadership development

Client segments served: urban education, charter schools, district charters, district schools, independent schools, turnaround schools

Sample clients: NewSchools Venture Fund, DC International School, Chicago Collegiate Charter School, Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School, Lee Montessori Public Charter School, McGlone Academy, Denver Green School, Girls Athletic Leadership Schools Denver, Lowell Community Charter Public School, Bronx Charter School for the Arts, Mott Haven Academy Charter School, Coney Island Prep, DC Bilingual Public Charter School, Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School,  Harlem Academy

Why I do this work: I grew up in the Bronx, NY and was oblivious to educational inequity until I got to college. While my road was not easy, I was lucky enough to have family and supports that helped me overcome the obstacles that came my way. I do this work because kids who look like me or grow up in places like the Bronx deserve access to great schools and opportunities that allow them to create a life full of choices. Kids should not have to be "lucky enough" to have the "right people" around or attend the "right schools" to gain access. Right now that is not the reality, and I want to be a part of changing that.

Recent Media

Mary K. Wells
Tresha Francis Ward

Autonomous District Schools: Lessons From the Field on a Promising Strategy" summarizes Bellwether’s work with San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) over the past 18 months. The district has authorized three networks of autonomous district schools using a law that supports and incentivizes the creation of these schools. Bellwether provided program design support, strategic advice, and capacity building to SAISD’s Network Principal Initiative, and this deck offers an overview of the initiative and the lessons we learned about the launch of autonomous district schools.

This slide deck is accompanied by a tool kit, “Autonomous District Schools: Tools for Planning and Launching," which offers concrete resources for leaders interested in planning an autonomous school or network.

Title image for Bellwether publication