The Wilmington Learning Collaborative has finally selected an executive director.
After a nationwide search that lasted more than six months, the board on Friday chose Laura Burgos, a career educator in the public, nonprofit and private sectors.
“The WLC continues to establish itself as a non-profit corporate entity, and it is very important work,” said Dan Shelton, a member of the governing council and superintendent of Christina School District.
Those involved with the collaborative are very passionate about ensuring they get this right for the students in the city of Wilmington, he said.
“Dr. Burgos has the experience and expertise to lead us in the right direction and get the real work of ensuring the right systems and supports are in place to improve outcomes for our students,” he said.
Repeated efforts to contact Burgos for comment were unsuccessful. She laid out her goals and plans for her first 90 days as executive director at a recent town hall.
Burgos most recently served as an education researcher, co-designing research projects and partnering with the educational-technological community across the country.
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Burgos, a Wilmington resident, was also the director of Youth Invest Partners, leading multi-year investments in initiatives focused on improving education and health outcomes for marginalized communities.
The Wilmington Learning Collaborative is a state agency created in November 2022 that aims to improve the educational and societal outcomes for children in nine city elementary schools across Brandywine, Red Clay and Christina school districts.
The learning collaborative is currently in its planning year and hopes to launch in the fall..
However, the governing council voted to go to the boards of all three districts in July to request an extension of the planning year, largely because it took six months to fill the executive director position.
Representatives this month will ask district boards to amend the signed memorandum of understanding to give the council more time to act.
Delays in conducting a needs and root-cause assessment at schools has also put the group behind schedule.
The main goal of the collaborative is to empower city families by addressing societal problems and inequities while focusing on improving student achievement.
As executive director, Burgos will oversee the 15-person governing council’s business and affairs and administer the budget and relay financial information to the treasurer.
She’ll be able to discuss and introduce initiatives, but will not have voting power.
The job description for its executive director position cites an annual salary of $156,257 to $175,616. Councilman Lincoln Hohler, superintendent of Brandywine, said the council is now negotiating salary and benefits with Burgos.
The other council members voted to elect Burgos at a meeting Friday.
A recording of the meeting has not yet been posted, but is expected to be this week.
The governing council’s next meeting is June 29 at 6 p.m. Watch it here.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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