Kaya Henderson has served as Chancellor of DC Public Schools (DCPS) since November 2010. Under Henderson’s leadership, DCPS has become the fastest-improving urban school district in the country. Henderson has championed the launch and expansion of a range of innovative programs – such as blended learning, the Schoolwide Enrichment Model and extended-day – to increase academic achievement for all students. As a result, students across the city are performing at higher levels in reading and math; high school graduation rates have increased; more classrooms are led by highly effective teachers; more families are choosing DCPS, with enrollment increasing after decades of decline; and student satisfaction is high.
Henderson joined DCPS in 2007 as Deputy Chancellor responsible for overseeing the Office of Human Capital. In this role, she served as chief negotiator for the groundbreaking 2010 contract between DCPS and the Washington Teachers’ Union, and led the development of IMPACT, the school system’s professional development and assessment system designed to ensure that an effective teacher is leading every classroom in DCPS.
Prior to joining DCPS, Henderson was a partner at The New Teacher Project (TNTP) responsible for helping urban school districts recruit and retain effective teachers. Previous to her work at TNTP, Henderson was executive director of Teach For America – DC and national admissions director and recruiter at Teach For America. She began her career in education as a middle school Spanish teacher in the South Bronx.
Henderson earned her bachelor’s degree in international relations and master’s degree in leadership from Georgetown University. She also holds honorary doctorate degrees from Georgetown University and Trinity University. Henderson serves on the Board of Directors for Georgetown University and on the Board of Trustees for The College Board, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Student Achievement Partners. Henderson is actively involved in a number of community and professional organizations including the Executive Committee of the Council of Great City Schools, Pahara Aspen Fellowship, Nevada Leadership Institute, and Raise DC. She shares her insights and DCPS success stories on Twitter @HendersonKaya.