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Meet Reach's New Executive Director




The Reach Education, Inc. (Reach) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Jennifer Cartland as its next Executive Director, following a national search led by Good Insight. Dr. Cartland has served as Interim Executive Director since December, 2021. She began her new role in spring of 2022.

“We know first-hand the transformational leadership Dr. Cartland will bring to Reach,” said Patrick Howard, Board Chair. “Her passionate commitment to education in D.C. and extensive experience in community engagement will be instrumental in our work to close achievement gaps and advance literacy skills among the historically marginalized young people we serve.”

Prior to the pandemic, more than half of students in the District of Columbia had fallen behind in reading by the third grade, and 80 percent did not read at grade level upon entering high school. Data shows the achievement gap for D.C. students of color has widened during the pandemic. With Reach’s award-wining tutoring and leadership development programs planned to return in-person in the 2022-2023 school year, the selection of Dr. Cartland marks a movement to reinvigorate Reach’s innovative programming and accelerate the organization’s impact.

“We have the opportunity at Reach to not only build literacy skills, but to demonstrate that if young people prioritize their education, they become the designers of their future; they model intentionality for younger generations and become leaders in their communities,” said Dr. Cartland. “As Interim Executive Director for the last five months, I have learned more about the dramatic affects that the last two complicated years have had on our young people and how much Reach teens have missed gathering together as a community. I am committed to Reach leaning into these challenges and will do all I can to position this organization for continued growth and success as its next Executive Director.”

About Dr. Jennifer Cartland

A lifelong educator, Dr. Jennifer Cartland has led teams, schools, and nonprofits to drive change for youth and youth-serving organizations. Skilled at systems design and strategic planning, she centers her work in building strong relationships to guide organizational transformation.

In her more than two decades as a teacher and then Principal at the Capitol Hill Cluster School (Washington, DC), Dr. Cartland served children - grades pre-k through grade 8 – staff and families across three campuses. Following her tenure as Principal, Dr. Cartland accepted roles where she could mentor, coach and support school and district leaders and foster their professional growth. From D.C. to Philadelphia and Maryland to Memphis, she has guided individuals and teams to promote approaches that yield tangible outcomes for youth. In addition to her work at schools and in districts, Dr. Cartland has worked at the state level and led youth-serving non-profits to bring needed resources and increased access to underserved communities. She has also trained and taught courses to encourage the engagement of families and caregivers in support of student achievement, to generate community empowerment and leverage the voices of youth to advance equity and inclusivity.

Dr. Cartland’s service to the city of Washington, DC extends beyond the educational arena. She is the President of the board of directors for the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital and a member of the board of FRESHFARM. Dr. Cartland was honored as a 2022 Social Impact Woman to Watch by Nonprofit HR, which recognizes women who exhibit extraordinary leadership in their organizations and the communities they serve.

Dr. Cartland earned her PhD in education from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from The George Washington University, and a BA from The Catholic University of America.

About Reach Incorporated

Founded in 2009, Reach’s mission is to develop grade-level readers and capable leaders by

preparing predominantly Black and Brown teens who have experienced significant challenges to serve as tutors and role models for younger students, which results in improved literacy outcomes for both. With a focus on District of Columbia students in Wards 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, Reach has supported more than 700 teens and elementary school students through its cross-age tutoring program.

About Good Insight

With a mission to connect good causes to great leaders, Good Insight is an executive search firm and governance consultancy serving the social sector. They plan leadership transitions, recruit talented senior executives, and strengthen boards of directors. Good Insight focuses on leadership searches for small and mid-sized nonprofits with a nationwide reach. To learn more, visit www.good-insight.org.

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