Perry White, Executive Director & Founder of Citizens Academy in Cleveland, discusses what’s helped contribute to his school’s success. One of the most important factors is the spirit that each of his leaders brings to school. They are all committed to collaboration and have formed a culture based on the premise that it’s okay not to know everything, but it’s not okay to pretend to know more than you do because that harms the children. Values such as these will change the face of education.

Perry White is founder and was longstanding leader of Citizens Academy, an elementary charter school with 400 students in Cleveland, Ohio. In June 2010, Fordham Foundation’s Needles in a Haystack report featured Citizens Academy as one of only eight inner city K – 8 public schools consistently closing the achievement gap in Ohio. In 2007, Perry initiated a process that led, in 2010, to the formation of Breakthrough Charter Schools. Breakthrough is a charter management organization comprised of three Cleveland Schools That Can schools – Citizens Academy, E Prep and The Intergenerational School. In 2009, the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools named Perry Ohio Charter School Leader of the Year. Perry plans to relocate to New York City in spring 2011.

Quote: What is more glorious than developing and sharing one’s gifts in service to others?