Visionary leader with 30 years of transformational public and private sector education reform and leadership experience; Proven track record of building organizational excellence and igniting innovation and growth; Leader in technology’s use in transforming teaching and learning; Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills with High Emotional intelligence; Expertise in building employee capacity to achieve organizational goals; Seasoned educational trainer and presenter with ability to engage diverse audiences; Highly adaptive to organizational change; Passionate advocate for under-served youth.
Stride, Inc., Reston, VA 2022 - Present
Senior Executive/GM, Stride Professional Development Center, 2022 – Present
Built and runs The Stride Professional Development Center e-commerce business, an ever-growing, on-demand library of mobile-friendly courses that allow educators to engage in professional development anytime and anywhere. As founding business leader, Darren oversees all business functions and execution including product development, customer acquisition, customer journey, marketing, sales, PL management and comprehensive GTM strategy. Business went to market in 2023 and is successfully competing in a growing online PD market for educators.
Senior Vice President/General Manager, East Region, 2018 – 2022
Lead and oversee all aspects of 19 blended and online schools across 12 states with revenue responsibility of $600 million; Provide strategic guidance and oversight to regional and field-based executives and manager; Cultivate and nurture relationships with 501c3 school boards and District leaders to ensure that we are bringing stakeholder value; Develop strategies for growth and optimization of managed public schools; Effectively collaborate with and build partnerships across the organization to ensure aligned efforts in support of school innovation, performance, and growth. Selected to lead company's $10 million Scholarship initiative that awards private school scholarships to low income African American students post COVID.
Vice President, School Leadership Development and School Support, 2014 - 2018
Designed, developed, and led the implementation of the company’s first suite of school leadership development solutions to improve regional and school based leadership effectiveness; Developed the K12 School Leadership Excellence Framework (LEF) that describes the standards and practices of successful blended and online school leaders; Designed and oversaw execution of xCEL360 School Improvement and Turnaround Model to support struggling schools .
NEW LEADERS, New York, New York 2012 – 2014
Executive Director, Aspiring Principals Program
Led organization’s flagship leadership development program through comprehensive redesign that included improvements to content development and delivery, implementation fidelity across nine program cities, improved support to Resident Principals, as well as improved participant assessment evaluation. Represented New Leaders on Alliance to Reform Education Leadership.
K12, Inc., Herndon, VA 2008 - 2012
Vice President, Blended Schools, 2009 – 2012
Designed and oversaw innovative blended school models that combined the best practices of face-to-face and online instruction (annual revenue $$27 Million);
Senior Director, Urban Programs and School Development, 2008 – 2009
Led the research and development of programs and strategies to support at-risk students within various virtual school learning models; Emphasis on Urban Hybrid and blended learning programs.
ALEXANDRIA CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Alexandria, VA 2002 – 2008
Principal, Cora Kelly School for Math, Science, and Technology
Led school to increases in student achievement and attainment of highest VA state level Accreditation and Federal NCLB/AYP requirements for all student subgroups.
FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Fairfax County, VA 1999 – 2002
NEWPORT NEWS PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Newport News, VA 1992 – 1999
Teacher - 1997 Teacher of the Year
Ed. S. Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
George Washington University
M.A. Ed. Education Policy, Planning & Leadership
The College of William and Mary
B.A. Elementary Education
Leadership Entry Planning ∣ Culturally Competent Leadership ∣ Change Management ∣ Strategic Planning and Goal Setting ∣ Growth Mindset for Teachers ∣ Culturally Responsive Pedagogy ∣ Legal Issues for Teachers ∣ Closing the Achievement Gap ∣ Difficult Conversations ∣ Effective Classroom Management ∣ School Culture ∣ Benefits and Challenges of Blended Learning