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Teach For America Miami-Dade Announces Lakeisha Wells-Palmer as Executive Director

Author: Teach For America Miami-Dade

Posted on: April 20, 2021

LaKeisha Wells-Palmer has been announced as the new Executive Director of Teach For America Miami-Dade. She is the first person to lead all three of Teach For America’s regional teams in Florida:  Miami-Dade, Jacksonville, and Central Florida. Wells-Palmer will take on this role following the departure of Samantha Hoare, who served as the Executive Director of Teach For America Miami-Dade for six years.  

This announcement comes as Teach For America pursues a ten year goal centered on students in the communities where corps members work. Teach For America’s work in Florida is guided by the goal that, by 2030, twice as many children in Miami-Dade, Jacksonville, and Central Florida, will reach key educational milestones indicating that they are on a path to economic mobility and co-creating a future filled with possibility. “We’re experiencing the most disruptive moment in the history of education in our country, and we must ground everything we do in equity and take a student-centered approach,” said Wells-Palmer. “Long before this pandemic, our education system failed to meet its promise to all children. Unequal access to an excellent education, along the lines of race and class, has deep roots in American society. We have an opportunity - and obligation - to act now to support our students and to co-create a different future for them. I’m excited to continue stewarding this critical work in Miami-Dade – building upon the leadership of Ms. Hoare.” 

With twenty years of experience in education, Wells-Palmer has served as a teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, and interim principal, and spent eight years on Teach For America Jacksonville’s team as the Managing Director of Program Continuum. Wells-Palmer said, “I have been fortunate to know and work with Sam Hoare for years and am inspired and grateful to continue her strong legacy of leadership. I am excited for the future and the opportunity to serve the Miami-Dade community.”  

"I'm so proud of the work that I have led alongside our Teach For America Miami-Dade team," said Hoare. "Teach For America Miami-Dade has steadily increased the diversity of our corps, and in 2020, 71% of our corps members identified as Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC). Students in TFA teachers’ classrooms experience an increase in learning by more than 2.6 months in math and 1.3 months in reading on average. And, in the last three years alone, over 65 of our teachers have been nominated as Teachers and Rookie Teachers of the Year. Our alumni are passionate about continuing their investment in the Miami-Dade community.” As the new Executive Director, Wells-Palmer plans to continue deepening and expanding impact across the state of Florida - ensuring Teach For America will be poised to best meet the needs of schools, students, communities and external stakeholders. 

“Helios Education Foundation and Teach for America have enjoyed a long-standing partnership focused on closing education equity gaps and ensuring all students, particularly low-income students, benefit from a high-quality education,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation. “We are excited to see the impact of Ms. Wells-Palmer’s leadership in South Florida as Teach For America seeks to serve more students in the years to come,” concluded Luna.   

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