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Colleen Wilcox to lead Joint Venture Education Initiative

New regional effort to recruit and retain K-12 teachers, build regional alliance for professional development


SAN JOSE, Calif. – May 1, 2008 – Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network today named former Santa Clara County schools superintendent Colleen Wilcox as executive director of the Silicon Valley Alliance for Teachers, a new education initiative for the establishment of teacher recruitment, development and retention as a regional priority.

Joint Venture is launching the Alliance for Teachers to pool region-wide programs, partnerships and resources for coaching, training, advanced studies, residency programs and other activities that can attract and keep quality public school teachers in grades K-12.

The program is funded in part by a seed grant from the Morgan Family Foundation and will be administered in collaboration with the San Mateo County Office of Education.

“Dr. Wilcox is a bona fide superstar,” said Russell Hancock, president and CEO of Joint Venture. “We were looking for somebody with extraordinary abilities, a track record as a change agent and deep ties in the education community. We cannot imagine anyone more ideally suited to the assignment.”

“Joint Venture gets an A-plus for bringing Colleen Wilcox to this important role,” said Dr. Jean Holbrook, San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools. “Her expertise and experience in the education arena are unparalleled.”

In addition to 14 years leading the Santa Clara County Office of Education, Dr. Wilcox previously served school districts in suburban Chicago, Tucson and Los Angeles as both teacher and administrator.

She has served on many boards and commissions, has earned numerous certificates, honors and awards, has authored more than 30 publications and papers, is much sought-after as a keynote speaker and is widely active in community affairs.

The goal of the alliance is to make Silicon Valley a nationally renowned center for primary and secondary teaching, a region known for investing in teachers’ long-term professional development and where good teaching is valued and rewarded.

“Joint Venture is intent on elevating the status of teachers in Silicon Valley and I can think of no other effort with which I would rather be affiliated,” said Wilcox. “Its goal is to make teachers Silicon Valley’s new heroes, and that is what I’m most passionate about. I’m enormously excited by the opportunity.”

Dr. Wilcox assumes her new role on July 1. Among her first tasks will be to convene an advisory board of prominent Silicon Valley figures to champion the project, develop a comprehensive plan for the professional development program and establish the preliminary steps for a fund-raising campaign to carry out the initiative.

“Our ultimate success as a vibrant community depends on our region’s ability to keep outstanding educators in the classroom,” said Becky Morgan, president of the Morgan Family Foundation. “The selection of Colleen Wilcox to oversee the Alliance for Teachers is a coup for Joint Venture and a choice that suggests leadership, energy and commitment to students and their teachers.”

About Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network
Established in 1993, Joint Venture provides analysis and action on issues affecting the Silicon Valley economy and quality of life. The organization brings together established and emerging leaders—from business, government, academia, labor, and the broader community—to spotlight issues, launch projects, and work toward innovative solutions. For more information, visit www.jointventure.org

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