Dr. Leigh McGuigan
Leigh McGuigan is committed to designing a replicable, scalable high school that will give boys of the inner city an equal opportunity to live the American Dream.
Leigh is one of the country’s experts on school design and educator quality. She served as TNTP’s Vice President of Strategy, Systems and Policy, where she worked with state departments of education, urban school districts, and charter management organizations to improve educator performance. Her teams designed systems for educator recruitment and hiring, professional development, feedback and coaching, career progression, evaluation, retention, and tenure. She also developed a series of online tools to improve teacher quality, including online training modules for observing instruction and giving teachers feedback and the Teacher Talent Toolbox, a curated library of best practices for developing teacher talent.
Before joining TNTP, Leigh was Senior Executive for New and Innovative Schools in the Cleveland school district, where she supervised twelve innovative schools, including a groundbreaking high school for at-risk boys. Prior to that, she founded the Office of School Leadership for the New York City Department of Education, recruiting and selecting leaders for New York City’s 1400 schools and contributing to the Department’s school leadership development strategy. She also filled in for several months as Interim Executive Director of ROADS charter high schools, innovative new schools serving at-risk youth in Brooklyn and the Bronx.
Before starting her career in education, Leigh was Senior Managing Director in the Investment Management Group of Bank One (now part of JPMorgan Chase), served as the company’s Litigation Director and a division General Counsel, and practiced law at the Washington, D.C. firm of Arnold & Porter.
Leigh holds a B.A. from Duke University, a J.D. with high honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Ohio State University.
Perry White believes that we cannot continue to systematically disserve the young men of our great cities, and that it is possible to design a school in which they will flourish as leaders and citizens.
Perry is one of the country’s experts on urban school culture. He founded Cleveland’s Citizens Academy, a U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School. Citizens Academy is one of the highest-performing elementary schools in Ohio, despite serving predominantly low-income minority students. In 2009, the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools named Perry the Ohio Charter School Leader of the Year.
The same year, Perry co-founded Breakthrough Schools, a charter management organization comprised of Cleveland’s three top performing independent charter schools. By 2012, Breakthrough was Ohio’s highest performing CMO and had grown to nine schools.
Prior to founding Citizens Academy, Perry was a clinical social worker at Children’s Aid Society and Mount Sinai Hospital’s Adolescent Health Center in East Harlem, where he was Assistant Director of a small school for troubled teens, led a Summer Youth Employment Program, designed and implemented an innovative drug abuse prevention program, and provided clinic and school-based counseling and psychotherapy. Perry later served as an adjunct faculty member at Case Western Reserve Medical School’s Adolescent Center.
From 2011 to 2014, Perry was Principal of Perry White Consulting, specializing in urban charter school development and improvement. Perry recently helped guide the design and start up of Cleveland’s Stepstone Academy, Ohio’s first elementary school with a fully integrated blended learning model. Perry has a B.A. from Antioch College, a Masters in Social Work from Smith College, and completed all coursework toward a doctorate in Urban Education Policy at Cleveland State University.