Partners Advancing Values in Education (PAVE) and Schools That Can Milwaukee (STCM) announced on March 15 that the two organizations have agreed to merge, and will relaunch this fall as a new nonprofit school support organization.
The merger increases resources and capacity for programs that recruit, train, and support Milwaukee school leaders and governance boards for the city’s public, charter, and private schools. The combined organization will provide support to more than 80 schools. The new organization, like PAVE and STCM before it, will have a mission to empower school and community leaders to ensure more great schools for the kids and families who need them most.
“This merger strengthens the impact of two already strong and complementary organizations,” said Cory Nettles, PAVE board chair and managing director of Generation Growth Capital. “All of us at PAVE and STCM are excited to enter into this next chapter. This is about building on the foundation of success and results that both organizations have achieved to become stronger together.”
“Combining these organizations is what’s best for our children, our schools, and our city,” said Leslie Dixon, STCM board chair and chief human resources officer at Baird. “Moving forward together allows both organizations to expand their reach and impact while using resources most effectively.”
PAVE focuses on ensuring schools are well-run organizations that make teaching and learning possible. Founded in 1986, the organization makes grants and provides training and support to school leaders and board members to help them overcome organizational challenges, attract outside resources, and increase school enrollment. It has matched and trained more than 100 local leaders to serve on boards of independent charter and private schools in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.
STCM believes great leaders are the heart of great schools. Launched in 2010, the organization recruits, trains, and coaches school principals and other administrators through on-the-job coaching and monthly training opportunities focused on strengthening school culture, raising attendance, and improving academic outcomes. Among its programs is the Burke Fellowship, a principal licensure program at Alverno College. The program has so far graduated 26 licensed principals, more than half of whom have received job promotions during or after their fellowship.
When combined, both organizations’ programs will form a comprehensive continuum of support for schools across the city. All programming will continue as planned this school year under a management team co-led by PAVE President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Steele and STCM Co-Founder and Executive Director Abby Andrietsch. The new organization expects to retain all current PAVE and STCM staff members.
Andrietsch, who in January announced her decision to leave STCM in June to spend more time with her family, will remain in a leadership role during the transition before continuing with her departure. She plans to be an active advocate of the new organization.
“We’re very grateful for the incredible amounts of time, passion, and work Abby has invested in STCM,” Dixon said. “We look forward to benefiting from her insight and expertise as our new organization evolves.”
Steele will continue to oversee all PAVE programming for the remainder of the program year, and will remain in a leadership role with the new organization.
The two organizations are now working to integrate operations, led by directors from the boards of both groups. Dixon will co-chair the new organization’s board alongside PAVE board veteran John Grogan, executive vice president at Northwestern Mutual.
Dixon and Grogan have started a nationwide search for a new executive director, with support from CommonGood Careers. The new executive director will lead the formal launch of the new combined organization under a new name in Fall 2018, following a brief strategic planning period.