Announcing Ascend's New CEO - Recy Benjamin Dunn

This letter is available in Haitian Creole and Spanish.

To the Families, Staff and Supporters of Ascend:

The Ascend Learning Board of Directors and Ascend Charter Schools Board of Trustees are thrilled to announce that Recy Benjamin Dunn will become Chief Executive Officer for Ascend Public Charter Schools on May 3, 2021. Recy comes to Ascend with broad leadership experience across public schools that makes him an ideal match for Ascend’s bold educational aspirations and the challenges we face in these extraordinary times.

We are deeply grateful to our CEO Search Committee -- drawn from Ascend’s diverse school community and made up of board members, parents, and network and school leaders -- for their invaluable investment in Ascend’s future through this search process. Our confidence in Recy stems from his track record of leadership and a special ability to build, lead, and empower effective teams at scale. Recy currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for the Division of the First Deputy Chancellor at the New York City Department of Education, where he works to ensure an aligned vision, strategy, and plan for supporting public schools city-wide. He also previously served as Executive Director of the Charter Schools Office and Early Childhood Education under NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, and the Chief Operations and Growth Officer for YES Prep Public Schools -- a high-performing charter school network in Houston. Recy received both an MBA and MA in education from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife (a Brooklyn native) and two children.

We also want to express our immense respect and gratitude for Lisa Margosian’s leadership over the past 15 months as our Interim CEO. In a short time, Lisa has created robust systems and made great strides to deepen communication between the Ascend organization and our network of schools. Her work has laid a strong foundation for Recy as he prepares to lead Ascend into its next chapter. We are delighted that Lisa will stay on as Special Advisor to the CEO during the transition.

The Board and Search Committee were proud to represent Ascend during the search process, particularly our student-centered classroom model and community-wide efforts to strengthen and reimagine Ascend’s educational experience for students and families. We will continue to do the necessary work to be an anti-racist organization. We deeply value our dedicated teachers, school leaders, and central office team for the care, energy, and rigor you demonstrate every day -- especially this last year during the pandemic. We welcome Recy and we celebrate all that has been accomplished at Ascend to bring us to this exciting point.

In gratitude,

Ascend Board of Directors