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The Charles Butt Foundation, a non-profit pursuing a more equitable and prosperous future for all Texans through education and community partnerships, has selected Dr. Nakendrick Johnson of Lake Dallas Middle School as one of 30 principals from traditional and charter school districts across Texas to attend a weeklong summer institute at the Principals’ Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


With this new cohort, the Charles Butt Foundation will have supported more than 1,600 educators to attend training at Harvard through the Raising School Leaders program, an initiative designed to develop stronger school leaders who will enhance the quality of education across Texas. The Charles Butt Foundation covers expenses for the attendees including tuition, travel, hotel, and other discretionary costs for a total investment of more than $10 million since the program’s inception.


The Raising School Leaders program is designed to inspire, challenge, and empower school leaders to bring lasting impact to their campuses and communities, the entire state of Texas, and beyond. Attendees will participate in a weeklong leadership development institute led by Harvard faculty and other national and international experts. Following the Harvard institute, attendees remain a part of the program’s statewide network of school leaders, work together to create change at the campus and district levels, and receive continuous support and professional development.


“We are so excited to have Dr. Johnson from Lake Dallas Middle School representing our district at the Harvard Institute this summer,” says Lake Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Kristin Brown. “His dedication and passion for his campus and his students is obvious, and we can’t wait to see what amazing things he will continue to do.” 


“Great teachers, along with strong school and district leaders, represent the most significant influencers of academic achievement and supportive culture,” said Tim Miller, Director of Leadership Development at the Charles Butt Foundation. “Our alumni report that their Harvard experience is the best professional development they have ever experienced and that they return to their campuses energized, inspired, and empowered to make meaningful change that benefits all students.”


For this year’s Raising School Leaders cohort, preference was given to school leaders from districts that are considered rural or had a student enrollment of less than 5,500. “As demographics shift in Texas, we recognize that the needs of schools in rural and smaller districts are unique. Creating a space for school leaders in rural and smaller districts to find commonalities, problem solve, and build a network of support is an important component of this year’s Raising School Leaders program,” added Miller.

A list of all cohort members from across Texas can be found at