Case Study Nancy Zito

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1. Describe when and how applying for this executive director position became part of your life plan. Was it an unexpected development, a next logical step, or a long-held goal?

Nancy Zito never planned to be a founder and executive director of a nonprofit. With over two decades of elementary and secondary teaching experience, Nancy Zito predicted she would remain a teacher. She possessed no interest in becoming even a principal of a K-12 school. That changed when she moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2005. Following her husband’s desire to move back to his home state, Nancy left her decades-long teaching career in the New York City Public School System.

As she adjusted to life to her new home and worked in a private school, she would often pass by the Gardere neighborhood. As she built relationships with parents living in Gardere, she found that several students were struggling academically in the public school system. Out of a concern for these people and passion for education, Nancy started a tutoring program with a Christian focus that first started with ten students and grew to 50 students over two years. During the second year of the tutorial program, a group of parents encouraged Nancy to start a school. With the help of her husband she incorporated Gardere Christian Community School as a 501 (c)(3) in 2010.
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She felt best prepared for the job responsibilities that related to education practices. As a career educator found that she was prepared to be a teacher leader in her nonprofit. She understood how to recruit, hire, train, and retain qualified teachers. From her previous experience working in a private school, she gained a solid grasp on how to become a state-certified non-public school. Although she did not plan to ever start her own school, her extensive experience in the education system prepared her for that

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