Community of education leaders promotes high quality options for all Arizona students

PHOENIX (June 2, 2020) – A for Arizona, a community of innovative and results-oriented education leaders throughout Arizona, announced its relaunch today as an independent 501(c)(3) organization. Led by Founder and CEO Emily Anne Gullickson, A for Arizona aspires to create a system where all students have access to a high-quality school and classroom close to them – including virtual learning environments. John Donahue, President and CEO of Positive Recovery Solutions, has been named Chairman of the Board.

In this new chapter, A for Arizona will continue to shine a light on what works for Arizona students, teachers and families, and ways to grow the great ideas of our state’s educators and school leaders.

“These are unprecedented times with incredibly complicated problems and we are only going to solve them together,” Gullickson said. “There has never been a better time to invest in our children and their education. From Nogales to Snowflake, Arizona is home to a visionary set of agile and passionate school principals and system leaders. These no-excuses innovators relentlessly bring results for kids by providing access to great teachers and learning environments driven by high expectations. We’ve learned a lot from these leaders and built our organization around elevating their voices and their work so that more students have an opportunity for a great education and a meaningful future.”

In creating quality neighborhood opportunities for every child, A for Arizona will educate community leaders on policies that prioritize student success – especially for low-income students– with a focus on access, and removing barriers that keep school leaders from being entrepreneurial, innovative, or from designing school cultures that create the greatest value for Arizona students.

“Now more than ever, A for Arizona serves as a national and local model for what’s possible for students,” said John Donahue, Chairman of A for Arizona. “We champion innovative ideas and opportunities for student success and invest in and scale what’s working to make Arizona the best state in the nation at providing all students an excellent education.” 

A for Arizona is led by a distinguished Board of Directors including:

  • Aaron Smith, Director of Education Reform for Reason Foundation
  • Amilyn Pierce, Vice President of Government Affairs at Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Derrell Bradford, Executive Vice President of 50CAN
  • Janelle Wood, Founder of Black Mothers Forum
  • Jennifer Mellor, Chief Innovation Officer for Greater Phoenix Chamber and Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation
  • John Donahue, President & CEO Positive Recovery Solutions
  • Lee Benson, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Execute To Win
  • Luis Ramirez Thomas, President of Ramirez Advisors Inter-National, LLC

A for Arizona will be working closely with partner organization Great Leaders, Strong Schools to support and expand the opportunity for talented educators to continue to do their best work and help more students access great schools.


About A for Arizona
At A for Arizona, we firmly believe that expanding excellence is our best chance to rapidly increase the number of children that have access to a high-quality school and classroom proximate to them. We imagine a day where excellence has spread, and failure has fallen away, leaving only the best learning options available for all students.