CANUTILLO, Texas (KTSM) – Four Canutillo Independent School District elementary and secondary principals are bound for Harvard University for an educational crash-course through the Principals’ Center (TPC) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

According to Canutillo ISD, they have the most leaders selected out of the four Region 19 public school districts. This program is sponsored by the Charles Butt Foundation, a non-profit pursuing a more equitable and prosperous future for all Texans through education and community partnerships.

Jesica Arellano, principal at Northwest Early College High School, Jonathan Flores, principal at Bill Childress Elementary School, Christopher Judge, principal at Canutillo Middle School STEAM Academy, and Jessica Melendez Carrillo, principal at Congressman Silvestre and Carolina Reyes Elementary are among the 85 school leaders from across Texas selected as the 2022 cohort of educators to attend the summer institutes.

Our extraordinary campus leaders are major reasons why Canutillo ISD is the Best Small School District in Texas.

Through their leadership, their campuses have prospered but they still aim to continually improve to ensure our students have access to the best opportunities to succeed.

This institute will give our principals the chance to learn from their peers across the state, renowned experts and Harvard faculty. It is our hope they will bring this knowledge home to advance our district and their campuses. We are very proud of them.

Marnie Rocha, Associate Superintendent, Canutillo ISD

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this will be the first summer that the Charles Butt Foundation is able to send educators to participate in the Harvard program since the summer of 2019. Of the 85 educators, 45 were selected in 2020 but were not able to attend the program due to COVID restrictions.

The other 40 educators represent the newest cohort selected in 2022.

Attendees, including individual principals as well as campus teams, will participate in one of two weeklong workshops on leadership development, coaching, or school turnaround. Each 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.

With these new cohorts, the Charles Butt Foundation will have paid for more than 1,400 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.


Great teachers, along with strong school and district leaders, represent the most significant influencers of academic achievement and supportive culture. Our alumni often 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.

Tim Miller, Director of Leadership Development at the Charles Butt Foundation

The Charles Butt Foundation covers all 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.

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