June 26, 2023

Gratitude for the last 13+ years

Background Image:

To the E4E Community –

With the utmost love, care, and gratitude, I share the news that I will be stepping down as E4E’s Co-CEO at the end of 2023 after more than 13 extraordinary years of leading this organization with my co-founder and partner, Evan Stone. Anyone who knows me well can attest that I do not make big decisions lightly, and in partnership with Evan and our Board, this is one I’ve carefully deliberated and decided that the time is right. With an exceptional Leadership Team and staff as our foundation, we’ve built a powerful vision for accelerated impact in our next three-year strategic plan that builds upon multiple historic and recent wins across our chapters.

When Evan and I founded the organization from our Bronx elementary school classrooms back in 2010, we felt growing frustration over how change was happening to teachers and not with teachers. With our fellow educators, we set out to flip that dynamic on its head, and Educators for Excellence was born. 

Since then, what began as an idea has evolved into a nationwide teacher-led movement of more than 36,000 educators who are steadfast in their commitment to students and elevating the teaching profession. It brings me immense pride to reflect on the progress our educators have organized around and fought so diligently for – dozens of consequential policy changes that center equity and student needs; landmark reports and thousands of media pieces lifting teachers’ perspectives and shaping the broader discourse surrounding public education; thousands of E4E Teacher Leaders leading in their schools, districts, and unions to ensure they are forward-thinking, anti-racist, democratic, and student-centered – and yet, there is so much more still to do.

Many years ago, when I first started as a 2nd-grade teacher, a dear friend of my mother’s who had spent more than 30 years in the classroom congratulated me with a warm, handwritten note that said, “Sydney, welcome to teaching. It is a noble profession, indeed.” As I take stock of the last 13 years, and reflect on what lies ahead for E4E, my hope for the organization, for our educators, and for our students in particular, is that one day, our nation will treat teaching as not just a noble profession, but as a respected, prestigious, skillful, intellectual, rigorous, and fulfilling one, too.  

In partnership with Evan, as he steps into the sole CEO role, our Board, and our Leadership Team, I will use the next six months to ensure a smooth and seamless transition. I hope during this long goodbye that I have the chance to cross paths with many of you to personally extend my appreciation for your ongoing partnership and support.

Personally, I’m excited to take some time to recharge through the things I love most – taking a few more dance classes, traveling to some of my bucket-list destinations, and squeezing in more hugs and playtime with my 18-month-old daughter, Willa. While I don’t yet know where my professional path will take me in the years ahead, I remain committed to the belief that a movement of fearless change agents is the only way to shift entrenched systems of power. I look forward to continuing to be a part of this movement, in some way, with all of you.

With immense pride and gratitude,

Sydney Morris 
Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer

Read E4E’s statement here