President of Los Angeles Education Partnership Retires


Helen Kantor
Los Angeles Education Partnership
(213) 622-5237 x 274

Peggy Funkhouser, President of Los Angeles Education Partnership, Retires
Ellen Pais Appointed as New President and CEO

LOS ANGELES (December 2011) – The Los Angeles Education Partnership (LAEP) has announced the retirement of its founding president and CEO, Peggy Funkhouser.

Ms. Funkhouser has overseen the organization’s efforts to strengthen and improve public schools in the Los Angeles area since its inception in 1984. Since then, LAEP has raised and invested nearly $130 million in activities that range from small grants provided directly to teachers, to comprehensive plans for school reform that strengthen teaching quality, improve school management and link schools and communities to better address the needs of students.

“Some of the ideas for the best practices in education in Los Angeles today were hatched in Peggy’s office,” says Judy Johnson, the executive director of The Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching and a member of the LAEP board. “She has a unique ability to bring people together to try to find solutions to some of the difficult problems confronting education. And she is also good at raising money to help them try. She was never afraid to take a risk.”

Among the accomplishments of LAEP under Ms. Funkhouser were the formation of the Humanitas Teachers Network, the linkage of health and community resources in support of education at the first operational California Healthy Start Site at Vaughn Elementary School, and the selection of the Urban Learning Centers design by New American Schools national design competition as a new vision for American education.

Today, LAEP’s work is focused in support of a Small Schools Initiative that supports 31 small schools on 22 LAUSD high school campuses; a Community School Initiative being implemented in 7 high schools and 3 middle schools in LAUSD impacting nearly 19,000 students and their families, 800 school staff and 60 community and governmental partners; and a School Transformation Model bringing together LAEP’s instructional and community schools strategies to support the transformation of low-performing schools.

To continue leading this critical work, LAEP’s Board of Directors has appointed Ellen Pais as president and CEO, effective January 15, 2012. Ms. Pais previously served as the Senior Director of LAEP’s Community School Initiative where she has overseen the growth and implementation of the community school strategy including community and parent engagement and school readiness initiatives in diverse, under-served and educationally under-performing communities. Ms. Pais also has led the organization’s effort to facilitate and manage community-based collaboratives focused on increasing the academic success of youth.

“Ellen has a deep understanding of the challenges facing students and families in Los Angeles and a real talent for bringing our schools and communities together to meet those needs,” said Ms. Funkhouser. “She is the right person at the right time to lead our organization and build a brighter future for students in Los Angeles.”

About Los Angeles Education Partnership
Los Angeles Education Partnership’s mission is to help students in high-need schools improve their academic achievement by partnering with educators, parents and the community. Founded in 1984, LAEP became the first educational-transformation organization in Los Angeles and among those at the forefront of the movement nationwide. Each year, LAEP serves more than 1,600 educators and 80,000 students from prekindergarten through high school in high-poverty, multicultural communities across Los Angeles Unified School District. For more information about LAEP, please visit

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