The Aurora Institute, a prominent national non-profit focused on transforming education through innovation, has recently announced the appointment of two new members to its Board of Directors. Anpao Duta Flying Earth, the Executive Director of the NACA Inspired Schools Network (NISN), and Rebecca Midles, the Vice President of Learning Design at Getting Smart, are set to bring their vast experience and unique perspectives to the esteemed board of the Virginia-based organization.

Anpao Duta Flying Earth’s journey in the realm of education has been marked by his significant contributions towards strengthening Indigenous education in the United States. Before assuming his current role at NISN, Flying Earth served as the Executive Director of the Native American Community Academy (NACA) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Under his leadership, the academy emerged as a leading example of how educational institutes can blend academic excellence with cultural identity and holistic wellness. His work has been central to promoting community transformation and ensuring that young Indigenous students receive a high-quality education that resonates with their heritage and personal development needs.

On the other hand, Rebecca Midles’s prowess in education innovation is highly recognized across different educational contexts, including charter, rural, suburban, and urban settings. Her tenure as Vice President of Learning at Getting Smart has seen her supporting and advising various educational organizations on strategic initiatives for enhanced learning outcomes. Midles’s background as a teacher, site leader, district leader, and board member in four states adds a rich layer of practical understanding and strategic visioning to her role. Her efforts in guiding district-level transformations have positioned her as a pivotal figure in rethinking and reshaping the future of education.

The Aurora Institute’s decision to onboard Anpao Duta Flying Earth and Rebecca Midles comes at a critical time when the educational landscape is experiencing rapid changes and facing unforeseen challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the urgent need for innovative solutions in education, making the expertise and leadership of Flying Earth and Midles invaluable to the organization’s mission. Their equity-centered approach and profound experience in the education sector are expected to contribute significantly towards the Aurora Institute’s goals of fostering personalized, competency-based education models that prepare learners for a complex global economy.

Virgel Hammonds, CEO of the Aurora Institute, expressed his excitement and gratitude for having leaders of such calibre joining the board. He emphasized that their wisdom and commitment to equity in education would be tremendous assets for the organization. Tom Rooney, board chair of the Aurora Institute, also echoed these sentiments, highlighting their unmatched vision around education innovation as a vital addition to the board’s capabilities.

With these new appointments, the Aurora Institute is poised to deepen its impact on the national education landscape. Flying Earth and Midles’s inclusion in the board underscores the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and innovation in education. As the institute looks forward to this new chapter, the educational community anticipates significant strides in transforming learning environments and outcomes for students across the United States.