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Executive Director Carrie Brennan won the 2019 Woman of Influence Award in the education category. In this blog post, we share excerpts from Carrie’s nomination, written by board chair and vice-chair Jonathan Martin and Theresa Mary Fischer.

For more than a quarter century, Carrie Brennan has had a deep impact on the Southern Arizona education sector and on generations of students. She is a leading education innovator in our community and played key roles in launching two of our region’s most interesting and innovative schools: Catalina Foothills High School and City High School.

Carrie came to Tucson in 1992 to join the founding faculty at Catalina Foothills High School, where she served as a classroom teacher and teacher leader for 11 years. She then became the founding principal of City High School, leading the efforts to establish the nonprofit organization in 2002 and opening the doors as principal in September 2004.

Carrie continues to lead CITY Center for Collaborative Learning, whose flagship programs include City High School and the Paulo Freire Freedom middle schools. CITY Center for Collaborative Learning’s mission is ‘to design, implement and advance exemplary practices in teaching and learning that transform the lives of young people and their educators.’ In addition to providing high quality education to over 325 students annually in its three secondary schools, CITY is a leader regionally for teacher professional development.

Carrie’s leadership has also contributed to creating a vibrant downtown. She is currently championing the renovation of 37 East Pennington Street, the historic Howard & Stofft building on Pennington Street, into a modern collaborative learning center for Southern Arizona educators.

Carrie advances educational innovation widely, having served on the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona board for three terms and currently serving on the UA College of Education advisory board and the School Reform Initiative’s national board. She has received recognition for her contributions in the past, including the Circle of Honor award recognizing Arizona’s top 1% of principals in 2008, the Southern Arizona Writing Project’s Exemplary Teacher Award in 2002, and Tucson’s 40-Under-40 award for young leaders in 2006.

Through her vision, passion, and hard work, Carrie has positively influenced educational reform in our region deeply and widely.