Strong schools need strong leaders.

That’s the thought behind Build. Excel. Sustain. (B.E.S.), a nonprofit that not only works to train future educational leaders but also to help them start and run excellent schools all over the country. In the 2019 – 2020 school year, B.E.S. worked with more than 185 schools in 45 cities to help educate nearly 60,000 students.

Here, Katy McArthur, Director of Communications for B.E.S., shares some of the work her team does from Industrious Copley in Boston, and how B.E.S. continues to change schools for the better.

Tell us about B.E.S. What do you do — and why do you do it?

We’re a national nonprofit that identifies and prepares excellent leaders to transform education in their communities. What does that mean? We provide leadership training and services not only to create new schools, but also to help existing schools excel and sustain their results over time.

What makes you most excited to come to work each day?

We are a diverse group of about 30 individuals who are deeply motivated by our mission. We always say, “This work is long, and hard, and good,” and every member of our team embodies that.

What does your workplace look like?

Over the past few years, we have slowly expanded our team to folks who live all over the U.S., so we actually made the decision to go virtual right before the pandemic started! We feel fortunate to have snagged a space for a few of our Boston-based team members to be able to collaborate and hold meetings.

What are you bragging about these days?

We recently started working on a new strategic plan. We are focused on supporting school leaders at all levels to lead locally responsive schools, and we publicly committed to becoming an anti-racist organization.