A Message from the Director… ROC the Future Welcomes Shaun Nelms as New Board Chair

Shaun Nelms 2

Congratulations and welcome aboard Shaun Nelms as Chair of the ROC the Future Convener Board! We are so excited to have Dr. Nelms’ leadership as we continue to focus on children’s success TOGETHER. Since our inception in 2011, we’ve employed a collective impactive approach to ensure all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Today, our mission remains the same. We are committed to bringing cross-sector partners together to promote the alignment of community resources to improve the academic achievement of Rochester’s children.

As we enter into the summer months, this represents wonderful opportunities for recreation and relaxation, as well as for reflection on the past school year, and preparation on the school year to come.  ROC the Future has been very fortunate for the leadership and commitment from our past chairs, Ajamu Kitwana, Jennifer Leonard and Dr. Anne Kress, and we thank them for their unwavering dedication and leadership, and look forward to having Dr. Shaun Nelms officially step into the role this month.

Dr. Shaun Nelms is the superintendent of East Upper and Lower Schools and serves as the William and Sheila Konar Director for the Center for Urban Education Success (CUES) at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education. In this role, Dr. Nelms leads the center’s efforts to support the success of K-12 urban schools both locally and nationally through a combination of research, relationship building, and a commitment to pursue and share best practices. You can learn more about his work at CUES here and East Upper and Lower Schools in this guest essay published in the Rochester Beacon.

On the home front, we are hard at work on developing our Community Reading Project with a “kick-off” meeting with our StriveTogether coaching team in July, and working with the RCSD to plan the 2nd Annual Community Schools Summit in August.

We have a lot going on, and encourage everyone to seek opportunities to better understand what is happening in education and learning.  We have more than enough data to confirm that “summer slide” and “summer melt” are real and critical interruptions and limitations to the learning process our children and young adults face each year.  Let’s learn all we can to understand what happens, and what we can do personally, organizationally, and collectively to decrease the likelihood of it happening.  Although summer has started, it’s never too late to learn and do for the future.  Each of us has an action we can take … let’s learn about them and take action on them together!

We hope you enjoy the summer, learn as much as you can, and participate in the work happening in our community to improve outcomes for Rochester’s children.


Jackie Campbell,

ROC the Future Alliance Director