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Linked Learning Alliance Welcomes Iish Ryaru as Senior Director, Field Action and Advocacy

January 8, 2020 | Linked Learning Alliance


Contact: Rachel Zaentz, Linked Learning Alliance,, 202.525.9864

The Linked Learning Alliance is pleased to welcome Iishwara (Iish) Ryaru, Ed.D., as senior director, field action and advocacy. With more than 15 years of experience as a high school teacher, principal, and leader in education networking and policy, Ryaru brings significant expertise to bear as the Alliance strives to strengthen and expand the partnerships needed to provide more students nationwide with relevant, high-impact educational experiences that lead to meaningful college and career opportunities.

As former director of continuous improvement for the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), Ryaru oversaw statewide and regional initiatives that enhance the capacity of educators and education stakeholders. Prior to joining CCEE, Ryaru served as a senior engagement manager and senior program associate in the Comprehensive School Assistance Program at WestEd. While at WestEd, he also served as accountability system liaison for California State Board of Education staff, supported California Department of Education capacity building initiatives, and provided a range of services to county offices of education and school districts. Ryaru also worked as the director of assessment, accountability, and specialized programs and oversaw the Accountability Department at the Novato Unified School District.

During his time as an educator, Ryaru opened Nexus Academy Community Day School and served as its principal. He also served as an assistant principal at Novato High School and San Marin High School, and as a social studies teacher at San Rafael High School.

In his new role with the Linked Learning Alliance, Ryaru will develop, lead, and manage networks of schools, districts, and county and state leaders working in partnership to establish and implement high-quality college and career pathways—relationships essential to bringing the Linked Learning approach to scale so that it can serve a much greater proportion of students. Ryaru will facilitate high-leverage networks that mobilize the field in collective action, and he will identify opportunities to better support Linked Learning practice through public policy at the local, state, and federal levels.

“Iish has invaluable expertise in connecting practice and policy, and in activating education stakeholders to maximize their impact. We could not be more excited to welcome him to the growing Alliance team,” said Anne Stanton, president and CEO of the Linked Learning Alliance. “His deep understanding of the drivers of systemic education change at the national, state, and community level will be integral as Linked Learning pathways, schools, and districts across the country work together toward a common goal: seeing one million students in Gold certified Linked Learning pathways within the next decade. All students deserve to experience the highest standard for college and career preparation, and this is it.”

Linked Learning is a proven approach to education dedicated to the idea that students work harder and dream bigger when their learning connects with them and connects them to the world. It combines four components: rigorous academics, career technical education, work-based learning, and comprehensive support services. Linked Learning gives students the supports they need to prepare for both college and career, and it helps them grow through real work experiences so they can fully participate in shaping civic, cultural, and economic life.

“I am thrilled to have the chance to join the Alliance and its growing networks,” Ryaru said. “Through my experience, I know that powerful things can happen when we combine the collective wisdom of teachers, school, district, and county office of education leaders, along with family, postsecondary and industry partners who are unified in the pursuit of equity and an unwavering belief in the potential of all young people. Students and educators become more empowered, and students are best positioned to achieve their dreams.”


Linked Learning Alliance

The Linked Learning Alliance is a statewide coalition of education, industry, and community organizations dedicated to improving high schools and preparing students for success in college, career, and life. Established in May 2008, the Linked Learning Alliance aims to build a collective voice and coordinate efforts to expand access to Linked Learning—an approach to high school that integrates rigorous academics with real-world learning opportunities in fields of engineering, health care, performing arts, law, and more.