Stand For Schools advances
public education in Nebraska.
Public education reflects Nebraska’s values. Public schools are open to all, they are free and fair, and they provide fiscally conservative oversight of taxpayer dollars through elected school boards.
Nebraska has developed public schools that work. Our state boasts the second-highest high school graduation rate in the country, one of the nation’s top ACT scores, and the seventh-highest college-going rate in the nation. The vast majority of Nebraskans, nearly 80 percent, support public education, according to recent Gallup polls. We know public education works, and we need to pursue further improvements to meet our state’s changing needs.
Stand For Schools exists to support our public schools’ history of success, and to find innovative ways to make them even stronger — through opportunities like early childhood education, school to career pathways, and before- and after-school and summer programming.
We believe our state does best when we come up with Nebraska solutions to Nebraska challenges. Education is no exception.
Ann Hunter-Pirtle, Executive Director & Founder
Ann is a Lincoln, Nebraska native and a proud graduate of Lincoln Public Schools and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, from which she holds a BA in Political Science and French and an MS in Agricultural Economics. Prior to founding Stand For Schools, she spent 5 years in Washington, DC working at the U.S. Senate, the White House, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Ann is passionate about preserving and strengthening Nebraska’s public schools so that future generations of Nebraskans can enjoy the opportunities she received.
Daniel Russell, Deputy Executive Director
Daniel joins Stand For Schools with experience in nonprofit operations and oversight. He is a proud product of Nebraska public schools, graduating first from Lincoln Public Schools and then from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska College of Law. Before Stand For Schools, Daniel worked for 5 years at the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office in nonprofit regulation and oversight. He then spent a year at iMentor, a nonprofit organization in New York City that focuses on fostering mentoring relationships for low-income, first-generation high school students to support graduation and success in college.
Melina Cohen, Director of Communications & Outreach
Melina joined Stand For Schools in 2017 with a wealth of experience in nonprofit administrative support and grassroots organizing. She grew up in rural western Iowa and went on to study at the University of Iowa and the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where she earned a Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration. Melina is proud to support Nebraska’s public schools and is a staunch advocate for equity in education.