To my beloved community

A Special Message from Remake Learning Director Sunanna Chand

Dear members of the Remake Learning network,

In the summer of 2014, as an intern at The Grable Foundation, I had the opportunity to help plan the first Remake Learning Council meeting. In the five years since then, my admiration for the Network, the community, and Pittsburgh has grown into a connectedness to this place and humility for all it, and you, have taught me.

So, it’s with a bittersweet feeling that I share this announcement: When 2019 comes to a close, I’ll be stepping down as Director of Remake Learning.

After two years of being in a long-distance relationship, I’ll be moving in January to California. I’ll start a new position, build a life with my partner who lives there, and enjoy being close to my brother and two wonderful nieces who just had their first days of 2nd and 6th grade.

As Michelle King would say, we are not in a moment of scarcity, but of abundance. I’m approaching this transition with joy and excitement as I consider the opportunity new leadership presents for this wonderful, thriving network. And after I leave, I’ll have Michelle’s phrase, the “Joy of Missing Out” or JOMO in my heart –trusting and watching from afar as the network continues to strengthen and grow in new and beautiful ways.

My new job will be Vice President of Systems Reinvention for Teach for America (TFA), where I started my career as a Corps Member. I see this newly created position as evidence that TFA is poised for transformation and as an opportunity to lead positive change within a place that launched me on my journey to Remake Learning.

I’ll bring to TFA my belief in place-based, community-based work, that builds on the brilliance of people in that community, who know what’s best for that community. My belief in racial justice and using my privilege to battle systemic oppression. My belief that networks are essential; that an equitable and just future of learning can never be accomplished by one leader or organization alone. My belief that standardized tests measure a sliver of a young person’s knowledge, and much of their intelligence goes academically unrecognized and unappreciated. My belief that innovation and equity are inextricably linked, each required for the existence of the other.

These core beliefs, my network-building skills, and my nuanced view of TFA itself are of particular value to Teach for America at this point in its trajectory. It feels like coming full circle. My hope is that the values Remake Learning network members have instilled within me can be of broader use to an organization with roots in 51 communities and with nearly 60,000 alumni (myself included). Grounded in lessons from the network, I plan to lead with the same energy and good-troublemaker spirit I hope I lead with in Pittsburgh 😊.

Some things to know:

  •  The network will continue to thrive.
  •  The Co-Chairs (Gregg Behr, Dr. Valerie Kinloch, Dr. Jim Denova) are in the process of finding the networks’ next leader(s), who will be in service to all of you.
  •  That next leader(s) will be dedicated to our mission of engaging, relevant, and equitable learning in our region.
  •  I’ll be in service to this network full-time until early-to-mid December and hopefully will be hosting a get-together to say goodbye before I leave. You’re all invited.

Another thing to know is that you all are, and will remain indefinitely, my beloved community.

And if you’re in California after January 2020, I’d love it if you got in touch.

With the deepest gratitude to each of you and great excitement for Remake Learning’s future, yours sincerely,


Published September 16, 2019

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