Co-founder and president, Relay Graduate School of Education
Norman Atkins is the co-founder and president of the Relay Graduate School of Education. Under Mr. Atkins’ leadership, Teacher U and Relay Graduate School of Education have trained more than 600 charter and district public school teachers in New York City. Mr. Atkins is the founder, board chair, and former CEO of Uncommon Schools, a nonprofit charter management organization recognized for starting and operating among the highest performing urban schools in the nation. His work in the education sector began in the mid-1990s, when he co-founded and co-led North Star Academy Charter School of Newark. Prior to this work, he was the co-executive director of the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City. He has also supported the development and growth of charter schools in his capacity as a faculty member for New Leaders for New Schools, as a consultant to the State University of New York Charter School Institute, and as a trustee of the WKBJ Foundation. Originally a journalist, he has written about education, poverty, politics, culture, and social issues for the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Parenting, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. Mr. Atkins earned a B.A. in history from Brown University and an M.A. in educational administration from Columbia University Teachers College where he received the school’s Early Career Award in 1997.