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Eva bids adieu to longtime co-founder

Jenny Sedlis is leaving Success Academy, but she’s sticking around through the summer, CEO Eva Moskowitz told board members in an email on Thursday to officially inform them of Sedlis’ departure from the network.

Sedlis will takeover as executive director of StudentsFirstNY, though her last day at Success isn’t until Sept. 18, more than a week after the primary election for mayor and other elected offices.

“While Jenny has very large shoes to fill, I’m confident that Success can manage this transition,” Moskowitz writes.

Sedlis began working as an intern with Moskowitz when she was a City Council member, then helped found Harlem Success Academy I in 2006. Since then, Sedlis has been a constant public presence alongside Moskowitz as the network grew to 14 schools, with six more schools scheduled to open next year. As director of external affairs, Sedlis was usually the person who handled the barrage of criticism and press inquiries about lawsuits that often came with the school’s rapid expansion.

“She has been a key force behind our growth and success,” Moskowitz writes. “She has fought off more threat to our existence than any of us can keep track of.”

Last year, 97 percent of Success students scored proficient in math and 88 percent scored proficient in English, among the highest performing on state tests in New York City.

The full letter is below:

Subject: Jenny Sedlis

Board Members,

As you know, Jenny Sedlis co-founded Success Academies, and has worked closely with me for the last ten years. She has been a key force behind our growth and success. She has fought off more threats to our existence than any of us can keep track of.

After nearly 8 years with the Success Academies, Jenny will now be the Executive Director of StudentsFirst NY. I am so proud of Jenny’s accomplishment and New York’s children are getting the toughest (yet loveliest) advocate that I know. We will continue to work closely with Jenny in her new role. Under her leadership, StudentsFirst NY will be a powerhouse advocacy group on many of the issues we care about. Success will need to continue our own advocacy efforts on behalf of our schools —as we continue to grow and post high performance, the attacks too will continue.

Jenny will remain with Success through September 18th and won’t be very far after that. While Jenny has very large shoes to fill, I’m confident that Success can manage this transition. I hope you’ll join me on congratulating Jenny on this incredibly exciting new endeavor that will push forward the work we all care so deeply about.

Warmly, Eva

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