Jason Botel

Jason Botel


Formerly a founding member of MarylandCAN’s advisory board, Jason became the campaign’s executive director in July 2013.

Jason was born in Philadelphia and raised in South Jersey. After receiving his undergraduate and master’s degrees in English from the University of Penn­sylvania (“two useless degrees for the price of one,” according to one of his pro­fessors), he joined Teach For America and taught for three years at Booker T. Washington Middle School in Baltimore.

As a new teacher, Jason learned first-hand the challenges of classroom man­agement and leading students to against-the-odds success. Jason also saw first-hand—even as he grew as an educator and helped his students make significant gains—how bad policies and politics can impede true achievement by both stu­dents and teachers. In order for all students to reach their full potential, and thus have real freedom and choices in life, he knew the rules that govern public schools had to change.

Jason began his journey to change those rules by completing the rigor­ous Kipp School Leadership Program in 2002 and then founding Kipp Balti­more. During 11 years at the helm of the program, Jason watched his students and teachers largely outperform their peers, and he’s witnessed the life-chang­ing impact of a great public school education.

Now living with his wife and two children in Columbia, Maryland, Jason is excited to serve as MarylandCAN’s executive director where he can improve schools not only for Kipp students but for children in need throughout Mary­land. Jason seeks to dramatically raise awareness about Maryland’s achieve­ment gaps and the thousands of families of all ethnic and socioeconomic back­grounds who want more high-quality public school options, to show people across the state that great schools for all children are possible with the right pol­icies in place and to organize a powerful movement of everyday Marylanders to make that vision a reality.


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