Dr. Kaplan stepping down as director of Beat the Odds Institute

(Submitted photo)

(Submitted photo)

North Scottsdale resident, Dr. Marjorie Kaplan, who has served as director of Beat the Odds Institute since 2008, has announced that she will step down, effective June 30.

Founded in 2007 under the Center for the Future of Arizona umbrella, Beat the Odds Institute is a rigorous, multi-year school improvement program providing mentoring and training for principals, according to a press release.

Based upon research and methodology from best-selling author Jim Collins, it focuses on K-12 schools where at least 50 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunch and at least 50 percent are minority, primarily Latino, according to the release.

“All of Arizona owes Marjorie Kaplan a debt of deep gratitude for her tireless commitment to helping students of all backgrounds ‘beat the odds’, enabling them to go forward as valuable, contributing members to the Arizona economy,” stated Dr. Lattie Coor, Center for the Future of Arizona Chairman and CEO, in the release. “She has truly made a difference.”

Serving at the helm of Beat the Odds Institute was an encore career for Dr. Kaplan, who brought more than 40 years of K-12 education experience to the post. During her tenure as director, 189 minority-intensive, low-income public, charter and tribal schools throughout Arizona participated in the program.

Dr. Kaplan received her bachelor’s degree from Smith College in Northampton, Mass. She grew up in the East, and moved to Arizona when she was 23-years-old.

According to the release she earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from Arizona State University and spent 27 years in education in the Phoenix area, serving as teacher and principal in the Washington School District; and then in the Paradise Valley School District, as assistant superintendent and superintendent for 11 years.

While in metropolitan Phoenix, Dr. Kaplan was named one of the Top 100 Educators in the United States by ‘Executive Educator’ magazine. She also received the Arizona Superintendent of the Year award from the American Association of School Administrators and the Outstanding Arizona Superintendent from the Arizona School Administrators Association, according to the release.

Dr. Kaplan currently serves and plans to continue as an adjunct professor teaching leadership courses at the university level.

Participation in Beat the Odds is open to K-12 public, charter and tribal schools throughout the state. Schools are now being enrolled for the 2015-16 school year.

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