How Teaching First Grade Inspires Mission of Faith

In Chapter 1 of 22 in his 2014 Capture Your Flag interview, elementary charter school network CEO Preston Smith answers "To What Do You Aspire?" Going into Teach for America, Smith is assigned to teach first grade instead of his preference for fourth or fifth grade. Teaching the children to read proves to be a transformational moment that connects Smith to student families and leads him deeper into a mission to provide great schools for every child.

Preston Smith is co-founder and CEO of Rocketship Education, the highest performing low-income school system in California. After graduating the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Smith joined Teach for America. After three years teaching 1st Grade, he founded a district school in San Jose and became its principal. Smith was selected as a member of the 2010 class of Aspen Institute New Schools Fellows.