Posted in: Aha! Blog > Great Minds Blog > News > Great Minds PBC ® Announces $150 Million Investment to Drive Expansion and Innovation; Former Louisiana State Superintendent John White Joins Leadership Team
For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Zuckerbrod Nancy.email@example.com (301) 204-9391
Chad Colby Chad.firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 297-9437
Great Minds PBC ® Announces $150 Million Investment to Drive Expansion and Innovation;
Former Louisiana State Superintendent John White Joins Leadership Team
(Richmond, Va.) Great Minds PBC®, the developer of widely used, highly regarded PK–12 curricula, today announced that A-Street, an investment fund focused on seeding and scaling innovative student learning and achievement solutions, has invested $150 million into Great Minds, comprising $100 million of newly issued shares to accelerate expansion of the company’s offerings and $50 million to acquire a stake from the company’s majority stockholder, the nonprofit Great Minds organization. A-Street is now a minority stockholder of the company.The investment will further spur the company’s growth and empower the public benefit corporation to expand its offerings and grow its investment in best-in-class digital experiences, which will be seamlessly embedded in the curricula. The company will also expand all of its existing instructional materials to be available through high school.
The company also announced former Louisiana State Superintendent of Education John White has joined the company as Chief Success Officer. White, who previously served on the Great Minds PBC Board of Directors, has been recognized for helping improve student achievement and raise graduation rates in Louisiana, strengthening the state’s early childhood system, modernizing curriculum, and improving teacher preparation. He previously led the Louisiana Recovery School District, helping to transform New Orleans schools after Hurricane Katrina, and was Deputy Chancellor for the New York City Department of Education. A teacher at heart, White started his career teaching high school English in Jersey City, N.J.
“Great Minds has grown exponentially over the last 15 years, from an organization advocating for high-quality, content-rich curricula to the leading creator of those resources. We plan to leverage this new investment and John White’s leadership to further innovate, broaden our reach, and put forward new resources that personalize and improve student learning, helping all children achieve the greatness of which they’re inherently capable,” said Lynne Munson, founder and CEO of Great Minds.
In his new role, White will shape and oversee how customers experience Great Minds’ products and services, including professional development, implementation support, and a transformational digital experience to maximize teacher and student success. He will also work with state and district leaders on the need for high-quality instructional materials for all students. White will begin his new role in September.
“Students in the U.S. have never faced challenges greater than exist today. Every child needs and deserves access to a high-quality curriculum and every teacher should be provided with the materials, training, and resources to help unlock the greatness in every child. Great Minds is working to make that a reality and I’m excited to join in their mission,” said White.
Great Minds PBC writes the knowledge-building materials Eureka Math2TM, Wit & Wisdom® (ELA), Geodes® books for emerging readers, and PhD Science®. The curricula have received top ratings through highly rigorous reviews in states like California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Texas, and by expert, independent curriculum reviewing organizations. Eureka Math is the most widely used elementary math curriculum in the country. The company reaches millions of students in all 50 states with its instructional materials and professional development and implementation services. The company has generated strong double-digit growth annually.
"Great Minds is filling an unmet need in schools across the country, providing educators and students with high-quality tools that advance academic growth and achievement. With innovative and proven solutions that already reach millions, Great Minds has an opportunity to soar to new heights and scale its impact by empowering educators and accelerating student learning. We are proud to join with Lynne, John, and the entire Great Minds’ team on this incredible journey to transform the future of K-12 learning,” said Marc Sternberg, Co-Founder and Managing Director of A-Street.
Great Minds PBC also announced it has appointed Julie Huston as Chief Revenue Officer of the company, after being Chief Sales Officer for the past five years. Under her leadership, the sales team scaled rapidly and has consistently driven 30+% year-over-year sales growth. In her new role, she will oversee the overall business growth of the company and market opportunities.
Evercore acted as exclusive financial advisor to Great Minds PBC, and Morrison & Foerster LLP acted as legal advisor.
About Great Minds
Great Minds PBC is a public benefit corporation and subsidiary of Great Minds, a
nonprofit organization. Teachers and content experts write Great Minds curricula, applying their experience to create materials that resonate with students, teachers, and families. Great Minds is the only curriculum creator to have earned three Tier 1 ratings, the highest possible, from the respected Louisiana Department of Education. The company’s instructional materials also have received strong reviews from numerous other states and nonprofit reviewers. Great Minds curricula currently include Eureka Math2, Eureka Math, PhD Science®, and Wit & Wisdom® (English language arts), and Geodes® books for emerging readers developed in conjunction with Fundations® foundational reading program from Wilson Language Training.
A-Street is a privately sponsored investment fund with a strategic focus on companies and ideas that drive coherent, differentially effective, and equitable solutions to transform the future of K-12 learning. Our vision is that every student in our country will have access to rigorous, engaging, and supportive learning experiences that will allow them to access economic and social prosperity. A-Street invests in a mix of early-, growth- and late-stage companies in the areas of instructional content & measurement, teaching sustainability, and students’ well-being. We invest for the long term and aim to build true partnership with entrepreneurs and founders through a diverse staff that is deeply rooted in education practice, philanthropy, and policy. Our fund structure, investment tools, and incentives are uniquely aligned with what is necessary to create and sustain excellence in K-12 classrooms. For additional information about A-Street, please visit https://www.astreet.ventures/ and on Twitter @astreetventures.
View this press release on PRNewswire.
Chad brings more than 23 years of experience in communications to Great Minds. He has served in three state education agencies, which included time assisting New Mexico’s secretary of education with the adoption of new education reform initiatives; serving as the communications director at the Washington, D.C., Office of the State Superintendent of Education; and working as an assistant to the Florida Commissioner of Education. Chad also worked at the U.S. Department of Education from 2004 to 2009 and served as the deputy assistant secretary for media affairs and strategic communication during his final two years there. Chad is a native of Bloomington, Ill., and graduated from Florida State University.