Great Hearts Academies Names Two New Senior Executives: Dr. Robert L. Jackson, National Academic Officer, and Roberto Gutierrez, Chief Development Officer

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First Top Executive Hires Under CEO Dr. Daniel Scoggin Reflect National Charter School Commitment to Growth, Talent and Service to New Markets

We are excited and honored to welcome Dr. Jackson and Roberto Gutierrez as we begin the execution of our dream to grow our network of schools beyond the Phoenix metro area. Both Dr. Jackson and Roberto are noble professionals and life-long learners.

Great Hearts Academies CEO, Dr. Daniel Scoggin, today announced two senior management appointments to the Great Hearts America executive team.

Dr. Robert L. Jackson was named National Academic Officer for Great Hearts America; Roberto Gutierrez was appointed the network’s Chief Development Officer. These appointments represent the most recent senior hires for the premier public classical education provider, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. Scoggin made the announcement at an industry breakfast during the annual meeting of The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools in Washington, D.C.

Jackson served most recently as professor of English and education at The King’s College in New York, NY. He will manage Great Hearts America’s curriculum across its schools’ network. Gutierrez is the former senior vice president at EdisonLearning, and Vice President for Communications at the University of Notre Dame. He will oversee donor engagement, strategic communications and marketing for all K-12 schools.

"We are excited and honored to welcome Dr. Jackson and Roberto Gutierrez as we begin the execution of our dream to grow our network of schools beyond the Phoenix metro area. Both Dr. Jackson and Roberto are noble professionals and life-long learners. Through their life’s work, they have modeled a true commitment to education and now will help Great Hearts advance its classical educational model for every student we can serve. Robert Jackson is truly a great-hearted scholar, demonstrating through his studies and career path a steadfast and passionate pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. He is ideally suited for leading our Great Hearts America academic team,” Scoggin said.

“Roberto is a natural story-teller. For over twenty years, he produced world-class documentary films across the world. His commitment to values in media earned him an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. He has worked at the highest levels of the academy with national education leaders. His fervor and compassion to present Great Hearts’ educational model to new markets is palpable. We know that his excitement will resonate with parents, donors and educational leaders through our current network and in the markets yet to be served.”

Dr. Robert L. Jackson serves as the National Academic Officer of Great Hearts America. As a professor of English and education at The King’s College (New York), Dr. Jackson spent a dozen years training future teachers in the rudiments of educational history and philosophy. In 2006, he developed an academic concentration aimed at revitalizing the 2500-year tradition of liberal arts pedagogy through the study of classic works—Quintilian, Erasmus et al. He actively integrates poetry in his educational courses, and his research focuses on the early 20th century debates between progressives and classicists concerning public schools. His articles and essays have been published in Society, Academic Questions, Mythlore, and Comment. He was moderator for the list-service of the National Association of Scholars, and currently authors the book-and-article review section of Academic Questions. Dr. Jackson was the recipient of a university fellowship at Florida State University (1994), and he has received awards for teaching excellence at Florida State University (1994) and The King’s College (2010, 2012). Dr. Jackson’s administrative experience also includes the oversight of two university language programs for international students (Florida State University, State University of New York at New Paltz) and coordination of a childhood education degree (The King’s College). Before joining Great Hearts, Dr. Jackson was serving as the Associate Provost of The King’s College, where he continues as a visiting professor of educational policy.

Roberto Gutierrez is the Chief Development Officer of Great Hearts America. He is the former Managing Director of Gutierrez Communications, Inc., an independent, New York-based consulting firm he founded in 2009. Most recently, Mr. Gutierrez served as Senior Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs for the privately-held education management company, EdisonLearning, Inc. (formerly Edison Schools) in New York, leading the company’s brand strategy and communications portfolio during the change of leadership for that organization. In his role as national community relations officer, he rallied over 2000 parents and faculty in district partnership schools and charter schools to advocate for student achievement. In 2002, Mr. Gutierrez was recruited to serve as Vice President for Public Affairs and Communication at the University of Notre Dame, promoting an agenda of increased student enrollment for under-served minority communities. An entrepreneurial activist, Mr. Gutierrez began his career as a filmmaker, serving as CEO and Chief Development Officer of Hispanic Telecommunications Network, Inc. located in San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Gutierrez received his undergraduate degree in English and Communication Arts from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. He has advanced studies in Strategic Communications and in Theology. In 1999, for a body of work that includes over 1200 broadcast television programs, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Notre Dame. He will divide his time to work on Great Hearts expansion in San Antonio and Dallas, and will maintain his offices in New York.

Great Hearts Academies is one of the top charter school operators in the country. It currently manages 16 schools in the Phoenix metro area, with over 7,500 students in grades K-12, and will open Texas campuses in San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin starting in 2013 or 2014. The focus of Great Hearts Academies is a classical, liberal arts curriculum with an emphasis on the Great Books and the Socratic teaching method. Great Hearts academies are comprehensive college prep schools, with competitive athletics programs and a variety of extracurricular activities, such as speech and debate, fencing, and music ensembles. In Arizona, Great Hearts typically receives 8-10 enrollment applications for every available seat.

Great Hearts’ schools rank in the top 1% of all Arizona public schools, and 95% of graduates attend a 4-year college. Great Hearts Academies has a track record in Arizona of elite college placement that surpasses or rivals all the surrounding local public and private schools. Veritas Preparatory Academy, its flagship school, is ranked as one of the top 10 schools in the U.S. according to the Global Report Card.

For more information about Great Hearts, please visit and

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Patti Tindall
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