Kara Bobroff, Founder of NACA and NISN
(Currently on sabbatical serving as the Deputy Secretary for Identity, Equity, and Transformation at the New Mexico Public Education Department)
Kara Bobroff is Navajo/Lakota and began her career as a Special Education teacher in Albuquerque, teaching students with behavioral disorders. She served as Assistant Principal of a low-income school in Albuquerque and a middle school in Marin County, CA. As Principal of Newcomb Middle School in New Mexico, Kara worked with 250 Navajo students and seven reservation communities. She facilitated more than 50 community conversations that led to the founding of the Native American Community Academy (NACA) in 2006, and NACA-Inspired School Network (NISN) in 2014. Under her leadership, NACA has been recognized as a model for effective indigenous education by the New Mexico Indian Education Sub-Committee and has been invited by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to participate in national strategic reform for Indian education. In 2012, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) in conjunction with the MetLife Foundation recognized NACA as one of 10 schools in the country for its ability to promote high achievement in spite of serving a large number of students living in poverty. NACA was recently highlighted by the state Legislative Finance Committee as one of the few middle schools in the state to show great promise. Kara has been recognized as one of the “Best Emerging Social Entrepreneurs” in the country by President Obama, awarded a national Echoing Green Fellowship, and is a current Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow. She earned a Master’s in Special Education and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration as a Danforth Scholar from the University of New Mexico, where she received the Zia Award for University of New Mexico alumni for distinguished service in the field of education.