2 min read

Episode #22 - Partnering with your board with Dr. Garland L. Thomas-McDavid

Episode #22 - Partnering with your board with Dr. Garland L. Thomas-McDavid



Dr. Garland L. Thomas-McDavid, Chief Executive Officer at Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School

Connect with Dr. TM on LinkedIn






Dr. TM discusses the role of the board in supporting and governing an organization. She highlights the importance of building relationships, open communication, and leveraging the resources and knowledge of the board. Dr. TM also addresses common challenges, such as navigating the transition from a founder/startup phase to a more mature organization, uncovering and addressing sacred cows, and recruiting the right board members. Her key takeaway is to stay connected to the mission and build strong relationships.


  • Build strong relationships with the board based on trust and open communication.
  • Navigate the transition from a founder/startup phase to a more mature organization by addressing sacred cows and aligning with the mission.
  • Recruit the right board members by clarifying expectations, revisiting bylaws, and providing training.
  • Stay connected to the mission and don't give up, despite challenges and setbacks.



BoardAssist: https://boardassist.org/




00:00 Introduction and Housekeeping
08:18 Evaluating Community Perception
26:55 Examples of Successful Partnerships
34:18 Current Community Partnerships
40:49 Conclusion and Resources




Dr. Garland Thomas-McDavid became CEO of Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School in July 2022. Brooklyn Lab is a 6-12 charter network primarily serving students in Brooklyn and in greater New York City. A dynamic leader with a background spanning twenty years, she has earned a reputation for leveraging excellence in student and staff services/experiences and delivering results against all odds. Garland has held positions in the field in early childhood through post-secondary education. She has devoted her career to creating equity and access in/through education and in leadership. In 2019, she launched Garland Leads LLC, which expanded her work to include executive coaching and leadership development. She is committed to leveraging her skills and experiences to facilitate growth and success for leaders and their teams. She maintains her job description is “Whatever it takes and by any means necessary”. Garland maintains an active agenda of service and advocacy work for the benefit of her community.




Daniel Casselli is a life-long learner whose passion for education has driven his professional endeavors. He is a former classroom teacher and youth ministry director whose entrepreneurial spirit landed him in the world of education technology. At EVERFI Inc., Daniel helped run the business development efforts for EVERFI’s Financial Education Program and the company was eventually sold to Blackbaud for $750M in 2021. Shortly before EVERFI’s acquisition, Daniel joined Class Technologies as one of the earliest sales hires and went on to lead K12 Enterprise Sales and helped the company land its first 100+ K12 customers across public, charter, and private schools. Daniel brings his unique experiences to BuyQ where he is focused on growth, operational excellence, business strategy, and client satisfaction. He is a graduate of Grove City College where he studied Religion and History. 


You can listen to Charter School Insider: Lessons from the Nation's Top Charter School Operators on your favorite podcasting platform...

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