Staff Spotlight: Nora Gomperts
Nora Gomperts is Chief of Staff at Turnaround for Children. She manages the executive office and Turnaround’s board of directors, in addition to supporting the organization’s leadership team and organization-wide initiatives.
THE 180: Why did you decide to join Turnaround for Children?
NORA GOMPERTS: I was drawn to Turnaround because I was inspired by our commitment to the schools that struggle the most, by our acknowledgement of some of the underlying challenges in education and by our scientific approach to school improvement. I wanted to work for an organization that created interventions and supported the population of students that haven’t been given the tools that they need to succeed in their schools, rather than ignore the realities of education. Also, Ryan Seacrest acquired the company that I previously worked for, and that meant it was time to go.
THE 180: What motivates you?
NORA GOMPERTS: I am motivated by the awareness that we live in an unjust society that is segregated by race and class, where racism and inequality affect families’ and individuals’ abilities to pursue their dreams (and frankly, to just get by). I believe that high-quality public education that acknowledges and addresses this inequity is one of the most powerful ways to create a just society.
THE 180: How is Turnaround’s partnership with schools unique?
NORA GOMPERTS: Turnaround builds practitioners’ capacities to understand students’ context, create safe and supportive environments, build positive relationships with students and foster students’ development of the skills and mindsets that are critical for learning. These are skills that educators can apply in any educational environment, and that create the foundation for successful learning.
THE 180: You’re Turnaround’s Chief of Staff. What does a typical day look like for you?
NORA GOMPERTS: The scope of my day widely varies. I work on everything from supporting our Founder, President and CEO, Dr. Pamela Cantor, to managing the Board of Directors and the executive office, to writing internal and external documents as needed – all within the span of a single day.
THE 180: What do you think is the most important thing that students need to succeed?
NORA GOMPERTS: Students need to know that there is someone who believes in them. That that someone will support them and stick with them, even if they make a mistake. Children need the continued support of caring adults.
THE 180: Describe your favorite aspect of working at Turnaround.
NORA GOMPERTS: There are great role models and people to learn from at Turnaround. I work closely with our CEO, Dr. Pamela Cantor, and our Chief External Affairs Officer, Brigid Ahern, and appreciate the opportunity to work with such smart and strong (and female!) leaders.