An Interview with Trustee Gregg Fleisher
An Interview with Trustee Gregg FleisherKemba Dunham, Senior Director, Communications
This January, All Access had the opportunity to chat with Gregg Fleisher, one of the newest members of the College Board's Board of Trustees. Fleisher is currently the president of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), a nonprofit dedicated to improving students’ STEM performance. In this role, he provides strategic direction for NMSI’s programs and serves as a liaison to school district leaders, state and national STEM education partners, and funders.
All Access (AA): What’s the most critical issue in education today?
Gregg Fleisher (GF): Low expectations for students from a low socio-economic background.
AA: What do you value most about your role on the Board of Trustees?
GF: It’s twofold: First, being able to understand the inner-workings of the College Board so that I may represent the great work that the organization is doing, accurately and enthusiastically. And second, I believe my experience in education is unique, and I love that I have a voice with respect to the critical issues that the College Board is facing.
AA: How does your relationship with the College Board enhance your role at the NMSI?
GF: Since we promote being successful in Advanced Placement as the key driver to college matriculation and college graduation, being closely aligned with the College Board is critical. When school districts ask us about the latest studies that show the efficacy of AP, I’m plugged in. Additionally, when school districts want to know reasonable expectations they should have of their students, the data agreement we have with the College Board allows us to understand what is ambitious and attainable.
AA: How did your own path influence your career choice?
GF: I had always wanted to be a high school math teacher, but the pressures from my peers when I was young led me to start my career as an actuary. After a few years in the actuarial world, I knew I had to do what I was “called” to do, and I became a high school math teacher. My success as an AP Calculus teacher opened up opportunities for me first in Dallas, and then across Texas. That, in turn, allowed me to start a nonprofit that increases the number of students succeeding in AP math, science, and English classes.
AA: What are you most looking forward to in 2017?
GF: Being a positive role model for my kids—one that exhibits hard work and honesty with a servant’s heart. And I mean a role model not only for my own children, but also for all the students we serve. I think it’s vital to have leaders demonstrate honesty, hard work, and a willingness to serve others.
AA: Can you share a fun fact with us?
GF: I was the original architect of AP Potential back in 1996. I created it to convince the community that someone who they thought was not a very good teacher was actually a great teacher; she got better AP scores from students with the same PSAT scores than any other teacher.