Lecturers at the Jefferson Educational Society

José Muñoz

In 2017, José Muñoz joined the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), where he is director of the Coalition for Community Schools initiative.


Previously, Muñoz was the executive director at the ABC Community School Partnership between the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque Public Schools, the City of Albuquerque, and the Hispano Chamber of Commerce.


At ABC, Muñoz expanded the strategy for community schools, adding 22 new schools to the program in just five years, obtaining upwards of $3 million in funding through policy advocacy and working on behalf of community schools with state and local governments, school districts, teachers’ unions, and local businesses.


Muñoz, for his efforts, won the 2014 Community Schools Initiative Leadership Award. He has also dedicated his time to the Boys & Girls Club, where he developed extracurricular activities, gang prevention, intervention, and re-entry programs.


Muñoz and his family dedicate their spare time to serving their community and church. He brings more than 25 years of cross-sector partnership experience for youth, family, and community development across the United States to his talk at the Jefferson titled “Community Schools: A Model Locally, a Model Nationally.”


Dr. Reuben Jacobson has worked at the intersection of education research, policy, and practice for 20 years. He is committed to educational change and equity and has substantial experience designing and implementing strategies that bring stakeholders together to work on common challenges.

Reuben served as the Deputy Director for the Coalition for Community Schools at the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) where he helped grow and strengthen community schools by mobilizing national partners and local leaders. He has researched and written about the growing field of school and community partnerships for organizations such as the Brookings Institution and the Center for American Progress. His first book, Community Schools: People and Places Transforming Education and Communities, examines the different roles that support community schools.

Reuben worked at the American Institutes for Research as an education research analyst and taught fifth and sixth grade students in D.C. Public Schools as a D.C. Teaching Fellow. He lives in Washington, DC with his family.


Brian J. Polito, B.S., serves as the Superintendent of Erie’s Public Schools. He is a certified public accountant with more than 16 years of administrative experience in public education. He has also served as Assistant Superintendent and Business Manager for the North East School District and Business Manager for General McLane School District. He started his career in public accounting working for Schneider Downs and Buseck, Barger, Bleil & Company. Brian earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Penn State Behrend and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Mercyhurst University.