A special announcement

March 6, 2023

Internationals Network is excited to announce the appointment of Lara Evangelista as the organization’s new Executive Director after a national search conducted by the Internationals Board of Directors. 

“We are excited to welcome Lara to the Internationals community, and believe deeply that Lara is best positioned to fulfill the organization’s mission,” said Billy Leung, head of the Executive Director Search Committee and Treasurer of Internationals Network’s Board of Directors. “Lara has served the needs of multilingual learner youth in New York City public school systems for more than 25 years, working to develop more equitable environments and practices for multilingual learners in New York City. She truly exemplifies and embodies the Internationals mission in all ways.

“As a first-generation child of recent immigrants, I saw first-hand growing up how many of my family members were marginalized in ESL or Special Education classrooms and struggled to graduate from high school. It motivated me to pursue a career in education,” said Ms. Evangelista. “I am passionate about developing quality educational spaces that build upon and further develop the strengths and skills of new arrivals, which is at the heart of Internationals’ work.”

Lara’s long relationship with Internationals includes working at The Brooklyn International High School (BIHS)  to design and implement BIHS’s project-based curriculum, internship program, and portfolio assessment system. She was a founding member of The Flushing International High School (FIHS, 2004), promoted to Assistant Principal in 2006 and appointed its principal in 2011, working throughout her 8-year tenure to develop a culturally responsive/sustaining environment, implementing competency-based grading practices, restorative justice approaches, and racial equity work. She also worked in collaboration with the Internationals Network to support her community in transitioning from Regents-based assessments to a performance-assessment system specifically designed to ensure the equitable assessment of deeper learning for MLLs. Lara served as one of only two principal representatives on the negotiated rulemaking committee for the federal ESSA act and has spoken on numerous national panels and forums.

“I met Lara as an outstanding student teacher in the 1990s before I left teaching to found Internationals Network and worked with her again as she led the FIHS community more than a decade later,” said Claire Sylvan, Internationals Strategic Advisor and Internationals Board Member. “Lara is a visionary leader who sees the humanity in each person she works with as well as the broad scope of immigrant education in the United States. She leads in both policy and practice and will move Internationals into new arenas as she rallies resources with her proven ability to build wide-ranging relationships with government and education leaders, policymakers, elected officials, philanthropists, and more. I look forward to supporting her in her new role as she moves Internationals into a new era.”

Lara joins Internationals Network after serving nearly four years as a Deputy Superintendent in the New York City Department of Education, the largest school district in the U.S. Her leadership in schools and districts will be an asset as she leads Internationals Network in its national pursuit to transform education for multilingual learners. 

“We are thrilled to have Lara at Internationals Network,” said Alvin Loshak, Chair of Internationals Board of Directors. “Her strong leadership abilities and long-standing relationship with the network will strengthen our organization and our national work serving immigrant and refugee multilingual learner youth.”

Lara Evangelista