For Immediate Release
Dec. 11, 2023

Media Contact:
Chris Smith
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Education is Freedom Announces Dr. Susanna Russell as New CEO

Collegiate Education Non-Profit Bids a Fond Farewell to Retiring CEO, Marcia Page

DALLAS, TEXAS – (Dec. 01, 2023) Education is Freedom (EIF), a leading college access advocate serving 25% of the public school students within Dallas County, announced today the completion of its search for a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with the hiring of Dr. Susanna Russell, the current Chief Leadership Officer of Garland Independent School District. In early 2024, Dr. Russell will replace outgoing CEO Marcia Page, who announced her desire to retire earlier this year after leading the EIF organization for more than fourteen years.

"First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to Marcia Page for her remarkable leadership over the past fourteen years serving our community, including Garland ISD. Her relentless dedication has created the strong foundation for an exciting new chapter at Education is Freedom,” said Dr. Russell. “EIF served my district well, and as we embark upon this journey, I am honored to have the opportunity to help continue to expand post-secondary options for countless Dallas-area students."

With an impressive career spanning over 37 years in Texas public schools, Dr. Russell brings with her a wealth of knowledge and distinctive insight. She has excelled in various roles, including Teacher, Vice Principal, Principal, Executive Director, Associate Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, and Chief Leadership Officer in public school districts across the state.

“Marcia Page's exceptional leadership has been instrumental in our journey, and we’re immensely grateful for her many contributions,” said EIF Chairman of the Board, Mark Okada. “As we welcome Dr. Russell, we look forward to building upon our legacy, confident in her ability to lead us into an even brighter future for Dallas students.”

Dallas County ranks eighth in the nation in the number of children and young adults living below the federal poverty line, and improving post-secondary attainment rates are an increasing critical strategy in reducing those rates of poverty and improving regional economic mobility. Education is Freedom aims to help change those metrics by expanding its scope to provide principally underserved middle and high school students with college and career advising at a greater regional scale, increasing access to scholarships, and growing summer intern experiences via Dallas Works.

Superintendent Rick Lopez of Garland said, “I have been fortunate to work alongside Dr. Russell for the past 15+ years.  Her passion, persistence, and high sense of purpose are key factors to her success, and her abilities to make the improbable a reality are unmatched, leaving a definite void in Garland ISD.  The winners are the children of Dallas County, as they will have a champion who will follow Ms. Page’s path in removing every obstacle to ensure they cross the graduation stage with a post-secondary credential in hand.”

“Dr. Russell represents the embodiment of what EIF aspires to be, making us confident in our future as she takes the helm, following in the footsteps of Marcia Page," said EIF founder James Keyes.

“The students we serve are the future of the Dallas region” said Drexell Owusu, long-time EIF Board Member and Chief Impact Officer at the Dallas Foundation. “Under Dr. Russell’s leadership, I’m certain we can help make those students' dreams of a post-secondary education that much closer to reality.”

“Dr. Russell’s hiring represents a tremendous opportunity for EIF and every student we serve,” said Todd Williams, EIF Board Member and Chairman & CEO of the Commit Partnership. “Her own lived experience reflects the power of an adult who believes in you, and we’re excited about her ability to continue to build upon the EIF platform by building additional district relationships throughout Dallas County.”

About Education is Freedom Education is Freedom is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by corporate leaders united in the dream of a world where every young person could pursue a college education. As business leaders, government officials and entrepreneurs, EIF’s board is committed to creating an education workforce capable of building effective companies and strong communities through financial support, advising programs and internships. To learn more about Education is Freedom, click here.