Bibi Yasmin Katsev: Spearheading education transformation as executive director of TFA DFW

Story by Lawson Martin. Photos by Brandon Thibodeaux.

Teach for America Dallas-Fort Worth has recently named a new executive director with years of education and policy experience.

Bibi Yasmin Katsev, new executive director of Teach for America Dallas Fort Worth.

As the new executive director of TFA DFW, Bibi Yasmin Katsev will manage every facet of the organization’s regional operations, working toward establishing a network that will enhance educational opportunities for children throughout the city.

Teach for America is a nonprofit organization where college graduates and professionals teach in schools where students may have fewer resources. These professionals make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools, where they work to improve education for children in these communities.

The Dallas branch of TFA was founded in 2009 and expanded to include Fort Worth in 2011. TFA DFW is one of the largest TFA regions in the nation. TFA DFW collaborates with local school districts and charter schools throughout the metroplex to broaden educational access for children. TFA DFW currently has more than 1,600 alumni and corps members (teachers), and the organization has impacted over 90,000 students since its inception in DFW.

Before TFA, Bibi served as the CEO of the District Charter Alliance, a nonprofit that works towards improving public education. In this role, she led student-centric education reforms and collaborative work on improving students’ school experiences throughout Texas. Before that, Bibi worked for the Texas Education Agency, where she helped create and implement programs like the System of Great Schools Initiative, the School Redesign Fund, and the Transformation Zones, which are programs made to give students more chances to succeed. Bibi also worked in education policy for the Texas Senate.

These experiences helped her get to where she is today as the new executive director for TFA DFW. Bibi says in her new role, she will be leading efforts to help TFA DFW reach its 2030 goal, which is to “see twice as many children in the communities where (they) work reach key college and career readiness milestones indicating they are on a path to economic mobility and a future filled with possibility.”

The Dallas Metroplex is considered “modern, diverse, and thriving,” according to TFA DFW’s website; however, among large cities, Dallas is the fourth highest in the country for child poverty. TFA DFW states currently, one out of three third-grade students in Dallas-Fort Worth are reading at a level that sets them up for college.

According to Bibi, right now, on average, around 23% of the students TFA DFW serves are college and career-ready, and part of their goal is to have that number grow to 46% by 2030.

“I am optimistic and inspired by the dedication of our students and families in their pursuit of excellent education and know our efforts in learning, strategizing, and creating impactful partnerships throughout the metroplex will continue to push TFA DFW toward achieving our ambitious 2030 goal,” Bibi says.

Beyond the 2030 goal, Bibi says her most significant goal for TFA DFW is its impact.

“I know we are already making a big impact, but I don’t think we should just settle for that,” Bibi says. “We must commit to our 2030 goal and increase our corporate member impact. We want more student leaders or more leaders in our community to step up and enter our classrooms and come in with an equity-driven mindset to make the biggest impact in our community.”

Bibi believes teaching in the corps is a great way to serve and give back to your community.

“It’s such a huge leadership development opportunity for so many young individuals,” Bibi says.

Bibi acknowledges that many people may think teaching can be unsatisfying these days. However, she believes TFA provides a chance for personal and professional growth, making it a fulfilling choice for those who choose this path.

The new executive director says she loves TFA DFW so far because she can tell the organization and the surrounding communities genuinely care about our kids.

“There are so many players in Dallas-Fort Worth that just want to do great things for kids and want to invest so much, from our wealthiest communities to our neediest communities,” she says. “We all want kids to do great.”

Bibi encourages members of the Dallas-Fort Worth community to get involved with TFA DFW by following them on social media, supporting its corps members, or donating to their cause.

Click here to learn more about Teach for America Dallas-Fort Worth.