Behind the Surge: Cecily Relucio Hensler on Empowering Educators

Cecily Relucio Hensler got the Surge crash course.

She joined the Surge team in July and was immediately introduced to the central culminating work of the 2017 Surge Fellows: Capstone Presentations. She then spent a weekend with the fellows as they experienced their final session before graduating. And somewhere in between, Cecily assisted in interviewing 44 candidates and selecting the cohort for the 2018 fellowship.

Yes… a crash course.

And Cecily loved it.

As the Chicago Program Manager, one of the architects of our fellowship sessions, Cecily needs to understand this movement better than most, and joining the leadership team amidst this transition has provided her with a condensed look at both the ending and the beginning of the fellow’s journey.

Watch the video above to learn what attracted Cecily to the Surge movement.

Cecily’s background

Cecily began her career in education as an elementary classroom teacher at a public school on the southwest side of Chicago. Since transitioning from the classroom, she has been privileged to serve as a professional developer, instructional coach, university-based teacher educator, and program leader. She has served in leadership capacities in both teacher education and new teacher induction programming and policy, developing a specialized focus on diversity, equity, and social justice education.

Through her professional experiences, Cecily has developed a nuanced understanding of the educational system—the challenges as well as promising interventions—from a range of vantage points. She brings her lived experience of the barriers that educators of color face on a daily basis and difficult lessons learned about leadership, as well as clarity about how her experiences and knowledge as a woman of color are an asset and strength that she brings to her work.

While her identity and experiences as an educator are central to who she is and how she hopes to make an impact upon the world, Cecily’s most cherished, important and challenging role in life is mothering her two biracial daughters, Vanessa and Mia, ages 14 and 9.

Read Cecily’s full biography