Carnegie Foundation Welcomes Utah State Superintendent and MasterClass Co-Founder to Board of Trustees

June 20, 2024

Dr. Sydnee Dickson and Aaron Rasmussen join Board of over 100-year old organization amidst historic overhaul of the Carnegie Unit

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (Carnegie) today announced the addition of Dr. Sydnee Dickson, Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Aaron Rasmussen, co-founder of MasterClass, to its Board of Trustees.

“Dr. Dickson’s pioneering efforts to scale competency-based teaching and learning in Utah have inspired both policymakers and educators nationwide. Aaron’s vision for combining pedagogical innovation with the art of filmmaking has captivated a generation of lifelong learners,” said Timothy F.C. Knowles, president of Carnegie. “Their appointments reflect a commitment to harnessing the potential of the most progressive thinkers as we work to create an entirely new educational architecture.” 

An educator of over four decades who began her K-12 education in a two-room schoolhouse in rural Utah, Dr. Dickson was appointed as State Superintendent in 2016. She is now widely recognized for her leadership guiding one of the first statewide efforts to implement personalized, competency-based education.

“The willingness of an organization that has played such a foundational role in building our educational infrastructure to now reimagine the core tenets of our education system is inspiring,” said Dr. Dickson. “I’m eager to bring the Utah experience to the national stage.” 

A serial entrepreneur and inventor, Aaron Rasmussen co-founded MasterClass, which fused immersive filmmaking with learning to bring experts like David Mamet, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Margaret Atwood to more than 2 million learners worldwide. Rasmussen went on to found, which builds cinematic-quality college courses that transfer to top four-year institutions nationwide. 

“The Carnegie Foundation’s leadership understands the necessity of thinking beyond the traditional boundaries of our education system,” said Rasmussen. “Advances in AI and computing power offer tremendous potential and require us to rethink how we measure educational outcomes to better capture the kind of deep-thinking and analysis our fast-changing world requires. They’re tackling some of the hardest, most urgent, educational challenges today.”

About the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

The mission of the Carnegie Foundation is to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life. Enacted by an act of Congress in 1906, the Foundation has a rich history of driving transformational change in the education sector, including the establishment of TIAA-CREF and the creation of the Education Testing Service, the GRE, Pell Grants, and the Carnegie Classifications for Higher Education.