The Carnegie Summit brings together practitioners, researchers, thought leaders, policymakers, and others to present on how they are utilizing improvement science and capturing the power of networks. Learn more about the improvers and innovators who represent the cutting edge of this work.
Anthony S. Bryk
President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Anthony S. Bryk is the ninth President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where he has introduced and is leading work to create a new research and development infrastructure to support educational improvement in the United States.
From 2004 until assuming Carnegie’s presidency in September 2008, Bryk held the Spencer Chair in Organizational Studies in the School of Education and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He came to Stanford from the University of Chicago, where he helped found the Center for Urban School Improvement, which supports reform efforts in the Chicago Public Schools. He also created the Consortium on Chicago School Research, a federation of research groups that have produced a range of studies to advance and assess urban school reform.
In his most recent work, Learning to Improve, Bryk argues improvement science combined with the power of networks offers the field a new approach to reach ever increasing educational aspirations.
Founder & CEO, Summit Public Schools×
Diane Tavenner is the Founder and CEO of Summit Public Schools (SPS), a leading charter management organization serving California and Washington State. Summit’s graduates are completing four-year college degrees at twice the national average. Newsweek and US News & World Report have ranked Summit among the top public schools in the nation. In partnership with Facebook, Summit is currently working to scale personalized learning by making its Personalized Learning Platform (PLP) available to schools across the country for free through the Summit Basecamp program.
Diane serves as the Board Chair of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) representing the majority of California’s 1,300+ charter schools. Diane also serves on the board of Transcend, The Primary School and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. Diane is a member of the Spring 2013 cohort of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship, a leadership program within the Aspen Institute and a fellow in the Broad Academy.
Prior to Summit, Diane was a public school teacher, administrator and leader in traditional urban and suburban public schools throughout California.
Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science, Yale University×
Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is a social scientist and physician at Yale University who conducts research in the fields of network science, biosocial science, and behavior genetics. His current work focuses on how human biology and health affect, and are affected by, social interactions and social networks. He directs the Human Nature Lab and is the Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science. He is the Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science, appointed in the Departments of Sociology; Medicine; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Biomedical Engineering; and the School of Management.
Dr. Christakis is the author of over 200 articles and several books. His influential book, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, was translated into twenty foreign languages. His next book, Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society, is forthcoming in 2019.
He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2006; the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010; and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017.
Investigative Reporter, The New York Times Magazine×
Nikole Hannah-Jones is an award-winning investigative reporter who covers civil rights and racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine. In 2016, she helped found the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a news trade organization dedicated to increasing the ranks of investigative reporters of color. She is also writing a book on school segregation called, “The Problem We All Live With,” on the One World imprint of Penguin/Random House.
Nikole got hooked on journalism when she joined her high school newspaper and began writing about students like her, who were bused across town as part of a voluntary school desegregation program.
Prior to joining The New York Times, Nikole worked as an investigative reporter at ProPublica in New York City, where she spent three years chronicling the way official policy created and maintains segregation in housing and schools. Before that, she reported for the largest daily newspaper in the Pacific Northwest, The Oregonian in Portland, Ore., where she covered numerous beats, including demographics, the census and county government.
Senior Educational Consultant, Teaching Matters×
Pamela Abramson is a Senior Educational Consultant for Teaching Matters. Pamela’s interest and expertise lie in early literacy instruction. Her work at Teaching Matters has included working on literacy instruction in both middle and elementary school. She has supported teachers and administrators in improving teacher practices, as well as developing common assessments, and revising and improving curriculum. Most recently, she joined the Early Reading Matters team which focuses on training teachers to effectively teach high literacy practices to dramatically improve student’s proficiency in grades K through 3. Pamela is personally attuned to the challenges confronted by teachers in urban schools and has devoted much of her efforts in supporting these teachers in reaching the many needs of their students. Prior to joining the Teaching Matters team, Pamela evaluated the instructional practices of tenured teachers for continued service. Earlier in her career, Pam was a second and third grade teacher in a public New York City elementary school for eight years. Pamela received an M.A. in Elementary Education from New York University and a B.A in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jorge A. Aguilar
Superintendent, Sacramento City Unified School District×
Since 2017, Jorge A. Aguilar has served as superintendent of Sacramento City Unified School District, the thirteenth largest school district in California with 46,843 students. He has more than twenty years of K-12 and higher education experience with a strong focus and background on issues of equity and student achievement. Prior to his appointment, he served as Associate Superintendent for Equity and Access at Fresno Unified School District. He has also served as an Associate Vice Chancellor for Educational and Community Partnerships and Special Assistant to the Chancellor at the University of California, Merced.
Associate Professor, University of California, Irvine×
Dr. June Ahn is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Irvine. His research focuses on designing socio-technical systems that improve education systems and broaden participation for under-served students in STEM fields. His past work includes designing social media tools and alternate reality games for STEM learning, and developing research-practice partnerships with school districts to create technologies and evaluate technology-enhanced education solutions. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Institute of Education Sciences, and private foundations.
Principal, ASCEND K-8×
Morgan Alconcher, or The Minister of Magic, is a leader, learner and designer. Most recently she has lead a TK-8 arts-integrated, expeditionary learning school called ASCEND, in Oakland, California. She is a School Retool Coach with the K12 Lab at Stanford’s d.school, a consultant with Catalyst:ed and coaches fellow leaders within Education for Change to define their school vision, design their model, and take steps towards executing on that vision. Her leadership prioritizes building strong teams and using design thinking to cultivate the conditions for sustainable innovation and change towards deeper learning. She believes small steps lead to big change and that a key to transforming schools is ‘doing for adults what we want them to do for kids.’ Bit-by-bit — we will make MAGIC happen!
Professor of Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education×
Andrés Alonso became a professor of practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in July 2013. Previously, he served as the CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools). During his tenure, Baltimore City students have reached their highest outcomes in state exams, across all categories of students. He serves on the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as “The Nation’s Report Card.” Alonso emigrated from Cuba to the United States with his parents at the age of 12. Originally speaking no English, he attended public schools in Union City, New Jersey, graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University, and earned a JD and a doctorate in education from Harvard University. After practicing law in New York City he changed course to become an educator. From 1987 to 1998, Alonso taught emotionally disturbed special education adolescents and English language learners in Newark, New Jersey. He then served as chief of staff for teaching and learning and as deputy chancellor for teaching and learning at the New York City Department of Education during the launch of its Children First reform.
Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center×
Jim serves as Taft’s Senior Strategic and External Affairs Advisor. His involvement on various boards and with many projects in the community and beyond offers an avenue of experience to benefit fellow community members. Jim stepped down in 2009 as president and CEO of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, a position he had held since 1996. He was instrumental in shaping the extraordinary growth at the medical center. Since that time, the Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence has been named in his honor, and he has continued to contribute to the medical center as advisor to the president. Jim has published materials on leadership and transformational change in complex organizations, including a chapter titled “Governance, Leadership, Management, Organizational Structure, and Oversight Principles and Practices” in the book “Sustainably Improving Health Care,” edited by Paul Bataldan and Tina Foster.
Director, National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships×
Paula Arce-Trigatti is Director of the National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships (NNERPP), housed at the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University. With close to 30 members in the Network, NNERPP aims to develop, support, and connect research-practice partnerships in education through its professional learning community. Prior to joining NNERPP, Paula was a post-doctoral fellow at the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans and The Murphy Institute, both at Tulane University. She has done research on the supply side of schools, studying innovations in education and the unintended consequences of district level policies. Paula has bachelor’s degrees in music and business from Florida State University and her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Houston.
Senior Director of Learning & Improvement, United Way of Salt Lake×
As the Senior Director of Learning and Improvement at United Way of Salt Lake, Tyler Asman supports collective impact partnerships and UWSL staff in developing the capabilities needed to drive social change. She has used her background in social sciences to maximize team performance in healthcare, nonprofit, and corporate settings. Asman’s specialties include leadership coaching and training, employee engagement, talent management, and team dynamics. She is a certified coach, mediator, Birkman consultant, and Crucial Conversations facilitator. Asman received an MSW with an emphasis in Policy and Advocacy from the University of Houston.
Ann E. Austin
Professor, Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education; Associate Dean for Research, College of Education; Assistant Provost for Faculty Development—Career Paths, Michigan State University×
Ann E. Austin is Professor of Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University, where she also serves as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Education and Assistant Provost for Faculty Development/Career Paths. Her research concerns academic work and professional development, STEM education, teaching and learning, and organizational change. She has been a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation, a U.S. Fulbright Fellow (South Africa), and President of the Association for the Study of Higher Education. She serves as Co-Chair of the National Academies of Sciences, Medicine and Engineering’s Roundtable on Systematic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education. Current projects focus on a network of universities collaborating on reform in doctoral education, organizational change strategies to create more inclusive environments in academe, systemic reform in undergraduate STEM education, and the use of change networks in higher education. She has also done extensive international work in higher education.
Business Analyst, Arizona State University×
Melanie Baca began her career at Arizona State University in March 2010 as part of a Teacher Incentive Fund grant titled Ready-for-Rigor. Having a Bachelor of Science in Business Management didn’t help her understand the discourse of education and so she became a student again, graduating with a Masters in Educational Policy. Currently, Melanie is a Business Analyst for the iTeachELLs Teacher Quality Partnership grant project. She leads their education partners through the application of Improvement and Change Science applying the work of Hall and Hord, Kotter and Cohen, Wellman, Vygotsky, and Heath Brothers to re-form how educators are prepared to teacher culturally and linguistically diverse students.
Superintendent, Hemet Unified School District×
Christi Barrett earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts from the University of California, Riverside, in 2000 and a Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of California, Riverside in 2003. Ms. Barrett is currently in the candidacy phase of receiving her Ph.D. in Urban Education Leadership at Claremont Graduate University. She has 18 years of educational experience and has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent at Victor Elementary School District and Val Verde Unified School District. Ms. Barrett has a strong background in instruction, human resources and district operations.
Professor of Psychology & Co-Director of the Motivation Research Institute, James Madison University×
Dr. Kenn Barron is a professor of psychology at James Madison University (JMU) and co-coordinator of the Motivation Research Institute (MRI). He began working at JMU after receiving his Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1999. He created MRI to promote a community of researchers and practitioners dedicated to advancing the study and application of motivation theory. For example, MRI helped launch a national initiative sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation to form a networked improvement community of teachers and researchers rapidly designing and testing new strategies to improve student motivation. Dr. Barron regularly publishes and gives talks and professional development workshops on topics related to motivation and the scholarship of teaching and learning. His research has appeared in the Journal of Educational Psychology, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Educational and Psychological Measurement, Educational Psychologist, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Teaching of Psychology, New Directions for Teaching and Learning, and the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. Throughout his career, he has received numerous teaching, research, service, and advising awards. For example in 2012, he was named both a fellow of the American Psychological Association and one of Princeton Review’s Top 300 professors in America, and in 2016 he received the Provost’s Excellence in Research and Scholarship Award.
Rachel Beattie, Former Director of Student Agency Improvement Community and Productive Persistence, Carnegie Foundation×
Rachel Beattie was the director of productive persistence and director of Student Agency Improvement Community at the Carnegie Foundation. Productive persistence refers to the combination of tenacity and good strategies that is necessary to help more students successfully complete their academic goals. Before coming to the Carnegie Foundation, Rachel was a postdoctoral researcher at the Ohio State University where she supported cognitive neuroimaging research on reading, language, and mathematical development. She has a BSc (Hons) in psychology from Staffordshire University, and an MA and PhD in psychology from the University of Southern California, where she conducted research on the underlying factors that contribute to the development of learning differences. Rachel also taught undergraduate psychology courses at Occidental College and the University of Southern California.
Senior Manager, Network Engagement, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards×
Laura Benedetto is the Senior Manager for Network Engagement at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Laura has been with the Network to Transform Teaching (NT3), a growing NIC across 10 states, 52 districts, and 130+ schools working to ensure that every student has the opportunity to learn from accomplished teachers, since its inception in 2013. Currently, Laura’s work focuses on the experience of the network members, including building community and facilitating the sharing of network learning. She holds a Master of Arts, Education from St. Joseph College (CT) and a Bachelor of Arts, History from Wheaton College (MA).
Principal Advisor, Improvement Science Consulting; Fellow, Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Brandon Bennett, MPH, Principal Advisor for Improvement Science Consulting began his career as a United States Peace Corps volunteer, where he worked to continuously improve microfinance repayment rates for people living with HIV and struggling in poverty. He has served as an improvement advisor in the fields of healthcare and education, leading and advising on diverse initiatives from disease specific processes to country wide improvement programs. Brandon has published on the application of improvement science methods and has been a featured speaker at quality conferences around the world. He is currently a fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, faculty for the Improvement Advisor Professional Development Program offered through the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, faculty for the Improvement Science for Academics offered through HAELO (a UK based innovation and improvement center) and senior advisor to Ko Awatea, a New Zealand based organization that delivers health system innovation and improvement services to Australasia.
Founder & CEO, Center for Teaching Quality; Research Professor, University of South Carolina×
Barnett Berry is a former classroom teacher, think tank analyst, senior state education agency policy leader, and university professor. He founded CTQ 20 years ago as a hub for researchers, practitioners, and education advocates to explore and promote innovations to improve schools and amplify the teaching profession’s impact.
Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Manuelito Biag joined the Carnegie Foundation as an associate in networked improvement science in 2016. He comes to the Foundation from Stanford University, where he served as senior researcher at the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities. Manuelito seeks to bridge research, practice, and policy by studying the implementation and influence of educational reforms on students’ learning and development—particularly those from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds. Manuelito’s research has been presented in community forums and professional conferences, and published in academic journals, policy briefs, and edited volumes. He holds a doctorate in education policy from the University of California, Davis.
Director of Collaborative Improvement, StriveTogether×
As director of collaborative improvement, Heidi Black builds the capability of local leaders and practitioners across the country to improve outcomes for children and youth through data-driven decision making and community voice. Heidi developed StriveTogether’s unique improvement science approach combining tools and techniques from continuous improvement, design thinking, Results Counts™ and equity. While at StriveTogether, she has supported more than 30 communities in applying StriveTogether’s improvement strategies toward key outcomes including kindergarten readiness, third grade reading, high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment. Her most recent work has been with six communities who are working to improve prenatal to age 3 developmental milestones.
Educational Consultant, Fairfax County Public Schools
Lead Improvement Advisor, Shift-Results×
Shay Bluemer-Miroite has spent the last 15 years as an advisor and capacity builder in the quality improvement space. Her passion for improvement work and its ability to transform teams fueled her to successfully lead projects across the globe. Shay has extensive experience mentoring and coaching teams in the application of quality improvement methods. She has supported teams through all phases of improvement projects; from developing conceptual frameworks to clearly articulate a theory of change, to collecting data and institutionalizing successful strategies.
Principal Coach, Office of Leadership – NYC Department of Education×
A dynamic educational leader focused on equity and principal leadership development, Nikole Booker is a Principal Coach within the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Leadership and a doctoral candidate in Organizational and Educational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). As an accomplished school leader with extensive leadership development coaching and supervisory experience ranging from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, Ms. Booker has held the posts of teacher, H.S. assistant principal, J.H.S. principal, and principal coach within the system, positively impacting student achievement and educational leadership paradigms throughout the New York City Department of Education.
Chief Strategy Officer, CORE Districts×
In his role, Noah leads CORE’s strategic initiatives, including CORE’s newly launched cross-district improvement community focused on math achievement gaps for African American and Hispanic/Latino youth, and CORE’s multi-district continuous improvement, holistic data system serving 1.8 million students. As Chief Accountability Officer at CORE from 2013 to 2016, Noah oversaw the implementation of the CORE No Child Left Behind Waiver, which included a first of its kind whole child approach to school accountability, emphasizing academic success, social-emotional development and positive school culture-climate. He also led the development and implementation of two school intervention programs – School Pairing and Communities of Practice – that together operated in over 200 low performing Title I schools in the state of California. Before CORE, Noah served as the Director of Performance Management for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). His responsibilities involved developing and implementing a coherent system to articulate, monitor and deliver outcomes for schools, for the regional and central office units that support and manage schools, and for the operational divisions of the District’s central office.
Post-Baccalaureate Fellow, Educative Communications, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Melissa Bowden is a post-baccalaureate fellow in communications and supports the team’s content creation, management, and strategy. During her undergraduate career as an English and communications major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she focused on the study of new media and its potential to introduce innovative new forms of expression and knowledge sharing. She put her studies to her work as a Mellon Fellow in the Five College Applied Humanities Learning Lab and transferred this experience to the museum field through internships at the Dr. Seuss Museum and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Before joining Carnegie, Melissa worked as a Development Assistant at the National Yiddish Book Center.
Senior Advisor, P-16 Community Investment Team, Office of the President, US Programs Deputy Director, Washington State Strategy, Pacific Northwest, US Programs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation×
Jean-Claude Brizard is senior advisor and deputy director in the United States Program. In his role as senior advisor, he leads the program’s P-16 Community Investment Team. As deputy director for Washington State on the Pacific Northwest Team, he leads several strategies to support partners to close the racial and economic opportunity gaps in Washington’s educational system and to support the growth and sustainability of the public charter schools sector. Jean-Claude is former chief executive of Chicago Public Schools, and was superintendent of schools for the Rochester, NY School District. Under Jean-Claude’s leadership, both Chicago Public Schools and the Rochester, NY School District saw substantial improvements in student performance. His experience also includes a 21-year career as an educator and administrator with the NYC Department of Education, where he served as a regional superintendent, supervising more than 100 schools in the borough of Brooklyn.
District BARR Oversight, Hemet Unified School District
Director, Center for Research on Equity and Innovation (CREI) and Deeper Learning Hub, High Tech High Graduate School of Education×
Stacey Caillier, PhD, is Director of the Center for Research on Equity & Innovation (CREI) and the Deeper Learning Hub at the High Tech High Graduate School of Education, where she supports improvement work within HTH schools and beyond. She has helped to launch and facilitate improvement networks focused on increasing students’ mathematical agency (and abolishing the phrase “I’m not a math person”), improving K-12 literacy instruction, and supporting college access for African American, Latinx and low-income youth. Stacey has been with the HTH GSE since its inception in 2006, previously serving as the Director of the Teacher Leadership M.Ed. program and Co-Director of Instructional Support for HTH schools. She began her career as a high school physics and math teacher at a Portland, Oregon high school affiliated with the Coalition of Essential Schools and is a proud member of the national Deeper Learning network. Stacey holds degrees from Willamette University and the University of California, Davis. In a past life, she moonlighted as the pastry chef for an underground supper club and now spends most of her spare time chasing around her two sons, Asa (4) and Arlo (1).
Director of Teaching & Learning, Urbandale Community School District×
Crista Carlile has served as the Director of Teaching & Learning for Urbandale Community Schools since 2014, where she oversees curriculum, instruction, and assessment work; as well as the secondary school leaders. Working closely with the Director of Quality and Continual Improvement, Dr. Carlile provides leadership development for district administrators, curriculum facilitators, and instructional coaches. An experienced high school science teacher and administrator, Dr. Carlile’s areas of interest include effective grading practices, quality assessment development, and engaging in cycles of data analysis and actions to evaluate programming and make improvements. Dr. Carlile holds a B.S. from Kansas State University, an M.A. from Viterbo University, and an Ed.D. from Drake University.
Principal, Carver & Company; Senior Fellow, Strategy and Business Development, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Penny Carver, M. Ed., is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and an independent consultant working with a select group of not-for-profit organizations including Virginia Mason Institute and the Institute for Healthcare Optimization. Previously she was senior vice president at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), responsible for IHI’s business and business strategy, including new initiatives, programs, and services. She was responsible for the design and start-up of IHI’s Breakthrough Series Collaboratives, Breakthrough Series Guides, and Breakthrough Series College; IHI’s website, IHI.org; professional development programs; the National, International and Asia Pacific Forum events; IHI’s international strategy; and the IHI Open School for Health Professions. As senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation, Penny is responsible for leading the development and execution of the Foundation’s strategy to advance the performance of educational systems by accelerating their capacity to improve.
Director of Organizational Learning & People Development, National Equity Project×
Victor Cary has worked in education for over 40 years, starting as a high school teacher in Richmond, CA. As Senior Director at the National Equity Project, he leads the development of our equity-centered coaching and leadership model, and currently facilitates Leading in C.A.O.S. (Complex, Adaptive, Oppressive Systems) with educators and communities across the country, particularly collective action initiatives. Prior to joining the National Equity Project, Victor served as Director of the California Alliance for Mathematics and Science (CAMS) Initiative – a statewide initiative aligning secondary and post-secondary institutions around mathematics. He also served as Director for Regional Center and School Support in the national office of the Coalition for Essential Schools. He received his B.A. and Teaching Secondary Credential from UC Berkeley, and M.A. in Education from Stanford University.
Manager of Coaching and Programs, StriveTogether×
As the manager of coaching and programs at StriveTogether, Davida Casey, supports the development and implementation of cohort- and community-based programming. An industrial designer turned social innovator, Davida finds passion in working across disciplines toward solving institutional and social issues by employing design thinking methodologies. She has worked for both corporate and private design companies to develop products that connect with consumer needs and fit seamlessly into their lifestyles. Before joining StriveTogether, Davida helped plan and facilitate empathy building and design thinking workshop experiences for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, United Healthcare, P&G, GE Aviation, Tri-Health Bethesda and 84.51.
Managing Director, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Melissa Chabran is the managing director for the Networked Improvement Science group at the Carnegie Foundation. Before joining Carnegie, Melissa worked as a senior consultant at Education First, supporting states, districts, foundations, and advocacy organizations to improve teacher and student support models, college readiness efforts, and to make grantmaking more effective. Prior to Education First, Melissa served as a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led investments in classroom- and curriculum-embedded assessment in literacy and mathematics throughout the United States. At the Gates Foundation, she also managed network implementation of teacher supports investments and led specific strategic and programmatic work to support English language learners. Earlier, Melissa spent time working in youth development across Northern California and with local districts. She has served as the legislative analyst for the San Francisco Unified School District and as a consultant for the Long Beach Unified School District. She also worked as a researcher for Harvard University on various high school reform studies. Earlier in her career, Melissa served several years at the U.S. Department of Education in the Under Secretary Office’s Planning and Evaluation Service, developing and managing federal policy initiatives and the research and evaluation of federal programs. Melissa earned a doctorate in education from Harvard University, a master’s in public affairs from the LBJ School at the University of Texas, and a bachelor’s from Whittier College.
Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services, Hemet Unified School District×
Tracy Chambers is the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Hemet Unified School District. Prior to her current position, she worked as a Director of Professional Development, Principal and Assistant Principal in Hemet Unified. During that time she was named as Hemet Unified Administrator of the Year and was named as the California Association of Educational Office Professionals’ Administrator of the Year. Tracy Chambers started her career in Palm Springs Unified School District. She held teaching, site coordinator and instructional coach positions. Tracy Chambers was named Teacher of the Year in Palm Springs Unified School District. Tracy Chambers received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal students with an emphasis in psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University. She completed her Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Chapman University.
Instructional Coach, iTeachELLs×
Malissa Chavez-Thibault is an instructional coach with the iTeachELLs project at Arizona State University. She earned her National Board Certification in English as a New Language in 2007 and her doctorate in 2017. Her research focuses on instructional coaching in higher education and preparing educators to support English language learners.
Consultant, UPD Consulting×
Nick Cheng’s main interests lie at the intersection of education, continuous improvement and data analysis. He is currently a consultant with UPD Consulting where his recent work includes a multi-year continuous improvement project to align instruction with the rigor of the FL standards and a pilot data-linking project that combined data from six early-childhood education providers to expose areas of regional strength and opportunity. Prior to working at UPD, he managed a randomized, controlled trial of a computer-assisted learning program in rural China and taught at the Dandelion School for children of Chinese migrant workers. His work is always guided by a belief that the place someone is born should not determine her or his future. Nick holds a Bachelor’s in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University and a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Doctoral Student, University of Washington×
Starlie Chinen is a doctoral student in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus on mathematics at the University of Washington. She is a former middle and high school teacher and has worked as an elementary teacher educator. Her research takes a socio-political approach to understanding how secondary mathematics teachers conceptualize their work. She is also a research assistant on a research-practice partnership aiming to improve middle-grade mathematics in a local school district, and develop tools, routines, and representations that educators can use to inform efforts to improve their practice.
Director of Improvement, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards×
Lisa Clarke is the Director of Improvement at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Lisa leads the Network to Transform Teaching; a growing NIC across 10 states, 52 districts, and 130+ schools working to ensure every student has the opportunity to learn from accomplished teachers. Trained in improvement science by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Lisa is working to adapt this methodology for education systems. Prior to joining the National Board, she was the team lead for the U.S. Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellows. Lisa was a high school social studies teacher in Washington and New York.
Research Professor, Vanderbilt University×
Paul Cobb is Research Professor of Mathematics Education at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on improving the quality of mathematics teaching and student learning on a large scale, and on issues of equity in students’ access to significant mathematical ideas.
Deputy Chief of Improvement, CORE Districts×
Juli Coleman leads improvement communities and capability-building efforts within the CORE Districts. She has worked in public education for 27 years, beginning her career as an elementary teacher in the Menifee Union School District before moving to the Oceanside Unified School District and serving in a variety of teaching and leadership roles. She has worked at the San Diego County Office of Education as an Executive Leadership Coach for the past seven years, collaborating with districts throughout to plan their improvement efforts. Juli has her Master of Special Education, Doctorate in Educational Leadership, and recently completed the Institute of Healthcare Improvement coaching program.
Networked Improvement Science Fellow, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Benjamin Cooper joined the Foundation as a networked improvement fellow in 2018, committed to improving life outcomes amongst traditionally underserved students. He comes to the Foundation from the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He served as a researcher with the Improvement by Design Research group led by Louis Gomez and Kim Gomez, worked as a network-improvement support person with the Los Angeles School Improvement Network, and also worked on high school initiatives with the NSF-funded Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center. Before moving to California, Benjamin served as a K. Leroy Irvis Doctoral Fellow in the Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a 2005 Gates Millennium Scholar, 2005 Horatio Alger National Scholar, and 2009 Dennis and Phyllis Washington Family Scholar. Benjamin earned a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University in sociology. He also holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Post-Baccalaureate Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Cierra Cooper joined the Foundation in 2018 as a post-baccalaureate fellow with the networked improvement science team. She most recently spent two years serving in the Seattle School District, where she used school climate data to track discipline and attendance disproportionality in an effort to help close opportunity gaps for Seattle students. Her interests include strategic planning, education policy, and equity-centered student and community activism. Cierra earned her bachelor’s degrees in psychology and political science from Seattle Pacific University.
Director of Quality and Analytics, BARR Center×
Maryann Corsello, Ph.D., is Director of Evaluation for the BARR Center and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of New England. Dr. Corsello has over 25 years of experience in conducting community-based research and evaluation. She was the external evaluator for the U.S. D.O.E. Investing in Innovation i3 Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) Development grant, and provides program evaluation oversight of the BARR model for the i3 Validation and Scale-up grants. She is the lead researcher for BARR Center in the BELE Network, a national project funded by the Raikes Foundation designed to close opportunity gaps in underserved students.
Assistant Professor of Educational Research, Western Carolina University×
Robert Crow is an assistant professor of educational research at Western Carolina University. He received his PhD from the University of South Carolina in educational psychology and research. Robert specializes in leadership education, where he teaches and conducts research on practitioner-scholar development in masters and doctoral programs. Robert’s scholarship agenda is focused on the integration of the emerging field of improvement science as a signature methodology in leadership education inquiry. He is the current chair of the Improvement Science – CPED Improvement Group, has conducted many Improvement Science workshops through CPED, and is the co-editor of the upcoming manuscript, “The Educational Leader’s Guide to Improvement Science: Data, Design, and Cases for Reflection,” in which many HEN-members’ IS scholarship is featured.
Provost, High Tech High Graduate School of Education×
Ben Daley serves as Provost for the High Tech High GSE. Ben was a founding teacher, principal, chief operating officer, and chief academic officer at High Tech High. A physics major at Haverford College, Ben taught high school math and science before becoming a basketball coach at Pomona and Pitzer Colleges. He earned an M.A. in Science Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of California, San Diego where he completed a dissertation on using improvement science to increase college access for traditionally underserved students.
Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Patrice Dawkins-Jackson joined the Foundation in 2017 as a networked improvement fellow. Most recently, Patrice was an instructional leader, learner, and assistant principal at Sandy Springs Charter Middle School in Georgia. There, she used her knowledge of design-thinking to help impact professional development, engagement, and instructional practices there. Prior to joining Carnegie, Patrice had worked as an educator in Fulton County Schools for 12 years. During that time, she served two terms as a U.S. Department of Education Classroom Teaching Ambassador Fellow, where she worked on recruitment and support of teachers of color in partnership with TEACH.org, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Her passion for teacher leadership was further ignited when she joined Teach to Lead, an initiative convened by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, ASCD, and the U.S. Department of Education, whose mission is to advance student outcomes by expanding opportunities for teacher leadership. Patrice earned her certified associates in project management as well as a bachelor of science in early childhood education from the University of Central Florida. She went on to receive a masters in education in early childhood education also at the University of Central Florida, with specializations in home-school-community and educational leadership with aspirations of pursuing her doctorate and opening her own school.
Assistant Superintendent, Evergreen School District×
As the assistant superintendent of Evergreen School District in San Jose, California, Dan develops high-quality professional learning communities and structures that encourage deeper learning for all learners. Evergreen schools engage students in authentic learning that prepares them with the skills to be globally minded citizens. Evergreen educators define six outcomes for learners: learner, critical thinker, advocate, communicator, innovator, and collaborator. A former teacher and site leader, Dan’s entire professional career has taken place within Evergreen. His long-standing commitment to the students, families, staff and community of the District has provided him the foundation to encourage change and innovation within the system while ensuring and advocating for equitable learning.
Post-Baccalaureate Fellow, Evidence and Analytics, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Marie joined the Foundation in 2018 as a post-baccalaureate fellow in Evidence and Analytics. Prior to joining the Foundation, Marie attended Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts where she earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology and her Master of Arts in Teaching. During her undergraduate career, Marie worked with the Worcester Education Collaborative and Community Builders to advance local literacy initiatives. Since graduating in 2016, Marie has worked in the Worcester Public Schools as a fourth grade co-teacher and English as a second language educator.
Associate, Networked Improvement Science; Director, Tennessee Early Literacy Network, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Christina Dixon is an associate for networked improvement science as well as the director of the Tennessee Early Literacy Network at the Carnegie Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Christina provided coaching, on-site support, and professional development to leaders of education, healthcare, and non-profit organizations seeking to use systems principles to better meet the needs of the people they serve. She co-founded True North Institute, where she supported Bedford Area School District in creating a model for using Toyota Production System principles to improve student achievement, and more recently was a principal of Value Capture, LLC, where she consulted with healthcare systems to accelerate their transformation to achieve safety, quality, and financial goals. Earlier in her career, Christina served as executive director of Summerbridge Pittsburgh, an educational program that prepares middle school students from under-resourced communities for college success, and as national service director for Summerbridge National (now Breakthrough Collaborative), where she worked with local Summerbridge sites to improve the quality of their programs. She holds a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.Ed. from Bank Street College of Education.
Superintendent, West Contra Costa Unified School District×
Before becoming superintendent of West Contra Costa Unified School District, Matt Duffy served as the assistant superintendent in Milpitas Unified (in the San Francisco Bay Area). There, he started a new dual immersion school, significantly increased professional learning for all staff, and expanded the music program each year. Prior to his time in Milpitas, Matt spent nine years in Oakland Unified, serving as a principal and an area superintendent as well as founding and designing his own district school. Matt originally hails from New York City, where he spent four years teaching middle school in the South Bronx and three years as a vice principal in Harlem.
Coordinator, Professional Learning & School Improvement Services, Volusia County Schools×
Kati Dyer is the Coordinator of Professional Learning & School Improvement for Volusia County Schools. She began her career as an English teacher, served as a district and school administrator for over a decade, and currently manages the district’s effort to implement change and support schools through a tiered systems approach. Working in Volusia enables her to ensure that children in the local community (including her own two sons!) benefit from a strong system that is focused on continuous improvement. Kati holds an Ed.D. from the University of Central Florida, and a Master’s and Bachelor’s from Stetson University.
David H. Eddy-Spicer
Associate Professor, University of Virginia×
David H. Eddy-Spicer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Leadership, Foundations and Social Policy at the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia. He holds a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he served as Research Director of WIDE World, an online initiative supporting K-12 school systems internationally to develop systemic capacity for deeper learning. He served on the faculties of the University of Bath, UK, and the UCL Institute of Education, London. He has designed and taught master’s and doctoral-level courses as well as created workshops for school and central-office leaders on improvement science and continuous improvement. His primary research interest focuses on the development of collective capacity for continuous improvement in struggling schools through interorganizational connections. He has expertise in program evaluation, case study research, realist synthesis, and the design and evaluation of innovative professional learning environments. He has authored or co-authored a range of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and text and multimedia case studies on the diffusion of innovation, professional learning, and organizational change in the public sector.
Executive Director, National Writing Project×
Elyse Eidman-Aadahl is executive director of the National Writing Project (NWP), where she draws upon 15 years of experience designing and leading national programs, partnerships, and action-learning efforts for the NWP and other educational organizations. A recipient of the Hollis Caswell Award for Curriculum Studies, Eidman-Aadahl holds a PhD in curriculum theory from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her scholarship includes studies of literacy and learning in the context of our new digital, networked ecology. She is a broadly published author and presenter, well-known for co-authoring Redesigning Civic Education for the Digital Age: Participatory Politics and the Pursuit of Democratic Engagement (2016), Because Digital Writing Matters (Jossey-Bass, 2010) and Writing for a Change: Boosting Literacy and Learning through Social Action (Jossey-Bass, 2008). Prior to becoming executive director, Eidman-Aadahl directed national programs and site development for the NWP, where she developed many of NWP’s signature programs and partnerships. Her recent work engages educators in schools, libraries, and museums as they rethink their teaching and learning environments with a view toward digital composition and production, connected learning, equity, and civic engagement. Formerly a high school English and journalism teacher, university professor, and evaluation consultant, Eidman-Aadahl has conducted action research and evaluation programs for organizations as diverse as the YWCA, the Mongolian Open Society Institute, National Council of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, NIOST, Understanding Science, and numerous organizations focused on youth development and civic learning. Current partnerships include leading projects that engage partners in science and maker/tinkering communities to theorize the relationship of literacy to efforts in STEM/STEAM education.
Administrative Coordinator, Los Angeles Unified School District×
Delia Estrada, PhD, currently serves as administrative coordinator for the Professional Learning and Leadership Development branch with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). In her over 30 years as an educator, she has served as Associated Administrator of Los Angeles representative for Local Options Oversight Committee, Principal of Taft H.S. in Woodland Hills, assistant principal, specialist, and a middle/ high school teacher. She is committed to using the tools of cultural proficiency to build safe environments for educators to engage in fierce conversations and reflective practice to build outstanding educational experiences for all children. She received her Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in 2017.
Project Director, Education Development Center (EDC)×
Eliza Fabillar is a senior project director at EDC. She has extensive experience supporting school districts nationwide to implement policies and practices that help all students succeed in post-secondary education and careers. Fabillar is committed to educational equity through curricular and instructional reforms, creating opportunities for underserved students. Fabillar provides technical assistance to districts, helping education leaders identify problems, create a theory of change, develop student-centered interventions, create system alignment of policies and practices, use data inquiry to make decisions, and build a culture of continuous improvement. She develops tools to support education systems in bridging research and practice.
Central Valley Networked Improvement Community (CVNIC) Director , Tulare County Office of Education×
Shelah Feldstein is an Administrator for Leadership Support Services at Tulare County Office of Education and also serves as Director for the Central Valley Networked Improvement Community (CVNIC) which is dedicated to building meaningful experiences in math classrooms and aligning systems where improvement practices flourish. Shelah leads an Improvement Leaders network where district leadership teams are supported in learning to build improvement infrastructure in their schools. Shelah leads on the design team for California’s new accountability system trainings; facilitating statewide trainings and offering support across the state for county offices and state entities.
Director of Improvement Networks, Tennessee Early Literacy Network (TELN)×
Bethany Fillers serves as one of two Directors of Improvement Networks for the Tennessee Early Literacy Network (TELN), an improvement community led by the Tennessee Department of Education in partnership with 21 school districts across the state.. She and her fellow director work closely with district and state education leaders to improve literacy proficiency for Tennessee students. Experiences prior to her current role include classroom teacher, high school administrator, and Tennessee Department of Education literacy consultant for the Upper Cumberland Region. Her education includes degrees in teaching and school administration from Tennessee Technological University and Lincoln Memorial University, and she is currently a doctoral student at East Tennessee State University researching how networked improvement communities make sense of their problems of practice through inquiry. Bethany is passionate about supporting school teams in discovering innovative ways to improve literacy outcomes for their students and is excited to see this learning accelerated through the networked improvement community structure.
Senior Manager, KIPP Wheatley Learning Collaborative, KIPP Foundation×
Heidi Fisher works for the KIPP Foundation as the Senior Manager of the Memphis KIPP Wheatley Learning Collaborative. KIPP, the Knowledge is Power Program, is a national, non-profit network of 224 college-preparatory, public charter schools. In Memphis, Heidi brought together 11 schools across four different charter districts to solve the problem of persistently low student achievement in ELA. The Collaborative is now entering its second year. Previously, Heidi spent 16 years teaching, coaching, and leading literacy at KIPP New Jersey, a charter school region she helped found in 2002 after several years of teaching in the Teach for America program.
Director of Internal Coherence Strategy, Bank Street Education Center×
Michelle Forman’s work at the Bank Street Education Center involves helping educators develop internal coherence as a learning process to support teacher agency, organizational capacity, and ongoing improvements to teaching and learning. In this capacity, she has consulted with schools, districts, networks and other providers of professional learning. While completing her doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Michelle served as the director of the Internal Coherence Research Project of the Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP) at the Boston field site. She holds an MA in English education from Teachers College and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley.
Associate Vice President, School Systems Partnerships & Programs, Bank Street Education Center×
Tracy Fray-Oliver is the Associate Vice President of School System Partnerships & Programs in the Bank Street Education Center. Tracy began her career in education after graduating from John Jay College of Criminal Justice as a middle school math teacher. After earning her master’s degree in mathematics education from Brooklyn College, she transitioned into the role of a math coach and instructional specialist. Inspired by her work at the school level, Tracy continued her commitment to curriculum and instruction at New York City Department of Education district office where she served in a variety of roles: first working as the Director of Mathematics Curriculum and the Common Core Fellows Program to support the city’s transition to the Common Core Standards — working with teachers, principals, and leading experts to integrate these new standards into instructional resources and guidance for citywide adoption — and then as the Senior Director of STEM, playing a major role in defining the city’s approach to STEM instruction. Presently, Tracy leads the programmatic and implementation work for the organization and the New York Network Hub. Tracy has also led multiple project teams with organizations that impact children and educators across the country, from Newark to New Orleans, from downtown Manhattan to mile-high Denver.
Superintendent, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD×
Dr. Greg Gibson became Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD Superintendent of Schools in January 2010. As a superintendent, Dr. Gibson feels honored to serve with such a highly-engaged staff in a one-of-a-kind community that works to provide a safe, secure, and challenging learning environment where all students are afforded the opportunity to realize their individual potential and to become responsible and productive members of society. In 2016, Dr. Gibson was selected as the ESC-20 Superintendent of the Year, and was one of five finalists for Texas’s Superintendent of the Year. Prior to that, Dr. Gibson served as the Superintendent of Crowley ISD from 2003-2009. He began his career as an educator in 1991 at Graham ISD and quickly became Graham’s Superintendent from 2000 to 2003. In 2015, Dr. Gibson was appointed by the U.S. Department of Commerce to serve on the Panel of Judges for the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige Award, and in 2016, Dr. Gibson was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to serve as a Trustee for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
Superintendent, School District of Menomonee Falls×
Corey Golla is the Superintendent in the School District of Menomonee Falls, WI. Corey holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is currently enrolled in his Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Corey is an experienced leader. He served as a High School Principal, Athletic Director and Director of Instruction. He is most proud of the work he has done with strong teams to consistently develop school cultures committed to excellence.
Professor of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Louis Gomez is Professor of Education (and of Information Studies) at the University of California, Los Angeles. Gomez has served since 2008 as a senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where he leads the Network Development work. Beginning in 2009, he held the Helen S. Faison Chair in Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was also director of the Center for Urban Education and a senior scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center. From 2001 to 2008, he held a number of faculty appointments at Northwestern University, including the Aon Chair in the Learning Sciences at the School of Education and Social Policy. Prior to joining academia, he spent 14 years working in cognitive science and person–computer systems and interactions at Bell Laboratories, Bell Communications Research Inc. and Bellcore. His research interests have encompassed the application of computing and networking technology to teaching and learning, applied cognitive science, human–computer interactions and other areas. Gomez received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1974 and a doctorate in cognitive psychology from UC Berkeley in 1979.
Superintendent Emeritus, School District of Menomonee Falls; Senior Director of Thought Leadership, Studer Education; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation×
Pat Greco received her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin in 1995. She has been recognized as an instructional leader and advocate for student learning at the state and national level. Pat serves on the Baldrige Board of Overseers, as a Quality Advisory Team member for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, mentors leaders nationally with AASA, and partners with Studer Education and Carnegie Foundation focused on Improvement Science Research. Pat’s work has been nationally and internationally published. Pat was recognized as the 2018 WI Superintendent of the Year; 2018 Spotlight on Quality organization by Carnegie Foundation; 2018 Difference Maker Award Studer Education Hall of Fame; Life Time Achievement Award Wisconsin Policy Forum; Dr. Mike Kneale Distinguished Leadership Award ERDI; Educator of the Year by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce; Elementary School of the Year as an elementary principal by State and National PTA for, and received the Educational Influence Award from Wisconsin ASCD for her advocacy for children and strong public policy. Pat has dedicated her professional service to organizations committed to impacting strong learning outcomes for both students and educators.
Improvement Advisor, Education and Literacy Consultant×
Sharon Greenberg is a quality improvement advisor, literacy and education consultant for groups including the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Bellwether Partners, Amplify, McREL, the School of Education at Mills College, Room to Read, and the Philadelphia Leadership Academy. She is founder of the Center for School Improvement (CSI) at the University of Chicago (now the Urban Education Institute), the Consortium on Chicago School Research, the North Kenwood Oakland Charter School (NKO), the Urban Teacher Education Program (UTEP), and she was a cabinet member and literacy consultant to the Chief Education Officer of the Chicago Public Schools. Greenberg has a PhD from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. and M.A.T. from Stanford University. She is a Reading Specialist, and she is one of the first educators certified as an Improvement Advisor by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Cofounder and Improvement Specialist, Improvement Collective; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Alicia Grunow is an educational improvement expert, specializing in how to apply the science of improvement to help teams, organizations, and networks reach their improvement goals. Alicia started her career as a bilingual teacher in Denver Public Schools and then in New York City, working to improve outcomes for students that speak a language other than English. Through this work she discovered a passion for redesigning systems to better meet the needs of students. She pursued a specialization in improvement science and has spent the past seven years adapting these methodologies for education at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where she coauthored the seminal book on the topic—Learning to Improve: How America’s Schools Can Get Better at Getting Better. Alicia remains a senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation and recently co-founded the Improvement Collective, a partnership dedicated to helping organizations to build their improvement capacity in order to solve important problems in education and the broader social sector. She holds a BA in psychology from Reed College, an Improvement Advisor certificate from the Institute from Healthcare Improvement, and a master’s degree in economics and PhD in education from Stanford University.
CEO, Teaching Matters×
Lynette Guastaferro, Chief Executive Officer, has more than 20 years of experience in education. She possesses a unique blend of education, non-profit and private-sector experience. Under her leadership and responding to both research and what is happening in real classrooms, Teaching Matters has quadrupled its reach and spearheaded the design of award winning, scalable teacher development models designed to improve teaching in over 700 urban schools. Ms. Guastaferro has worked as a classroom teacher, a school-network leader, and a senior management consultant for Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC). At PWC, she led projects to innovate and improve the performance of government and educational agencies. Her work in education led her to Baltimore, where she took a classroom teaching position and designed her school’s first technology based learning support lab for literacy and mathematics. Ms. Guastaferro holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Williams College.
Executive Director, School Autonomy and Improvement, Department of Education, Queensland, Australia
Former Superintendent, Fresno Unified School District; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation
Partner Success Manager, Collaborative Technology, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Susan Haynes is the partner success manager for the Carnegie Foundation’s collaborative technology team. She provides helpdesk assistance for a variety of initiatives, and supports the growth of a unified knowledge management system. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2016, she worked as a legal and policy assistant in the Silicon Valley’s tech sector, specializing in print and digital copyrights. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University, where she specialized in creative writing and Shakespearean studies.
Networked Improvement Science Fellow, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
LaRena Heath joined the Foundation in 2018 as a networked improvement science fellow. Most recently, LaRena was Senior Manager of Content and Instruction at Actively Learn, an online literacy platform. Her work focused on creating instructional resources and delivering professional development to teachers and administrators emphasizing evidence-based practices for critical reading, formative assessment, and scaffolding. LaRena started her career at American Institutes for Research and worked on numerous projects investigating factors that led to success in high-performing, high-need schools. Inspired by the dedicated teachers she met through this work, LaRena spent the next several years teaching in San Jose, CA and Brookline, MA where she enjoyed designing project-based units that supported the needs of diverse learners. As a teacher leader, LaRena facilitated grade-level teams in data analysis and developed intervention plans to support ELLs and struggling students. She also served as an instructional technology coach where she helped teachers throughout her district effectively utilize digital tools in their classrooms. LaRena earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy and a master’s degree in education from Stanford University.
Senior Program Lead, Colorado Education Initiative×
As Senior Program Lead at the Colorado Education Initiative, Karen leads networks of districts in developing mindsets, practices, and systems to design and sustain improvements. Her aim is to empower teachers, students, and school communities to create their own solutions to ensure that all students have equitable, rigorous, and engaging learning experiences. Before joining CEI, Karen worked for Denver Public Schools to design and launch innovative measures and tools to evaluate the impact of teachers and school leaders on student learning. Earlier, she worked with districts in Arizona and with the state of Texas developing educator effectiveness and performance-based compensation systems. She also conducted research on teacher turnover and on strategies for building capacity in schools to improve teaching and learning. Originally from Dallas, Karen has a Ph.D. in education policy and planning from The University of Texas at Austin and an MA in education measurement from Michigan State University.
Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education×
Andrew Ho is professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is a psychometrician whose research aims to improve the design, use, and interpretation of test scores in educational policy and practice. Professor Ho is known for his research documenting the misuse of proficiency-based statistics in state and federal policy analysis. He has also clarified properties of student growth models for both technical and general audiences. His scholarship advocates for designing evaluative metrics to achieve multiple criteria: metrics must be accurate, but also transparent to target audiences and resistant to inflation under perverse incentives. Professor Ho is a member of the National Assessment Governing Board that sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. He also chairs the Research Committee for the Harvard University Vice Provost for Advances in Learning, where he leads research initiatives in online learning at scale. He holds his PhD in educational psychology and his MS in statistics from Stanford University. Before graduate school, he taught middle school creative writing in his hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii, and high school physics and AP physics in Ojai, California.
We Learn Program Manager, Fundación Educacional Oportunidad×
Yali Horta has worked at Fundación Educacional Oportunidad since 2010, where she has been the We Learn program manager. She is a teacher of English and holds a Master’s degree in TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the University of Miami. Yali is trained in quality improvement methodology and specializes in professional development of English teachers and school leaders. Currently, the We Learn team gives assistance to 18 schools from 3 school districts in Chile to broaden the opportunities in early childhood of learning English as a foreign language. With the participation of 14 schools, the We Learn Improvement Network was created in 2017. Yali presented these results in a poster session at TESOL International Convention 2018.
Executive Director, PACE - Policy Analysis for California Education×
Heather J. Hough is the Executive Director of Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE). In this role, she focuses on bridging the gap between research, policy, and practice; working with scholars from California’s leading universities and with state and local decision-makers to increase the impact of academic research on educational policy in California. Prior to this role, Heather ran the research partnership between PACE and the CORE Districts, a collaborative of eight California school districts that represents nearly a million students. Before joining PACE, Heather was an improvement adviser with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, helping education system leaders use research and data to support continuous improvement. She has worked as a researcher with the Public Policy Institute of California, the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University, and the Center for Education Policy at SRI International. Heather’s area of expertise is in district- and state-level policymaking and implementation, with a particular focus on policy coherence, system improvement, and continuous improvement. She holds a Ph.D. in education policy and a B.A. in public policy from Stanford University.
Professor of the Practice, College of Education, University of Maryland; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
David Imig, PhD, is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and a Professor of the Practice in the College of Education at the University of Maryland. He teaches courses in teacher education policy and practice, school and teacher leadership. A founder of the Carnegie Project on Education Doctorate (CPED), a national organization of some 85 graduate schools of education, he is co-leading an effort at Maryland to transform doctoral education to focus on “expectations, outcomes and achievements” of four professional cohorts of EdD students in large metropolitan school districts in areas surrounding the campus. Prior to coming to College Park in 2006, Imig was the president and chief executive officer for the Washington, DC-based American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) for twenty-five years. He was awarded emeritus status upon his retirement from AACTE. Imig has also served as chair of the NCATE executive committee, the National Policy Board for Educational Administration and the Forum for Education Organization Leaders, as well as the National Society for the Study of Education. He has conducted program reviews and served on numerous college and university advisory committees in the US and abroad. He holds a lifetime achievement award from the UK-based Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET).
Research Scientist, University of Pittsburgh- Learning Research and Development Center×
Jennifer Iriti, a Research Scientist at the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research & Development Center and member of the Partners for Network Improvement (PNI) team, leads improvement-oriented evaluation studies in PK-20 education settings. Methodologically eclectic, she focuses on providing rigorous research and evaluation to support policy- and decision-makers about persistent problems of practice. Her network-focused work utilizes developmental evaluation to support network developers in managing complexity and to contribute to field understanding of improvement networks. Among others, PNI has recently studied instructionally-focused networks, including the Better Math Teaching Network and the Student-Centered Assessment Network. In addition, Iriti has extensively studied and published on how place-based scholarships contribute to equity in postsecondary access and success. Iriti holds a doctoral degree in Developmental and Educational Psychology and a certificate in Interdisciplinary Policy and Evaluation from the University of Pittsburgh. She is also an elected school board member serving her second four-year term.
Associate Professor, University of Washington×
Kara Jackson is an associate professor of mathematics education at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her research focuses on specifying forms of practice that support a broad range of learners to participate substantially in rigorous mathematics and how to support teachers to develop such forms of practice at scale. She currently leads a research project aimed at developing tools, routines, and data representations that practitioners can use to engage in frequent, disciplined inquiry regarding the implementation of instructional improvement strategies in middle-grades mathematics. The project includes research-practice partnerships with multiple school districts pursuing ambitious reform.
Kathleen Ryan Jackson
Implementation Specialist, National Implementation Research Network×
Kathleen Ryan Jackson, DEd, is an Implementation Specialist with the National Implementation Research Network, UNC Chapel Hill. She provides implementation informed support to state and local education agencies and sits on the Center on School Turnaround Leadership team. She was drawn to the field of implementation science following her tenure in PreK-12 education as a Response to Intervention Coordinator, school administrator, and teacher. Kathleen is passionate regarding the use of implementation science research to engage in complex system change and generate a collective commitment to accountability so educators, students, and their families do access equitable systems of support.
Teacher, Improvement Leader, Shue-Medill Middle School, Christina School District×
Christina James has been teaching for 22 years. She is the RTI guru in her building, Shue-Medill Middle School, and ensures that her school runs an effective program that impacts students on the watchlist. She is a passionate educator who always puts families first, and she is one of two improvement leaders in her building. As an Improvement Leader, she manages her RTI caseload while also leading and coaching her staff in improvement science. She was also nominated for the Life Changer of the Year and seeks to change students’ lives, rewards or not.
Executive Director, BARR Center×
Angela Jerabek is the developer of the BARR model, and a licensed K-12 teacher and a school counselor in Minneapolis, Minnesota. BARR — Building Assets, Reducing Risks — is a strengths-based model that provides schools with a comprehensive approach to meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of all students. BARR has been proven to create statistically significant impacts in 19 areas of academic performance and outcomes for students, teachers, and schools, including narrowing opportunity gaps for students of color and socioeconomically disadvantaged students. Angela is passionate that positive intentional relationships and the use of real time data can transform schools.
Anna Zucker Johnson
Senior Director, Showcase Schools, New York City Department of Education
Director, School Autonomy and Improvement, Department of Education, Queensland, Australia×
Deborah Kember’s career focus spans improving school education for young people in Australia and New Zealand as a teacher, school and system leader, university staff member and professional association leader. She is a Director in the Department of Education, Queensland, Australia. Deb is developing system wide capability for evidence-informed school improvement. Career highlights include establishing the Queensland State Schools Evidence Hub; working on the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers; and pioneering teaching and learning using the internet with Queensland University of Technology oz-Teachernet team. Her doctoral research focused on emerging leadership amongst career-change teachers on entry into the profession. Deb has continued to develop her interest in change leadership as Queensland Branch President, National Director and Fellow of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders.
Associate, Networked Improvement Science; Director, Networked Improvement Science Fellowship Program, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Edit Khachatryan is an associate in network improvement science, supporting organizations launching networked improvement communities. Most recently, Edit was a teacher educator and research assistant at the Stanford Graduate School of Education while completing her doctoral studies. Her methodological strengths are in many forms of qualitative research and design-based implementation research where practitioners are engaged in the process. Prior to Stanford, Edit served as a teaching ambassador fellow at the U.S. Department of Education. Edit started her career in education as a high school social science teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District after completing her teaching credential and first master’s degree at UCLA. This research dealt with interdisciplinary and project-based teaching and learning. As a teacher leader in the Glendale Unified School District, Edit facilitated teacher professional development for her school and district, and successfully supported the use of assessment data in instructional improvement. Edit received leadership training and her second master’s degree from UCLA while still in the classroom. This research dealt with how school leaders address marginalization of immigrant and English learners in high schools.
Chief of Research, Planning, and Assessment, San Francisco Unified School District×
Ritu Khanna is San Francisco Unified School District’s Chief of Research, Planning, and Assessment. This department is responsible for providing, analyzing and interpreting data, and for supporting data-driven decision making by school administrators and teachers for improving teaching and learning throughout the district. She maintains a part-time position at the University of Pacific teaching research techniques to students in Master’s and credential programs in education. She holds a doctorate in education from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Illinois, with a focus on statistics and measurement, and has earned two Master’s degrees: one in Educational Psychology and another in Industrial Psychology.
Assistant Principal, UCLA Community School
Principal, Ortega Elementary School
Director of Knowledge Development, Eskolta School Research & Design×
A former history teacher and department head, Emily joined Eskolta with a focus on facilitating teacher teams to design and implement change projects to improve student literacy, critical thinking, and math habits of mind. Over the past few years, Emily has worked with district partners to envision, initiate, and develop systems of measures for networked improvement communities. She holds a B.A. in History from Columbia University and an M.A. in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies from Stanford’s Graduate School of Education.
Dean, National Principal and Supervisors Academy, Relay Graduate School of Education×
Dr. Ben Klompus currently serves school and system leaders as the Dean of System Level Leadership Programs at Relay Graduate School of Education. A leader and teacher who has led multiple school systems to achieve nationally recognized gains in student outcomes, Klompus has worked extensively at the nexus of data driven network improvement, instructional leadership development, and design thinking. With a research interest in codifying and spreading the practice of positive outliers, Dr. Klompus currently leads Relay’s National Principal Supervisors Academy; a large scale, practice based leadership development program aimed at improving the quality and quantity of school leaders through effective principal supervision. Serving system and school level leaders from more than 100 school districts and charter management organizations across twenty-five states and internationally, Klompus has helped lead Relay’s efforts to hone a clear theory of action, align key measurement tools, and engage in regular data driven improvement cycles in order to improve program impact. Dr. Klompus holds his Ed.L.D. and Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.S. in Philosophy from The Colorado College. He and his spouse Janine live in Williamstown, Massachusetts where their five sons keep them busy and smiling.
Doctoral Student, Vanderbilt University×
Nicholas Kochmanski is a doctoral candidate at Vanderbilt University in the Department of Teaching and Learning with a focus on mathematics education. He is a former middle school mathematics teacher and instructional coach. His research focuses on supporting mathematics coaches to develop coaching practices that can, in turn, support teachers to enact instruction aimed at rigorous learning goals. Currently, he is a research assistant on a project that has a goal of developing tools, routines, and representations that educators can use to inform efforts to improve their practice.
Uma R. Kotagal
Senior Executive Leader, Population and Community Health | Senior Fellow, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital | Senior Fellow, IHI×
Dr. Uma Raman Kotagal currently serves as the Executive Lead for Community and Population Health at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center and Professor of Pediatrics Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Cincinnati. A neonatologist and Health Services Researcher by training, Dr Kotagal previously served as Senior Vice President for Quality Safety, and Transformation at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Executive Director of the James .M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence. Dr. Kotagal has been a pioneer in the application of System Science to improve outcomes in health care delivery across the world with the goal of dramatically changing medical and quality of life outcomes, patient and family experience, and value Dr. Kotagal directed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pursuing Perfection initiative at Cincinnati Children’s. As a result of Dr. Kotagal’s endeavors, Cincinnati Children’s has received several prestigious national and international awards for their efforts to transform health care delivery. Dr. Kotagal is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, serves on the Board of the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and Chairs the Quality Improvement Committee of the Children’s Hospital association. She has served on the Advisory Committee of the Toronto Patient Safety Center, and as Associate Editor of BMJ Quality and Safety. Dr. Kotagal is a member of the Institute of Medicine and is a recipient of the Prestigious Daniel Drake medal from the UC college of Medicine, Dr. Kotagal holds a MS in Epidemiology from Harvard University-School of Public Health, and an MBBS and a Bachelors of Medicine, Surgery from Grant Medical College in Mumbai, India.
Reading Coach and Interventionist, School District of Menomonee Falls×
Kathleen Kuhn has served as the reading interventionist/coach of Valley View Elementary School in the School District of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin for the past four years. Valley View School educates approximately 360 third through fifth grade students and has received the School of Distinction Gold Level award for reading, math and behavior. Kathleen earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary/Middle Education degree from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in 2000 and holds a Master of Arts degree in Reading and Special Education from Cardinal Stritch in 2003.
Math Training Specialist, Sacramento City Unified School District
Senior Vice President, Programs,, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Paul LeMahieu is the senior vice president of the Carnegie Foundation, where he manages all of its programs. Previously at Carnegie, he directed the work of the Carnegie Hub, which supports the networks the Foundation convenes to engage problems of education practice in the field. LeMahieu came to Carnegie from the National Writing Project (NWP) at the University of California, Berkeley where he was director of research and evaluation. He has also served as superintendent of education for the state of Hawaiʻi, the only state in the nation that is a single unitary school district with operating and capital budgets totaling over $1.8 billion. He has held top educational research and policy positions for the state of Delaware and in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s from Harvard University and a bachelor’s from Yale College.
Sengsouvanh (Sukey) Leshnick
Principal/ Director of Education Division, Social Policy Research×
Sengsouvanh (Sukey) Leshnick is the Director of the Education Division at Social Policy Research Associates (SPR), where she oversees a broad body of work focused on education equity, K-12 system transformation, early learning, improvement networks, individualized learning, and college and career readiness. For the past two decades, she has worked extensively with philanthropic and nonprofit clients to identify research-based strategies to guide decision making. Some of her clients include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Bush Foundation, San Francisco’s Department of Children, Youth, and their Families (DCYF), the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, and state and local education agencies. As a mixed methods researcher, she specializes in developmental and process evaluation, appreciative inquiry, and training and facilitation. Previously, she taught English-as-a-Second Language in Thailand. Ms. Leshnick has authored numerous journal articles and reports on youth development and education transformation.
President, Amarillo College×
Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, President for Amarillo College, was selected into the inaugural class of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a rigorous, executive leadership program focused on higher education reform led by the Aspen Institute and the Stanford University. His leadership on poverty and culture change was featured in The Atlantic (June 2018). Russell and his Amarillo College colleagues are focused on improving student success through systemic and cultural change. He was named the National Academic Leader of the Year for 2014. He received his Ph.D. from Ohio University; MA in from Texas Tech; and BS from West Texas A&M University.
Senior Director of Learning Partners Program, New York City Department of Education×
Betty Lugo is a Senior Director with the Learning Partners Program in New York City’s Department of Education. Betty has over a decade of experience as a district and school building leader. She has a strong passion and commitment to helping students of NYC succeed and exceed in academic and social-emotional standards. Betty is a proud product of NYC public schools.
Regional Director, Pacific Northwest & Design Services, National Equity Project×
Tom Malarkey has worked with the National Equity Project since 1996 and specializes in equity-centered inquiry practice with teachers, teams, and whole schools. He is a lead developer of our Partnerships for Learning services. For the last twenty-five years, he has focused his work on urban schools, teachers, and students. He has taught high school English and first grade, and was the director of the Summerbridge Program in San Francisco, an academic empowerment program for middle school students. Tom holds an M.A. in international development education from Stanford University and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Education at UC Berkeley, focusing on the dynamics of collaborative teacher inquiry and its relationship to equity and urban school change. In addition to being a school and leadership coach at the Project, he has co-led the Teacher Inquiry Project and led the Inquiry for Equity Network. You can read his article, “Inquiry for Equity: What Does it Mean for Teacher Research?” here.
Managing Director, Collaborative Technology, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Jojo Manai is a senior associate managing director for collaborative technology at the Carnegie Foundation. He leads the technical team to provide Foundation-wide support for a variety of technology, including the development and administration of an information infrastructure for the Carnegie Foundation’s Design, Development & Improvement Research work, as well as the development of technology solutions for a wide range of collaboration tools to facilitate the work of Carnegie’s programs. Before coming to the Carnegie Foundation, Jojo was a search technical lead & project manager at Yahoo! where he supported rich results direct display, query pattern mining, intent analysis and impact prediction. He holds degrees in computer science and information technology from the Faculté des Sciences Economiques et de Gestion – Sfax University. In the summer of 2005 he was awarded The UC Davis Citations for Excellence and Achievement Award, as an acknowledgment of his achievements and quality of work at the University of California Davis.
Instructional Coach, New York City Department of Education×
Alida works as a program manager and instructional coach with the Continuous Learning Team at the New York City Department of Education supporting teams of teachers using improvement science to create equitable outcomes for English Language Learners. Before joining the NYC DOE’s central office, Alida served as a school leader of an elementary public charter school in the Bronx where she coached teachers, led professional learning sessions, designed and developed the school’s academic program, and spearheaded school improvement efforts. Prior to becoming a school leader, Alida was an elementary general education and English as a Second Language teacher in urban schools in Washington, DC, Chicago, and outside of Seattle. She holds an EdM in educational neuroscience from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a MAT in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from American University, and a BA in political science from the University of Michigan.
Chief Academic Officer, Volusia County Schools×
Teresa Marcks is the Chief Academic Officer of Volusia County Schools. She has also served as both principal or assistant principal at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Most recently, as principal of Atlantic High School, Ms. Marcks led turnaround efforts to bring the school from a D to a B in one year. Under her direction, Atlantic High also received a School Improvement Grant that awarded more than five million dollars to the school to strengthen turnaround efforts. No matter what role she is in, Ms. Marcks seeks for students’ individual strengths and talents to be developed. Once an ESE teacher, she continues to work to ensure that school teams work to accommodate students’ individual needs and create unique solutions. It is this passion for students and drive for innovation that Ms. Marcks brings to bear in her current position as Chief Academic Officer of Volusia County Schools.
Executive Director, Fundacion Educacional Oportunidad×
Marcela Marzolo is the executive director of Fundación Educacional Oportunidad in Chile. The organization seeks to create and increase learning opportunities and outcomes for children from disadvantaged communities of Chile through the professional development of teachers and leaders of public schools in three regions of the country, benefiting 2500 children a year. Marcela leads the strategic planning for the foundation and is responsible for programs across all areas, ensuring the resources and structure necessary for the achievement of the strategic objectives. She is a graduate in preschool and special education from Universidad Catolica. Marcela´s first approach to the world of education always related to contributing to create equal opportunities. While at Hogar de Cristo, she was part of the creation of kindergartens with innovative methodologies and quality, as well as the training of women as educators and leaders in their communities. Subsequently, she joined the Foundation to take charge of the Un Buen Comienzo project, where she assumed the position of executive director. She is grateful to be part of a team that shares the value of respect and the promotion of people, since that is where we can generate true social changes.
Lead Coach, Studer Education×
Dr. Melissa Matarazzo, lead coach for Studer Education℠, is in her fifth year supporting leadership development and systems improvement in organizations across the country. Prior to her Studer Education℠ role, Melissa provided consulting support to leaders in the Amesbury Public Schools, Boston Public Schools, and the KIPP Jacksonville region. Melissa served as the executive director for achievement and accountability in the Charleston County School District (South Carolina), overseeing the offices of teacher effectiveness, leadership development, and assessment and evaluation. In this role, Melissa designed and implemented a school quality review process that fostered consistency and learning connections between schools. Prior to her consulting experiences and tenure in Charleston, Melissa was a middle school principal in the Peabody Public Schools (Massachusetts) and an eighth grade teacher and assistant principal in the Derry Cooperative School District (New Hampshire). Melissa has served as a supervisor of teacher interns at the College of Charleston, South Carolina, and an adjunct instructor at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Networked Improvement Science Fellow, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Kelly joined the Foundation in 2018 as a Networked Improvement Science Fellow. Prior to joining Carnegie, Kelly was a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, where she worked on the COHERE Project which investigates school districts’ efforts to create alignment and continuity in math instruction for Pre K-3 grades and the influence these initiatives have on students’ math learning. Kelly is particularly interested in the design and implementation of system-level reforms that promote continuous improvement of instruction and school quality. Using qualitative research methods, Kelly explored the effects of school accountability policies and networked school support structures. Kelly earned a Ph.D. in education administration and policy from the University of Michigan. She also has a masters in education administration, leadership and technology from NYU and a masters in English education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She worked as a high school English teacher at Stuyvesant High School in New York City, a teacher-educator at the University of Michigan, School of Education in Ann Arbor, and a business consultant at Arthur Anderson in Detroit and Chicago.
Chief Strategy Officer, Big Picture Learning×
Eva Mejia is the Chief Strategy & Program Officer at Big Picture Learning. In that capacity, she stewards strategic thinking and development to maximize the impact that Big Picture can have on young people and the educators that serve them. Always seeking to learn and improve life outcomes for disenfranchised communities, Mejia has served in many capacities across K-12 and higher education. She began her career in direct services as a social worker and coordinator for parent engagement, mentorship, and tutoring programs. During this time she developed her skills as a strengths-based social worker, bridging divides across systems and communities to support young people and their families. Prior to joining Big Picture, Mejia developed her skills in improvement. Most recently, she served as the Director of Networked Improvement Science for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. At Carnegie, she oversaw efforts to solve some of the most pressing problems in education through the use of networked improvement communities and improvement science. She also served as an Improvement Coach for the Data Wise Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and as an institutional effectiveness consultant helping community colleges and universities use data to inform their student success programing. Mejia holds an Education Leadership Doctorate (Ed.L.D.) from HGSE, as well as a B.A. in psychology, and an M.A. in sociology from Stanford University.
Director of Improvement, CORE Districts×
Amanda Meyer serves as Director of Improvement at CORE Districts, supporting California educators in their efforts to solve problems of practice using improvement science. Amanda leads the design and delivery of numerous capability-building offerings within CORE and provides improvement coaching to school-site and central office staff. Prior to joining CORE, Amanda spent four years at the Carnegie Foundation, where she apprenticed with leading thinkers in systemic educational change and created improvement science learning experiences in conference, workshop, and online settings, including the EdX online course, “Improvement Science in Education.” Amanda is particularly interested in how improvement, design, and equity-centered methods can be leveraged together to build high-quality learning experiences and outcomes for all students. Amanda began her career teaching high school English in San Antonio, Texas. She holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies, Spanish, and Education from Washington University in St. Louis.
Associate, Learning Resource Design and Development, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Catherine Miller is an associate in learning resource design and development here at Carnegie, working to translate the Foundations work in improvement science into a curriculum used within and outside of the foundation. Before Carnegie, she was a professor of literacy at the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont, where she worked on several national and local literacy projects and taught early childhood education students how to approach literacy instruction, especially for children who depend upon schools to learn to read. She has focused her work on addressing educational equity for underrepresented students, mainly through literacy education. Before Vermont, she worked as an educational evaluator for literacy projects, in PK-8 classrooms as a literacy coach, and as a community college reading instructor here in the bay area. She has a masters degree in education research from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a doctorate in cognitive development from the University of California, Berkeley.
Supervisor of Research and Evaluation, San Francisco Unified School District×
Norma Ming is Supervisor of Research and Evaluation in San Francisco Unified School District’s Research, Planning, and Assessment Division. Her mission from 20+ years working in education is to support leaders in using evidence connecting implementation and impact to improve student outcomes, empowering practitioners with the mindsets and discipline of continuous improvement to examine and innovate on their own practices. As a K-12 and university educator and researcher, with a B.A. in chemistry from Harvard and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Carnegie Mellon, she is especially passionate about the opportunity and obligation to make research useful in solving real-life problems.
Associate Dean, Scholarship and Innovation, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University×
Dr. Punya Mishra is Associate Dean of Scholarship & Innovation and Professor in the Division of Educational Leadership & Innovation in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. He also has an affiliate appointment in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. He is internationally recognized for his work in technology integration in teaching; the role of creativity and aesthetics in learning; and the application of design-based approaches to educational innovation. He has received over $7 million in grants; published over 100 articles and edited three books. He is an award-winning teacher, an engaging public speaker, as well as an accomplished visual artist and poet.
Director of Research and Continuous Improvement, Network for College Success, University of Chicago×
In an ongoing effort to make research live in schools, Eliza works with NCS data strategists and Consortium researchers to bridge the gap between research and practice by creating individual school reports on important research-based indicators, like freshman On-Track and college match; supporting school leaders’ and practitioners’ professional learning; and helping people at all levels of the school system learn how to incorporate data-driven decision making into their practice.
Teacher, Improvement Leader, Shue-Medill Middle School, Christina School District×
Casey Montigney has been teaching for seven years at Shue-Medill Middle School and has been involved in improvement work for the majority of that career, thanks to the partnership with Carnegie Foundation and Schools that Lead. She is currently focused on equity and parent involvement in her work, and is now one of two Improvement Leaders in her building. As an Improvement Leader, she teachers half day and devotes the other half of the day to coaching other teachers in improvement science and data collection related to PDSAs. When she isn’t doing work, she is snuggling with her infant son (while also thinking about whatever her next project will be).
Chief Accountability Officer, Syracuse City School District
Director of Continuous Improvement, Summit Public Schools×
Kyle Moyer is the Director of Continuous Improvement for Summit Public Schools, running Summit’s Networked Improvement Community work on improving outcomes for students scoring in the bottom quintile in literacy and numeracy. He has run a variety of projects and programs, served as an instructional coach, and taught math for many years at Summit. He is a National Board Certified Teacher, a Math for America Master Teacher Fellow, a graduate of Northwestern University and the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP), and has taught abroad in Indonesia and Ecuador. He loves spending time with family, cooking, and reading.
Superintendent, Napa Valley Unified School District×
Rosanna Mucetti was named Superintendent of Napa Valley Unified School District in spring 2018. Prior to assuming the superintendency, Rosanna held roles from Spanish bilingual teacher to Deputy Superintendent. As Deputy Superintendent, she led instructional reform district-wide to transform San Leandro USD’s approach to technology integration, employee development, and professional learning. In her role as director for the Buck Institute, she trained school and district leaders on how to implement and scale project-based learning. Throughout her career, Rosanna has worked primarily with culturally and linguistically diverse student populations. In addition to Napa, she has served the students and communities of San Leandro, San Jose, and Hayward.
Impact Director, Washington STEM×
Dr. Jenée Myers Twitchell serves as the Impact Director at Washington STEM and is an adjunct for the University of Washington College of Education’s Leadership in Higher Education program. She develops, analyzes, and applies cross-sector, longitudinal data and research on systems changes and student outcomes to help drive Washington STEM’s business plan and strategic initiatives. Jenée has her PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from UW and has led research studies on policy changes for secondary to postsecondary transitions for underserved students, regional collective impact network leadership, and regionalized supply-demand gaps for education-to-workforce pathways across Washington state
Marco A. Nava
Administrative Coordinator, Los Angeles Unified School District×
Dr. Marco A. Nava has served school communities in diverse educational settings throughout Los Angeles. In his various roles, he has worked collaboratively with others, fostered partnerships and leveraged resources that support student learning. Dr. Nava has provided leadership development seminars to educators from Brazil, Uruguay, and China. In 2013 he was selected as a Fulbright Principal Exchange participant. Dr. Nava has presented research on school improvement, leadership development, and Social-Emotional Learning at various national and international educational conferences including the American Educational Research Association (AERA). He received his doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California (USC).
Former Superintendent, Sanger School District; Director of System Transformation, WestEd×
As the Center for Prevention and Early Intervention’s Director of System Transformation services, Matt Navo helps districts and schools develop strategies, structures, policies, and practices that assist in closing the achievement gap for all students. Navo specializes in aligning systems for building capacity and continuous improvement; and in building collaborative cultures, and establishing coherent and efficient systems for closing the achievement gap. Navo has experience as a special education elementary and secondary teacher, counselor, resource teacher, junior high learning director, high school assistant principal, elementary principal, alternative education principal, director of special education, area administrator, and superintendent. He was the Governor’s appointee for the Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE) from 2014-2016, and the Governor’s appointee to the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, 2016-2017. Navo has been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences on system improvement across the state, and was a contributor to the ONE SYSTEM: Reforming Education to Serve All Students, Report of California’s Statewide Task Force on Special Education, 2015. As Superintendent, Navo’s school district was highlighted for various achievements such as Process and Protest – California: How are Districts Engaging Stakeholders in LCAP Development?, and as a California District of Distinction in 2018. He received a Bachelor Degree in education, and a Master’s Degree in special education from California State University, Fresno. He holds a Professional Administrative Credential, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and a Supplemental Credential with an autism emphasis.
Improvement Advisor, Chalkboard Project×
Kari Nelsestuen works with organizations to identify their most pressing challenges, develop human-centered solutions, and measure the effectiveness of change. Her portfolio of projects is diverse, from leading design thinking and improvement science workshops for educators to designing materials and supports for teams engaged in improvement efforts. She often helps teams build and test innovative change ideas and track their effectiveness. Kari co-leads the Coaching for Improvement Academy in Oregon and is a coach for the Stanford dschool School Retool program. She also spent over 15 years as a program evaluator and researcher, learning what works – and doesn’t work – in education settings. Currently an independent consultant, Kari works with non-profit organizations, foundations, and school districts in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. She has an M.S. from Columbia University Teachers College.
Executive Director, Showcase Schools, New York City Department of Education
Professional Organization Development Consultant, Community At Work×
Nelli is a professional organization development consultant with the San Francisco-based consulting firm, Community At Work. For the past 16 years, she has worked at the intersection of organizational strategy, group dynamics, and strategic communication. Before moving to San Francisco, she worked as an internal consultant for the Australian government, prior to starting her own successful consulting firm. She also served as regional director of the International Association of Facilitators, Oceania region. Since joining Community At Work, Nelli has consulted with numerous clients focused on various aspects of organization development and multi-stakeholder collaboration, including: First 5 San Francisco; San Francisco Office Of Early Care and Education; Kaiser Permanente; Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; San Francisco County Department of Public Health; Genentech; The Russell Family Foundation; Tides; Canopy Social Impact Investment Fund; Bozeman School District; Novato School District; Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement Of Teaching; Cambodia Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Collective Action; Wikimedia Foundation; University of California, Office of the President; University of California at San Francisco; Civil Service College of Singapore; University of Tokyo Center for Global Health Leadership Program; SCAN Foundation; Children’s Book Project of San Francisco; Public Engagement For Public Schools; Jack London Improvement District; International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya and Ethiopia; and more. Nelli has given keynotes, guest lectures, and served on panels related to the art and practice of multi-stakeholder collaboration for numerous professional audiences at annual conferences including: Social Capital Markets (SoCap); National After Schools Network; National Scholarship Providers Association; and on several occasions, sponsored by the International Association of Facilitators–in Tokyo, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Florida.
Managing Director, Evidence and Analytics, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Jon Norman is an associate in analytics at the Carnegie Foundation. In this role, he supports networked improvement communities through analytics, developmental evaluation, and improvement research. Jon comes to Carnegie from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago where he was a researcher on projects designed to improve the well-being of vulnerable youth. He previously worked at JBS International and Abt Associates on evaluations and research related to education, health, and human services. His prior projects include evaluating school-based health centers’ effect on student well-being in Chicago, providing expertise in research design to the Corporation for National and Community Service, and investigating barriers to providing increased mental health services to youth. Jon also previously held faculty positions in the departments of sociology at DePaul University and Loyola University Chicago. Jon earned his Ph.D. in sociology and M.S. in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds a B.A. in public policy from Brown University.
Senior Manager, Improvement Analytics, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards×
Dereck Norville-Bowie is the Senior Manager of Improvement Analytics for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In this role, he supports the network’s ability to understand and monitor progress by strengthening data collection and visualization processes and synthesizing and sharing data for network learning and system improvement. Prior to this role, Norville-Bowie was a Senior Research and Assessment Specialist at Hostos Community College, City University of New York. Norville-Bowie holds a Master of Science in Social Work degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and English from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Site-based Research Manager, Summit Public Schools×
Jackie O’Connor is a Site-Based Research Manager with Summit Public Schools working to help organize and support Summit’s Networked Improvement Community, focusing on improving outcomes for students in the bottom quintile in literacy and numeracy. She is a former math teacher who has supported Summit’s curriculum development and teacher training. She hails from Half Moon Bay, is a graduate of Sonoma State University and enjoys running, every day.
Institute Fellow, American Institutes for Research
Visiting Assistant Professor, University at Albany×
Gretchen P. Oliver, PhD is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University at Albany, where she teaches methods courses and oversees fieldwork experiences for TESOL candidates. In addition, she is the ENL Teacher Leadership Coach for the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center. Her research interests include the role of culturally responsive teaching, collaborative instructional environments, and ESOL-focused leadership on student learning in the content areas, as well as teacher education and professional development.
Director, Innovation and Collaboration, San Juan BOCES×
Steve Otter serves as the Director of Innovation and Collaboration for the San Juan BOCES. The San Juan BOCES is an eight-member consortium of school districts in southwest Colorado. The vision of the San Juan BOCES is to create a seamless support structure that eliminates barriers for improved learning outcomes for all students. In his role with the San Juan BOCES, Steve helps both member districts and other educational partners successfully navigate and implement change initiatives.
Leader Coach, Studer Education×
Dr. KK Owen, Studer Education leader coach, partners with organizations around the country working on “getting better at getting better” at leadership. Previously, she was the Director of Professional Learning for the Escambia County School District (FL), working as project leader for reforming teacher and leader evaluations and supervised leadership training for federal, state, and district initiatives; worked with other Florida leaders and the Florida Association of District School Superintendents and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the improvement of teacher and principal quality; and worked on union collaboration projects with the Teachers Union Reform Network and the National Education Association. Dr. Owen has 30 years of teacher and leadership experience as a special and general education teacher, assistant principal, and principal of three schools. She holds a B.A. in Education from Louisiana State University, a M.Ed. and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from University of West Florida.
Networked Improvement Science Fellow, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Dr. Simone Palmer joined the Foundation in 2018 as a fellow for networked improvement science. Prior to joining the Foundation, Simone served as the Science and Technology Specialist for the Rhode Island Department of Education. Simone had a career as a pediatrician before entering the field of education. She taught secondary science for 8 years before completing a principal training program through the University of Denver where she also earned a masters in educational leadership. Simone returned to her native Rhode Island to complete an urban turnaround leader program through the New York City Leadership Academy. She then served as STEM director for South Kingstown School District before working at the state level. Simone holds a bachelors in biology and an M.D from Brown University.
Cofounder and Improvement Specialist, Improvement Collective; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Sandra Park is a co-founder of the Improvement Collective, which is dedicated to helping education and other social sector organizations build their improvement capacity to solve problems in the field. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Foundation, where she previously worked as the director of external offerings and partnerships as well as the director of the foundation’s Building a Teaching Effectiveness Network (BTEN). Park previously taught elementary school in Oregon, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., and was director of programs at First Graduate in San Francisco. She holds a B.A. in sociology from Georgetown University, a teaching credential and M.A.T. from Louis & Clark College, an Ed.M. in administration and policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a Ph.D. in education policy from UC-Berkeley, and an Improvement Advisor certificate from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Emma Parkerson is an associate in networked improvement science, building the capability of network leaders to design, launch, and sustain collective efforts to improve persistent challenges in the education sector. Emma joined the Foundation in 2017 after a decade working alongside Board-certified teachers at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Emma believes deeply in the wisdom of crowds and has a passion for convening teachers, leaders, policy makers, and researchers for collective action. Emma’s networked improvement journey began in 2013 with a four-month residency at Carnegie to launch the National Board’s Network to Transform Teaching (NT3). She directed NT3 for four years, bringing together over 50 districts seeking to build coherence across teachers’ careers by strengthening the structures, policies, and programs that support teachers’ development toward expert practice. Prior to NT3, Emma led multiple design efforts to create professional learning tools by teachers, for teachers. Emma earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology from The George Washington University. She has also completed her professional certification in project management (PMP) and is an alumna of the Institute for Educational Leadership’s Educational Policy Fellowship Program. A native of Jupiter, Florida, Emma attended public schools in South Florida. She still loves to spend time by the water, including SCUBA diving any time she gets the chance.
Co-Director, New Principal Support, Office of Leadership - NYC Department of Education×
A dedicated and thoughtful educator, Matthew Pearson is Co-Director of the New York City Department of Education – Office of Leadership’s New Principal Support Program. Mr. Pearson has an extensive background in executive coaching focused on the International Federation of Coaching Professional Competencies. Matt is currently a doctoral student at St. John’s University in Educational Administration and Supervision. He has held the posts of teacher, H.S. assistant principal, H.S. principal, and principal coach with the New York City Department of Education.
Executive Director, Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate×
Dr. Jill Perry is the Executive Director of the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate (CPED) and a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Administration and Policy Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on professional doctorate preparation in education, organizational change in higher education, and faculty leadership roles. Her publications have appeared in Planning and Changing Journal, Journal of School Public Relations, Innovation in Higher Education as well as in several books and practitioner journals. She has edited two books and is the founding editor of Impacting Education, the new on-line journal focused on transforming professional preparation in education. Dr. Perry is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where she received her PhD in International Education Policy. She holds a MA in Higher Education Administration and a BA in Spanish and International Studies from Boston College. She has over 20 years of experience in leadership and program development in education and teaching experience at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate levels in the US and abroad. She is a Fulbright Scholar (Germany) and a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Paraguay).
Vice President, Strategy and Development, New Visions for Public Schools×
Jefferson leads New Visions’ cross-departmental organizational strategy, fundraising and communications. He previously led New Visions’ support for New York City’s Community & Renewal Schools, expanding the number of schools using New Visions’ tools by over 150%. While director of special initiatives in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, he oversaw design of the Investing in Innovation program, and as a Principal at The Parthenon Group consulted with school systems including New York City, Chicago and Washington, DC. He holds a doctorate in education leadership from Harvard University and a B.S.E. from Princeton University.
Donald J. Peurach
Associate Professor, Educational Policy, Leadership, and Innovation, University of Michigan, School of Education; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation×
Donald J. Peurach, Ph.D., is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and an associate professor of educational policy, leadership, and innovation in the University of Michigan’s School of Education. His research examines large-scale, network-based educational improvement initiatives, focusing specifically on how these networks continuously learn and improve over time. Don is the author of Seeing Complexity in Public Education: Problems, Possibilities, and Success for All (2011,Oxford University Press) and co-author of Improvement by Design: The Promise of Better Schools (2014, University of Chicago Press). His most recent essay in Educational Researcher examines the development of system-level improvement and impact infrastructure to support network leadership. Don is the lead developer of the Carnegie Foundation’s Network Leaders for Learning, a professional development and field-building effort aimed at advancing improvement science in practice and policy. He is also the developer of Leading Educational Innovation and Improvement, a U-M/Carnegie collaboration that uses massive open online courses on the edX platform to provide a comprehensive introduction to improvement science.
Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, Burlington School District×
Stephanie Phillips is the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning for the Burlington School District in Burlington, VT. As an educator for more than 25 years, Stephanie has taught grades 7-12, while also serving in the roles of high school assistant principal and director of curriculum before taking on a more extensive leadership role involving the supervision of director level positions for data, EL, special education equity and extended learning. Stephanie is passionate about systems improvement that focuses on leadership and collaboration at all levels in the organization. She has supported teachers and administrators in improving teacher practices, as well as developing, revising and improving curriculum for all students. She led the district initiative for dedicated professional learning communities time in order to increase systems of teacher collaboration. Most recently she has implemented a K-8 model for instructional coaching aimed at continuous improvement using video as the primary tool for reflection.
Managing Researcher, AIR×
Stephen Plank is a managing researcher at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). He has more than 20 years of experience in research and evaluation of school improvement efforts and sociological studies of education. His current responsibilities include leading the Student-Centered Assessment Network, funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Steve also serves as a member of the leadership triad and as research co-PI for the Southwest College and Career Readiness Research Partnership, an initiative of the Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest and the Arkansas Department of Education. Previously, Steve was a faculty member and research scientist at Johns Hopkins University. While at Hopkins, he was co-founder of the Baltimore Education Research Consortium. He has also served as director of research and evaluation at the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps and Senior Corps.
Program Director, EdLeader21×
Melissa Ponce has been with EdLeader21 since 2011 and currently serves as Program Director. In this capacity, she is responsible for directing and managing projects to support EdLeader21 member schools and districts efforts to implement 21st century education across their systems. Prior to joining EdLeader21, Melissa worked for the College of Education at the University of Arizona as an Evaluation Coordinator for a large-scale early childhood education research study. Melissa has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Arizona.
Principal, School District of Menomonee Falls×
Tina Posnanski has served as the administrative leader of Valley View Elementary School in the School District of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin for the past eight years. Valley View School educates approximately 360 third through fifth grade students and has received the School of Distinction Gold Level award for reading, math and behavior. Tina earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1996 in the field of Learning Disabilities, and holds a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University in 2002.
Research & Design Facilitator, Eskolta School Research & Design×
Originally from Seattle, Washington, Catherine initially gained experience with research through working in Monitoring and Evaluation of development interventions in South Sudan. This work took her to Uganda, Kenya, and Somaliland. She received a Bachelors Degree in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Washington in 2011 and spent the year directly following her graduation working as a kindergarten teacher in Cairo, Egypt. She received a Masters in Public Administration in Development Practice from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in May 2016, where she focused on program evaluation. Areas of interest include education, early childhood development, and research. During her free time, Catherine enjoys exploring New York on her bike.
Lead Postsecondary Coach, Network for College Success, U. Chicago×
Regina Pretekin is the Lead Postsecondary Coach with the Network for College Success. Through coaching and facilitation of cross-school professional learning, Regina provides critical supports to school leaders who oversee counseling departments and postsecondary leadership teams. Regina coaches Chicago Public Schools counselors to build the capacity of school leaders to understand adolescent development as it relates to improving postsecondary outcomes. In her work as a Postsecondary coach, Regina helps to support school wide college going cultures in schools that support integrated identity and agency. Regina hopes to impact how students see themselves and build their capacity to make informed choices. At NCS, coaches seek to examine issues of practice through an equity and research informed lens. Regina earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and social behavior in 2003 from University of California, Irvine, and earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology from University of Southern California.
Karen Hunter Quartz
Director and Faculty, UCLA Center for Community Schooling
Partner, The Wildflower Foundation×
Theodore Quinn manages the innovation portfolio at the Wildflower Foundation, a new organization building a nationwide network of one-room, shopfront, tech-enabled Montessori schools. Before Wildflower, he spent nearly a decade as the senior vice president of organizational learning at Teach For America, where he led a wide range of research, innovation, data, and, knowledge management activities. Prior to entering the education space, he was an associate principal with McKinsey & Co., where he advised clients on strategy and performance issues. He holds a PhD in physics from the University of Chicago and a BS in physics from Stanford University.
Hayagreeva “Huggy” Rao
Atholl McBean Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University×
Rao is the Atholl McBean Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. In addition, he is a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, a Fellow of the Sociological Research Association and also a Fellow of the Academy of Management. His research has also been published in journals such as the Administrative Science Quarterly, American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science and Strategic Management Journal. His teaching specialties include leading organizational change, building customer focused cultures, and organization design. He teaches courses on these topics to MBA and executive audiences. Rao is co-author of the recent book Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less. Drawing on their own experience, Rao and co-author, Robert Sutton, identify the key principles necessary to ensure the successful growth and spread of any organization. Rao previously published Market Rebels: How Activists Make or Break Radical Innovation.
Research & Design Associate, Eskolta School Research & Design×
Fuschia Ray is a Research and Design Associate, committed to dismantling barriers that stifle students of color from realizing their purpose. To do so, she is passionate about centering her work around equity, as well as working with schools to support systemic improvement and the creation of organizational cultures of learning. Prior to joining Eskolta, she completed her Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has also taught middle school in Philadelphia, PA and has worked with Boston Public Schools’ Department of Early Childhood Education to support data analysis and program evaluation. Fuschia earned her undergraduate degree from New York University, where she was a Martin Luther King Jr. scholar and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in history.
District Administrator, Professional Learning and School Improvement Office, Volusia County Schools×
Meg Roa has been an educator for 27 years and has experience at all levels–elementary, middle and high school. She is entering her eighth year as a district administrator in the Professional Learning and School Improvement Office for Volusia County Schools. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and her Master of Education in Reading from the University of Central Florida. Her self-created one word is “Sparkivate.” Spark + cultivate…spark new learning and cultivate the implementation through ongoing support.
Staff Development & Curriculum Specialist, Mathematics, Tulare County Office of Education×
Christine Roberts is a Mathematics Staff Development and Curriculum Specialist for the Tulare County Office of Education. She serves as an Improvement Specialist at the Hub for TCOE’s Central Valley Networked Improvement Community (CVNIC), comprised of seven Tulare County districts focused on increasing 5th-grade mathematics achievement utilizing improvement science. Christine is integrally involved in planning action periods, supporting teachers and leaders, and facilitating cross-district collaborations. She offers professional learning opportunities and supports districts by designing and implementing a high-quality mathematics program. Christine inspires and encourages teachers and administrators as they endeavor to provide rich learning experiences for all students.
Jennifer Lin Russell
Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Jennifer Lin Russell is an associate professor of Learning Sciences and Policy in the School of Education and a research scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) at the University of Pittsburgh, where she leads the Partners for Network Improvement developmental evaluation team. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Her research examines policy and other educational improvement initiatives through an organizational perspective. Her recent work examines two primary issues: (1) how schools create social and organizational structures that support reform; and (2) how inter-organizational collaborations can be structured for educational improvement. In the first strand she has examined how teachers’ social networks influence their implementation of reform mathematics practice and studied how coaches support instructional improvement. The second strand of research examines how organizations can productively collaborate to pursue educational improvement, including how networked improvement communities launch and develop.
San Francisco Director, Network to Transform Teaching, San Francisco Unified School District×
Sara Saldaña is a renewed National Board Certified Teacher with over 20 years of experience in the San Francisco Unified School District. She currently serves as co-coordinator of the district’s National Board Support program and supports site administrators with PDSA cycles to improve student outcomes. Prior to this role, she served as Site Director for the NIC Network to Transform Teaching, supported her colleagues as a Peer Assistance Review coach, and enjoyed 14 years as a classroom teacher. She holds a BCLAD Spanish teaching credential and a Masters Degree in Education from San Francisco State University. She is a proud SF native and mother of two wonderful teenagers.
Principal, Woodward Avenue Elementary×
Carlos M. Scott has served Volusia County Public Schools as a teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal for over 18 years. Currently he is Principal of Woodward Avenue Elementary located in DeLand, Florida. Mr. Scott believes that all students can achieve academic excellence given a positive learning environment. To make this belief a reality for all students, he works tirelessly to build relationships, foster collaboration, allow students to engage in productive struggle, use technology to enhance learning, and progress-monitor students’ performance. His favorite quote is by Noeem Calloway who said, “Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life.” Educators must help our students take small steps first. Carlos earned his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Specific Learning Disabilities and Varying Exceptionalities from Bethune-Cookman University and his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
Lead Design Strategist, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University×
Ben Scragg is the Lead Design Strategist in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. As a member of the Design Initiatives team, Ben partners primarily with K12 school communities to drive human-centered, intrapreneurial innovation through design-based approaches. Ben earned a master’s degrees in philosophy of education and business administration from The Ohio State University, and is currently a doctoral student at ASU in Education Leadership and Innovation. Ben is also a former educator with Chicago Public Schools, where he taught high school social studies.
Regional Executive Director, California, Partners in School Innovation×
Tovi Scruggs-Hussein is a visionary educator, author, and award-winning urban high school principal, with over 25 years of emotional intelligence & mindfulness experience. Tovi serves as an expert leader in equity and emotional intelligence for educators so that the culture-climate of our schools is transformed to improve academic outcomes. She is proud to utilize this unique skill-set as California’s Regional Executive Director at Partners in School Innovation, a non-profit focused on equity and improving educational outcomes for students of color in our nation. Further, Tovi is ACSA’s State Equity Region 6 Representative, founding teacher for ACSA’s Equity Academy, and a founding teacher of Trauma-Informed Leadership at Mills College. Certified in both integral coaching and emotional intelligence, Tovi brings an integral “inside-out” approach to deepening social emotional learning and equity work for educators, because you cannot teach what you do not embody.
Director of the To&Through Project, Urban Education Initiative, University of Chicago×
Alex Seeskin is the Chief Strategy Officer at the Urban Education Institute where he is responsible for guiding strategy for the organization and leading high priority work across and within UEI’s units. Seeskin also leads the To&Through Project (toandthrough.uchicago.edu), which aims to empower educators and families with the research, data, and resources they need to move more students to and through high school and college. Prior to coming to UEI, Seeskin taught high school English in Chicago Public Schools for seven years, serving as the English Department Chair at Lake View High School from 2008-2012. Seeskin earned a BS in communications from Northwestern University and an EdLD from Harvard University.
Project Director, Mathematical Agency Improvement Community, High Tech High Graduate School of Education×
Daisy Sharrock, Ed.D. is a Network Project Director and researcher with the Center for Research on Equity and Innovation and a faculty member with the High Tech High Graduate School of Education. Daisy leads the Mathematical Agency Improvement Community (MAIC), a network of 16 southern California schools working to abolish the phrase “I am not a math person.” The network of teachers and administrators uses improvement science tools and methodologies to identify, test, and scale classroom practices that increase students’ mathematical agency and success across diverse contexts. Daisy also supports improvement efforts across the HTH K-12 schools. She is passionate about adult learning and the potential of research-practitioner partnerships for systemic reform for social justice.
Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
David joined the Foundation as a networked improvement fellow in 2017. He comes to the Foundation from Harvard University, where he worked as a researcher and educational consultant. Most recently, he worked for the National Center for Research in Policy and Practice (NCRPP), a project investigating how school and district leaders use research in their decision-making. David is particularly interested in helping educational leaders promote effective collaboration within their organizations and across broader improvement networks. He uses varied methods, including surveys, ethnography, and social network analysis, to understand the implementation and effects of such efforts. David’s work has been presented at national conferences and local district offices, and published in peer-reviewed journals and policy reports. Earlier in his career, David was an analyst and evaluator at SRI International’s Center for Education Policy, where he studied leadership development, comprehensive school reform, and the teacher workforce. He holds a master’s degree and a doctorate (Ed.D.) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Jennifer Zoltners Sherer
Research Associate, University of Pittsburgh×
Jennifer Zoltners Sherer is a Research Associate at the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research & Development Center and a member of the Partners for Network Improvement team. Her work includes the developmental evaluation of networks, offering evidence-based support of network leaders as they design, initiate, and develop networks that improve K-12 teaching and learning. Her research interests focus on distributed leadership, organizational change, and improving teaching and learning in K-20 systems through networks, tool design and implementation, professional development, and curriculum. She was an Instructional Design Fellow at The Institute for Learning. In addition to designing tools and learning environments, she supported the IFL’s data and evaluation process. She co-designed and co-taught the IFL’s Coursera course: Accountable Talk: Conversation that Works and co-developed the Process Engineering for Educational Results (PEER) project. Prior to receiving her Ph.D. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University, she was a teacher in Oregon.
Chief Program Officer, Washington STEM×
Andy serves as Washington STEM’s Chief Program Officer, leading the organization’s efforts to develop and support innovative STEM learning experiences for all Washington students through close partnership with educators and industry and community partners. Andy joined Washington’s STEM from the University of Washington’s College of Education faculty where he led a range of STEM education research and development efforts, including the design of curriculum, professional development systems, and partnerships with schools and informal learning organizations – all focused on equitable learning outcomes. Prior to his appointment at UW, Andy was Senior Program Officer at the Board on Science Education of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. There, Andy directed consensus studies to define best practices in STEM education and to inform federal STEM research and development investments. Andy holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University’s program in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two children with whom he loves to camp, make messes in the workshop, swim in lakes, and ride motorcycles.
Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Barbara joined Carnegie as a networked improvement fellow in 2017. She comes to the Foundation from Oakland Unified School District where, as a mathematics coordinator, she supported teacher professional learning and the development and implementation of middle and high school math curriculum and assessment in the transition to Common Core State Standards. Her work in Oakland also focused on building teacher leadership and collaborative communities focused on instructional practice. She is passionate about empowering teachers and improving students’ experiences and outcomes in math so that young people see themselves as powerful learners. Prior to her work in Oakland, Barbara was a high school math teacher for 12 years in Bay Area schools. As part of a highly collaborative math department whose work was studied for its equity-oriented approach, she used Complex Instruction pedagogy to support students to learn and thrive in heterogeneous classrooms. She was also a contributing author and editor for a series of middle and high school math textbooks. Barbara earned a bachelor’s degree from Williams College in mathematics and history. She also holds a master’s degree from Mills College, where she earned her teaching credential.
Data Specialist: Instructional Support, Fairfax County Public Schools×
Claire Silva builds capacity with data literacy through Fairfax County Public Schools in her current role as a Data Specialist of Instructional Support. Claire facilitates district-wide data literacy professional development and serves as a data coach on FCPS’ Project Management Team to embed the use of Improvement Science within the district’s Strategic Plan initiatives. She has served as an Instructional Coach, and high school science classroom teacher for 15 years. Claire is currently a master’s degree candidate in Administration and Supervision at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education.
Chief Academic Officer, Literacy Design Collaborative×
Suzanne has built sustainable equity for decades across public educational systems to ensure access for all students. At LDC, Suzanne oversees the design, delivery, and quality of LDC’s resources, tools, and professional supports. Previously, Suzanne ran turnaround partnerships for American Reading Company and worked in both higher education and PK-12 systems. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the UPenn and sits on the Board of Trustees and the Pepper Council of the Free Library of Philadelphia, on Philadelphia’s Read by 4th Leadership Council, and on the boards of Scholar’s Promise and the Benjamin and Fredora Wolf Memorial Foundation.
Susan Rundell Singer
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost; Professor of Biology, Rollins College×
Currently the Provost at Rollins, Susan Singer was Division Director for Undergraduate Education at NSF and Lawrence McKinley Gould Professor of Biology and Cognitive Science at Carleton, where she directed the Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching. She pursues a career integrating science and education to improve undergraduate education at scale. A developmental biologist who studies flowering in legumes, she also investigates learning in genomics and improving higher education. Susan is an AAAS fellow, and recipient of the American Society of Plant Biology teaching award and Botanical Society of America Charles Bessey award. She chairs AAAS’ Education Section and co-authored Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology. She serves on the National Academies Roundtable on Systematic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education and Board on Life Science. She co-edited America’s Lab Report, Promising Practices in STEM Undergraduate Education and Discipline-based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering.
Director of Mathematics, Metro Nashville Public Schools×
Jessica Slayton is the Director of Mathematics for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, a large urban district that serves nearly 86,000 students. Her work primarily entails designing and implementing instructional and curricular supports for the stakeholders of her district, as they strive to improve the quality of math instruction and learning outcomes for students. This includes providing on-going professional development for administrators, teachers, and instructional coaches, as well as assisting schools in setting improvement goals. As a former high school math teacher and instructional coach, she has a passion for pedagogies that highlight student thinking and the co-creation of knowledge through exploration and meaningful discourse.
Director, BTR Early Career Teaching Network, Boston Teacher Residency×
Julie Sloan has worked over ten years with the Boston Teacher Residency program as a mentor, content methods instructor, induction coach, and clinical teacher educator. Currently, she works as the director of the Early Career Teaching Network, supporting teachers early in their career and those who coach them, to advance their own learning for Boston students. Julie began her career teaching ELA in the LAUSD and was one of the founding teachers of the USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative; a university partnership with local schools to educate students on campus and build a pipeline of student-college access. She then returned to teach in Boston and focus on teacher training. Julie has a Master’s in Education focused on Teacher Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is Nationally Board Certified. She is driven by systems for improvement that both simplify and respect the complexity of teaching and learning.
Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, Madison County Schools×
Amy Smith has spent 23 years in education. She was a classroom teacher at the Maxwell Elementary Spanish Immersion Magnet Program in Lexington Kentucky and at Model Laboratory School on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. Amy trained as a teacher leader in 2001. She is currently the Reading Recovery teacher leader for Madison County Schools in Richmond, Kentucky. Amy also serves as an Adjunct at Eastern Kentucky University, teaching both graduate and undergraduate literacy coursework.
Deputy Director, Chalkboard Project×
Julie Smith began her career teaching elementary school before transitioning to policy and advocacy work with the Chalkboard Project. In her current role as Deputy Director she leads a statewide team that delivers support to school districts throughout Oregon who seek to define and improve outcomes with the students, families and educators they serve. Emphasizing community assets, empowerment, equity and access, Julie strives, both professionally and personally, to be a learner with, and ally for, others along their improvement journeys. Since 2012 Julie has also served as a Governor-appointed Commissioner on Oregon’s Quality Education Commission, where she helped create a vision for best practices that elevate local context and continuous improvement.
Marshall (Mike) Smith
Senior Fellow, Strategic Initiatives, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Marshall (Mike) S. Smith is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Previously, he served for two years in the Obama administration as the senior counselor to the secretary of education and director of international affairs. From 2001-2009 he directed the Education Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Prior to that, in the Clinton administration, he was the undersecretary of education for seven years, responsible for all policy and budget matters, and for four of those years also the acting deputy secretary, the second ranked person in the US Department of Education. During the Carter administration, he served as the chief of staff to the first secretary for education and assistant commissioner for policy studies in the Office of Education. In the Ford administration he was the director of policy and budget for the National Institute of Education. While not in government, he was at different times an associate professor at Harvard and a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and at Stanford. At Stanford, he was also the dean of the School of Education. He has authored a large number of publications on topics varying from computer content analysis, evaluation and research methodology, social and educational inequality, early childhood education, open educational resources, federal policy and school reform. He is a member of the National Academy of Education. All of his degrees are from Harvard.
Vice President, Community Engagement, New Visions for Public Schools×
Jennie leads the organization’s efforts around family engagement, community relationship building and partnership development, and postsecondary success. During her tenure at New Visions, she has served on the charter school team and new school creation team. Prior to joining New Visions, she was assistant commissioner for the Beacon Programs at the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development and brought over fourteen years of experience working with community-based organizations. She holds an M.A. in public administration from Baruch College and graduated from its National Urban Fellows Program.
ELA Achievement Director, KIPP Foundation×
Daniel Sonnier leads the work of increasing literacy achievement by supporting multiple KIPP regions and 18 non-KIPP Charter Management Organizations. Prior to his role at the Foundation, he was a teacher and literacy leader for Newark (NJ) Public Schools, Teach for America, and KIPP New Jersey. Sonnier received an MA in Education Leadership and Policy from Seton Hall University.
Vice President, Partnerships & Programs, Virginia Advanced Study Strategies×
Jennifer Stevens, a native of southern Virginia, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/Education and a Master of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction – both from Longwood University. She began her life-long career in education in 1995, serving as a public school teacher for eight years and then moving on to lead grant-funded education projects for Longwood University, Virginia Tech, and NASA. In 2007, Jennifer held a lead role on the team of educators and community leaders that secured a $13.2 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative to create Virginia Advanced Study Strategies (VASS), a 501c3 nonprofit organization with the mission of supporting Virginia’s K12 schools in the preparation of students for college and careers. Currently the Vice President at VASS, Jennifer serves as facilitator for the virtual networked improvement community of math teachers from 17 rural school divisions participating in the Rural Math Innovation Network (RMIN) – the VASS i3 project funded in 2017. She is certified by The Ohio State University as a DACUM (Developing A CurriculUM) and SCID (Systematic Curriculum and Instruction Development) facilitator and has used her training to conduct occupational analysis sessions with a variety of company representatives for the purpose of creating or updating training programs at community colleges and universities for high-demand careers such as software developer, cybersecurity analyst, and drone operator. Jennifer is a co-author on the National Career Development Association’s School Career Development Advisor training curriculum, and she has presented at numerous state and national conferences on topics such as motivating students to learn and succeed in math, supporting teachers in a virtual networked improvement community, the importance of math in high-demand technician careers, and the need for early and dedicated career planning for students.
Director of Teacher Leadership and Learning, Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession×
Lindsey Stevens is a National Board Certified Teacher who lives in Tacoma and served as the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Grant Washington State Site Director for the 2017-2018 school year. She is currently the Director of Teacher Leadership and Learning for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP). Previously, she has been a high school social studies and English language arts teacher for 13 years and, most recently, a full time release mentor teacher supporting new to career teachers at the secondary level. She is passionate about elevating the teaching profession, celebrating and supporting educators at all levels.
Manager, YouthTruth Student Survey×
Sachi believes that school success must be defined by more than test scores. Education leaders need reliable ways of measuring student engagement, academic rigor, and school culture. YouthTruth measures what matters, and in doing so, makes school more equitable, more relevant, and more enjoyable for all students. As manager of partnerships at YouthTruth, Sachi coaches school and district leaders across the country through the process of interpreting and using student and stakeholder feedback to accelerate improvements. Before joining YouthTruth, Sachi worked at the school, district, and state levels in San Jose; Boston; Washington, DC; and North Carolina. In these roles, she ran afterschool programs, led a team of City Year Americorps Members, and analyzed local and state assessments.
9-12 Math Facilitator, Federal Way Public Schools
Chief Academic Officer, Sacramento City Unified School District×
Dr. Taylor has over 25 years of experience in urban education and extensive knowledge in the areas of adolescent literacy, school change, urban education, curriculum and teaching, and professional development. In her current role she provides leadership and accountability for implementation of key initiatives including the Superintendent’s Equity, Access, and Social Justice Theory of Change and Theory of Action grounded in improvement science and data-focused cycles of continuous improvement. Her previous roles at SCUSD included Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction and Coordinator for Equity Access and Excellence.
CEO, Trellis Education×
Dr. Megan W. Taylor is the founder and CEO of Trellis Education. Over the past two decades Dr. Taylor has taught 6th-12th grade mathematics and mathematics teachers in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a nationally board certified mathematics teacher. Dr. Taylor was an Assistant Professor of Math Education at Sonoma State University for four years and served as the Associate Director of the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching at Stanford University in 2016. Megan founded Trellis Education in 2015 to create “gold standard” pathways for new math and science teachers. Trellis partners with four Bay Area university-based teacher preparation programs and seven school districts, and aims to ensure all California students – in particular our students of color, immigrant students, students living in poverty, and students identifying as women – have excellent teachers and experiences in STEM that propel them into colleges and careers and futures they love.
Director of Quality and Analytics, School District of Menomonee Falls×
Suzy Thomas is the Director of Quality and Analytics in the School District of Menomonee Falls, WI who works with all district employees to support them in doing their best work for the children of Menomonee Falls. Suzy believes that focusing on people and developing the mindset and behaviors for improvement are key to establishing a culture of improvement. Suzy has served as a math teacher, associate principal, and district-level director in the Menomonee Falls and Minneapolis Public School Districts. She has been part of an administration team at Menomonee Falls High School that has improved student engagement and achievement by training, developing and empowering adults. Suzy holds a BA in Mathematics Education from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, a master’s degree in Mathematics from Marquette University, and a degree in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University.
Evaluation Manager, Showcase Schools, New York City Department of Education×
Brigid Timlin, an evaluation manager for Showcase Schools, collaborates with their team to document their impact on visitors and help them to continually improve. Prior to joining Showcase Schools, she worked with the Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia Law School. After being home with her children for several years and having the experience of navigating New York City’s system of school choice for her oldest child, Brigid made the decision to return to school and complete her Master’s degree in Education and Social Policy from NYU in 2016.
Assistant Superintendent, Kyrene School District×
Laura Toenjes is the Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services in the Kyrene School District in metro Phoenix, Arizona. Laura’s experience in education includes service in multiple roles across at nearly all levels of the education system, including as a classroom teacher, principal, district administration, and county and state level administration. Her past ten years in public education have been in leadership positions where she has supervised, coached, mentored and provided leadership development and targeted support for district and school administrators and their leadership teams to build effective systems to improve teaching and learning outcomes. In her short time as the Arizona Department of Education Deputy Associate Superintendent, leading the state’s school improvement unit, she successfully leveraged resources and relationships and brokered necessary partnerships required to reinvent and execute a system of support to secure turnaround of our state’s neediest schools. Laura has Master’s degrees in Elementary Education and Administration and Supervision, with a minor in Curriculum and Instruction.
Principal, Del Dayo Elementary School, San Juan Unified School District×
Gianfranco Tornatore, Ed.D. is the principal of Del Dayo Elementary School, a TK-6th grade public elementary school in the San Juan Unified School District located in Sacramento, California. Before moving to California, Dr. Tornatore worked for the New York City Department of Education Learning Partners Program as a School Improvement Specialist, where he used Improvement Science principles, methods, and tools to facilitate collaboration within and across schools. He was also a founding teacher at the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS) in New York City, where he taught instrumental music for ten years. Dr. Tornatore holds a master’s degree in education administration and supervision from Fordham University and a doctoral degree in education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Director Emeritus, Center for Urban Education Leadership, University of Illinois at Chicago×
Steve Tozer retired in September 2018 as Professor and University Scholar in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He was founding Director of the Center for Urban Education Leadership and Coordinator of the Ed.D. Program in Urban Education, a partnership with Chicago Public Schools awarded for exemplary practice by academic and policy organizations such as the University Council on Education Administration, the Council of the Great City Schools, and the Carnegie Foundation. He has led several policy initiatives in Illinois, including a task force that changed state principal certification. Steve currently collaborates with Chicago Public Schools on leading development of CPS principal supervisors. He is a Fellow of the George W. Bush Institute School Leadership Initiative, lead author of School and Society, Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, (8th edition, McGraw-Hill, 2019) and editor of The Handbook of Research in Social Foundations of Education (Routledge, 2011).
Executive Director of Learning Partners Program, New York City Department of Education×
Susan Tynan is the Executive Director with the Learning Partners Program in New York City’s Department of Education. She has over fifteen years of experience in education in New York City as a teacher and network coach before joining Learning Partners. Susan has a passion for racial equity and has helped the LPP team build its capacity for racial equity work internally and sets them up for success in schools.
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Ash Vasudeva is vice president of strategic initiatives, where he oversees the Carnegie Foundation’s policy and communications efforts to build the field’s capacity for improvement research and networked improvement communities. Prior to joining Carnegie, Vasudeva was a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he focused on supporting school systems to implement college and career ready standards and strengthen educator effectiveness systems. Previously, Vasudeva was co-executive director of Stanford University’s School Redesign Network, where he developed the LEADS network (Leadership for Equity and Accountability in Districts and Schools), which enabled superintendents and their cabinets to collaborate on systems-reforms with faculty from Stanford’s School of Education, School of Business, and School of Design (d. school). Vasudeva taught science at Pasadena High School and entered the field through Teach for America. He received his bachelor of science degree from Carnegie Mellon University and his doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Post-Baccalaureate Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Camila Velasquez joined the Foundation in 2017 as a post-baccalaureate fellow with the networked improvement science team. She provides workshop content, design, and facilitation support, and is involved in the development of an Improvement Science Teaching Commons. Before coming to Carnegie, she worked in Mexico as a Princeton in Latin America fellow, supporting the implementation of an alternative education model in multigrade rural schools through site visits, instructor training, and course evaluation and design. Cami graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in anthropology.
Executive Director, Literacy Design Collaborative×
Chad Vignola has worked in public education and public service for over 30 years, spinning LDC off from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s primary common core implementation strategy into a national edtech hub for innovation and school transformation to effectively deliver – and measure – rigorous instructional classroom practice. Prior to joining LDC, Chad served as Vice President at New Visions for Public Schools overseeing 75 New York City public schools. Chad also served as a Vice President at The Princeton Review, and several senior roles in the NYC Department of Education. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Wharton School and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed coursework toward a doctorate in education leadership at New York University. Chad remains passionate about using user-centered technology and measurement as tools that inspire a teaching profession to continuously improve their skills for all students to access rigorous disciplinary content and lifelong success.
Director, Proving Ground Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University×
Bi Vuong, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, joins the Center for Education Policy Research as the director of Proving Ground. She comes to CEPR from the School District of Philadelphia where she served, most recently, as the deputy chief financial officer. She arrived in Philadelphia as a Strategic Data Project Fellow to support the district’s college- and career-readiness efforts. Upon finishing her fellowship, Bi remained at the district as the founding director of the Strategy Delivery Unit in the superintendent’s office, where she was responsible for the district’s action plan, five-year financial plan, and other key district initiatives. A graduate of Kenyon College and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, Bi’s professional background also includes positions with the Data Quality Campaign, EducationCounsel LLC, and the state of Illinois.
State Transformation Specialist, Kentucky Department of Education×
Amanda Waldroup, M.Ed. is a State Transformation Specialist at the Kentucky Department of Education. Prior to her current role, she taught high school mathematics, served as the Math Department Chair, and coordinated a local international exchange program. Currently, she provides implementation-informed support to state, regional, district, and school implementation teams with the goal of strengthening teacher practice that leads to improved student outcomes. Amanda is dedicated in her belief that developing an implementation infrastructure will lead to sustainable systems of support and give students the tools and knowledge they need to achieve their life goals.
Senior Researcher, Center for Urban Education Leadership, University of Illinois at Chicago×
Lisa Walker is a Senior Researcher in the Center for Urban School Leadership at the University of Illinois, Chicago. She is interested in how to prepare school leaders for the highest-need schools in the system. In her Center role, she contributes knowledge to the field of leadership development for dissemination nationwide by collaborating on continuous improvement initiatives with leadership coaches and faculty in UIC’s principal preparation and development program. Prior to joining the Center, Dr. Walker was a researcher at Chapin Hall and the Center for Urban School Improvement, both at the University of Chicago. Lisa received her PhD in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University.
Co-CEO, UChicago Impact×
Maggie Walsh is Co-CEO of UChicago Impact. Previously, Maggie worked as the Director of STEP at UChicago Impact. She has a strong background in elementary literacy instruction, specifically for struggling readers and instructional coaching. She spent 10 years providing classroom instruction in elementary grades. She has a Bachelor’s in History with minors in Mathematics and German from Saint Mary’s College. She also earned her MAT in Elementary Education, Reading Specialist Certification, and Ed.D. in Reading and Language from National-Louis University.
Kirk Walters, Managing Researcher, American Institutes for Research (AIR)×
Kirk Walters, PhD, is a managing researcher at AIR whose research focuses on understanding ways to improve K-12 math teaching and learning. His work includes experimental trials of math professional development programs; experimental studies of online and blended Algebra I programs; mixed methods evaluations of student-centered teaching and systemic instructional initiatives; and research partnerships with policymakers and practitioners, including improvement science-oriented partnerships. Dr. Walters currently co-directs the Nellie Mae Education Foundation-funded Better Math Teaching Network, a collaboration among high school math teachers, math instructional leaders and improvement science researchers designed to increase student engagement and achievement in algebra.
Evaluator, Education Development Center (EDC)×
Anne Wang, Ph.D., has over 14 years of experience in leading and providing training and technical assistance to schools and districts across the country in areas including evaluation, strategic planning, youth violence prevention, implementation of evidence-based programs and practices, development of a culture of continuous improvement, and scaling of effective practices. In 2017/18, Dr. Wang provided training and technical assistance to the Vermont Agency of Education on continuous improvement processes and building a collaborative culture. She is highly skilled in strategic planning, evaluation planning, and data-driven continuous improvement. Through her work with the National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools, she facilitated networks of schools in developing, improving, and scaling innovations using continuous improvement processes. Through her work with school districts across New England to create greater equity in educational outcomes, she has trained and coached staff in continuous improvement processes. She holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University.
AIR Senior Researcher, RI Student-Centered Assessment Network (SCAN)×
Matthew Welch, Ph.D., is a senior researcher with the American Institutes for Research, focusing on district and school improvement, college and career readiness, and the implementation of new initiatives. At AIR, he has worked on several projects studying school change and policy implantation, including directing a study of alignment between teacher evaluation rubrics and state learning standards, examining the implementation of new learning frameworks in Massachusetts, leading visits to low-performing schools in the midst of turnaround, and advising states and districts on college and career readiness. Dr. Welch’s research skills include designing qualitative instruments, survey scales, and rubrics for evaluating complex policies and organizations. He is a former high school teacher and has held teaching licenses in two states, Massachusetts and Illinois. Dr. Welch received his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. He received his Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he was awarded an Urban Scholars Fellowship.
Language Arts Coordinator, Fairfax County Public Schools×
Paige Whitlock serves as a Secondary Language Arts Coordinator by leading the curriculum development and professional learning for 1000 middle school and high school English teachers serving 88,000 students and co-leading the Secondary Literacy Project which provides professional learning and networking for sixty middle and high school literacy teams in FCPS. Ms. Whitllock has taught middle and high school English in seven states and has held administrative positions in two high schools and central office. Ms. Whitlock earned a BA in English, a MEd in Education Leadership and is currently a doctoral candidate at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Educational Leadership and Policy.
Associate Professor, University at Albany×
Kristen Campbell Wilcox, PhD is an Associate Professor at the University at Albany and Research and Development Director of NYKids (a research-practice partnership focused on equity in education). A former ENL teacher in the U.S. as well as Puerto Rico and Brazil, she currently teaches courses in research methods, diversity in education, and improvement science for education and human services professionals. She has investigated the teaching of writing to adolescent ELLs and systems approaches to improving ELLs as well as other diverse students’ opportunities for learning.
VP Research Assessment and Data, Kingmakers of Oakland×
Gerald is the Kingmakers of Oakland point person for research, assessment and data. Gerald’s primary responsibilities are to designs tools, conduct program evaluation, produce data reports and collaborate with internal and external experts on improving Kingmakers of Oakland products. He is a founding member of Kingmakers of Oakland with a background in behavioral science and is a mixed methods researcher. Gerald brings over eight years of experience working with education data, business intelligence tools, and reporting meaningful change in complex systems.
President, The Rensselaerville Institute×
Gillian Williams leads The Rensselaerville Institute (TRI) a national nonprofit with a mission and track record in increasing life chances for young people. For more than 50 years TRI has helped people improve their lives by focusing relentlessly on the results that matter to them. TRI’s approach applies outcome thinking and practice to diverse challenges such as turning around low- performing schools, bringing fresh water to distressed rural communities, supporting volunteer citizens who spark change in neighborhoods, and partnering with nonprofits to get better results for those they serve. Gillian brings her strategic leadership and background as a teacher and principal in the South Bronx to a national team of results specialists who partner in a wide range of communities, schools, philanthropy, and other nonprofit organizations. Gillian is widely sought as an advisor and keynote speaker and connects regularly in classrooms and communities with leaders around the country.
Improvement Specialist, BTR Early Career Teaching Network, Boston Teacher Residency×
Brianna aims to support ambitious teaching, deeper learning, and equitable opportunity for all students by improving collaboration and integration between research and practice. As an Improvement Specialist for the Boston Teacher Residency’s Early Career Teaching Network, Brianna supports the network’s development and learning through continuous improvement methods. Previously she lead collaborative action research projects and designed and delivered professional development for Research Schools International, coached preservice teachers in Harvard’s Graduate Teacher Education Program, and taught high school Humanities and ESL in Boston Public Schools.
Adjunct Professor, Founder and Former Director of the K12 Lab Network Director, Stanford d.school×
Susie Wise is currently a Design Entrepreneur in Residence at Playworks, Faculty at the National Equity Project, and an Adjunct Professor at the Stanford d.school. She founded the K12 Lab Network at the d.school in 2007 to investigate the role that design thinking could play in the education sector. Leading the K12 Lab Susie co-designed School Retool, a fellowship for school leaders (now operating with local partners in more than 25 communities), the Shadow a Student Challenge, and the Liberatory Design toolkit (in collaboration with the National Equity Project). Susie is also a co-founder of Urban Montessori Charter School in Oakland, California and has a PhD in Learning Sciences and Technology Design from Stanford University.
Superintendent, Belvidere Community Unit School District #100×
Dan Woestman is the superintendent for the Belvidere Illinois School District and works to bless the lives of others by helping them make good choices through his optimism, perspective, and knowledge. Dan believes all children are a vital part of the communities we live in and our future, and that we have an obligation to give them the best learning experiences we can offer. He knows that schools have a tremendous influence on children both in and outside of the classroom, and that a high capacity, dedicated, and ever-learning staff are the most important resource schools offer children. Dan served as an English teacher for the Nebo School District in Utah, as well as an ESL teacher and administrator at Hononegah Community High School District in Illinois. He most recently served as the Chief Quality Officer for the Rockford Public Schools in Illinois for five years before taking his current position in Belvidere. Dan holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Northern Illinois University.
Director of Quality and Continual Improvement, Urbandale Community School District×
Denise Wood has served as the Director of Quality and Continual Improvement for Urbandale Community Schools since 2013 where she oversees strategic planning and the implementation of quality and continual improvement practices. Working closely with the Director of Teaching and Learning, Denise provides leadership development for district administrators, department supervisors, and teacher-leaders. Serving UCSD since 2004 as an elementary teacher, curriculum specialist, and Coordinator of Instructional Support, Denise is passionate about providing UCSD students with exceptional learning experiences through the district’s vision of “bringing learning life for everyone.” An experienced district administrator, Denise’s areas of interest include leader development, strategic planning, and the application of the Baldrige Framework. Denise holds a B.S. from Iowa State University, an M.A. from Viterbo University, and an MSE from Drake University.
Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Ke joined the Foundation as an associate in networked improvement science in 2017. Before joining Carnegie, she collaborated with the New York City Department of Education as part of an improvement science researcher-practitioner engagement while completing her legal studies. Ke’s prior experience spans the intersections of education, race and poverty, and access to justice. Ke has advocated alongside indigent clients, taught high school chemistry in the Los Angeles Unified School District, worked on youth empowerment programs, and researched education initiatives focused on disadvantaged youth while circumnavigating the world. She holds a JD from NYU School of Law, an MPhil on the topic of Politics, Development and Democratic Education from the University of Cambridge, and a BS in Biochemistry from Arizona State University. Ke emigrated from China at the age of five and began her journey in the US education system as an English Language Learner at a Title I school in Arizona.
Associate, Chief in Analytics, Evidence and Analyatics, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching×
Hiroyuki Yamada is Carnegie’s chief in analytics where he leads the design of an analytics agenda that supports each of the Foundation’s networked improvement communities. Hiro comes to Carnegie from Belkin International, Inc., where he applied his measurement and evaluation skills to consumer research. Previously, he spent 9 years in education research at the Berkeley Evaluation and Assessment Research (BEAR) Center and at the Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), both based at UC Berkeley. Hiro holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Waseda University in Tokyo, a master’s degree in gifted/creative education from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in human development and education from UC Berkeley.
Data Analyst, Trellis Education×
Wendy Yau is a former mathematics teacher and current Education Pioneers Fellow.
Michelle D. Young
Executive Director, University Council of Educational Administration×
Michelle Young, Executive Director of UCEA, works with universities, practitioners, professional organizations and state and national leaders to improve the preparation and practice of school and school system leaders, and to develop a dynamic base of knowledge on excellence in educational leadership. Young’s work has significantly increased the focus of education research on leadership preparation. Her work is published in highly ranked peer-review journals, including the Educational Researcher, the American Educational Research Journal, and the Journal of Educational Administration. She recently edited the first Handbook of Research on the Education of School Leaders.
Associate Professor Emerita; Associate Director of the Carnegie Foundation on the Education Doctorate (CPED), Arizona State University×
Debby Zambo is an Associate Professor Emerita from Arizona State University currently working as the Associate Director of the Carnegie Foundation on the Education Doctorate (CPED). Debby received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University and worked at ASU for 10 years as an Associate Professor in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation in Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. While at ASU, Debby served as Coordinator of the EdD in Leadership and Innovation. Since 2012 she has worked closely with Dr. Jill Perry, Director of CPED, helping with various aspects of the organization. In this capacity she has worked with the CFAT Higher Education Network and given several workshops on Improvement Science for the CPED consortium.
Teacher, Del Dayo Elementary School, San Juan Unified School District×
Carrie Zanetti is an elementary teacher in the San Juan Unified School District at Del Dayo Elementary School located in Sacramento, California. Ms. Zanetti has assumed various leadership roles that include being an elected member of the School Leadership Team, the chairperson for the Student Leadership Team and Vision Committee, and as the school site Testing Coordinator. As a member of the School Leadership Team, she has planned and facilitated professional learning focused on supporting staff with using disciplined inquiry practices to improve student outcomes. Specifically, integrating empathy mapping and design thinking to foster safe, productive learning environments. Carrie has taught 5th grade for fifteen years and has focused on developing student leadership by engaging students in self-reflection, data collection, goal setting, and facilitating student led conferences. Ms. Zanetti holds an undergraduate degree in geography and a Master’s degree in applied school leadership.