Update on Virtual Summit
March 24, 2020
Read the new announcement by Carnegie Foundation President Tony Bryk about the schedule and format of the virtual Summit.
March 31–April 3, 2020
The Carnegie Summit brings together practitioners, researchers, thought leaders, policymakers, and others to share how they are using continuous improvement approaches and capturing the power of networks. Keynote speakers with diverse perspectives and deep expertise inspire and challenge attendees to ask probing questions about improvement in education. Read on to learn more about the cutting edge improvers and innovators presenting at this year’s Summit.
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.
John B. Diamond and Amanda E. Lewis
Co-authors, "Despite the Best Intentions: Why Racial Inequality Persists in Good Schools"×
John B. Diamond and Amanda E. Lewis are co-authors of the award-winning book, Despite the Best Intentions: Why Racial Inequality Persists in Good Schools. Through five years of interviews and data-gathering at a suburban high school, Diamond and Lewis created a rich and disturbing portrait of the racial achievement gap that persists more than 50 years after the formal dismantling of segregation under Brown v Board of Education of Topeka.
Lewis is the Director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor of African-American Studies and Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on how race shapes educational opportunities and on how our ideas about race get negotiated in everyday life, and she consults regularly on issues of educational equity and contemporary forms of racism.
Diamond is the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis and a faculty affiliate in the Departments of Afro-American Studies and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. A sociologist of race and education, he studies the relationship between social inequality and educational opportunity by examining how educational leadership, policies, and practices shape students’ educational opportunities and outcomes.
Author, "Rebel Talent"×
Professor Francesca Gino is an award-winning expert on the psychology of organizations. Her research focuses on decision making in the workplace, and how leaders and employees can have more productive, creative, and fulfilling lives.
Gino is the Tandon Family Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School and co-chairs Harvard Business School Executive Education programs on Behavioral Economics, focusing on how to apply behavioral insights to organizational problems, and Driving Profitable Growth. Her most recent book, Rebel Talent: Why it Pays to Break the Rules in Work and Life, captures more than a decade studying rebels at organizations around the world and identifies leaders and employees who exemplify “rebel talent” as masters of innovation and reinvention.
She has received numerous awards for her teaching and research, and her studies have been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and on National Public Radio.
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 as Special Assistant to the Chancellor at the University of California, Merced.
State Transformation Specialist, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction×
As a State Transformation Specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Gail Anderson leads continuous improvement and Implementation Science work that transforms the way the school system is designed, creating opportunities for teams to build, assess and sustain effective practices. Her 32 years of leadership at state, regional, district, and school levels has helped hundreds of districts across the Midwest ensure that the investments they make lead to improved student outcomes. Gail has served districts as an independent consultant, school psychologist, district level administrator, school board president and Baldrige examiner.
CEO, The Fund Chicago×
Heather Y. Anichini is the CEO of The Chicago Public Education Fund, a 20-year-old nonprofit that transforms Chicago public schools by investing in the talented educators who lead them. Under her leadership, The Fund has raised more than $45 million and has improved principal quality and retention across the district. The organization currently serves more than half of the city’s public school principals, who support more than 165,000 students. Heather began her career in education as a middle school social studies teacher on Chicago’s West Side. She then went on to spearhead strategic leadership initiatives within Chicago Public Schools and Teach For America. Heather serves on the board of Thrive Chicago and the advisory boards for Teach For America Chicago/Northwest Indiana and the Urban Education Institute at the University of Chicago. In addition, Heather holds advanced degrees in education and public service and is currently enrolled in a doctoral program. She is a certified teacher and administrator in Illinois.
Executive Director, Institute for Learning, University of Pittsburgh×
Rosa E. Apodaca, Executive Director, Institute for Learning at the Learning Research Development Center, University of Pittsburgh, brings first-hand knowledge of large urban public schools to the work of designing systems to increase student learning and achievement. The Institute for Learning (IFL) has developed practical and research-based solutions for schools nationwide for 25 years by partnering with educational organizations at the district, state, and national levels. The IFL’s mission is to support high-quality education for every student, with a focus on underserved students of color, students in low-income situations, and emerging bilingual students. Dr. Apodaca leads the organization’s work centering education as a key racial and economic justice issue and has extensive expertise in leading initiatives using multiple strategies to achieve goals. Apodaca also supports school and district leaders to embrace improvement science tools and practices to increase the writing achievement of students of color.
Senior Program Associate, WestEd×
Kim Austin is a Senior Program Associate at WestEd in the Innovation Studies Program and Director of Dissemination for the Regional Educational Laboratory West. She currently manages a multi-year project in partnership with Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada that leverages improvement science to support teacher learning about literacy instruction. A qualitative researcher by training, she has experience in evaluation, dissemination, producing multimedia content, and online professional learning. She coordinated the research, dissemination and online instructional design for the i3-funded project Leading with Learning, focused on supporting English-learner instruction in two California districts. Austin received an MEd from Harvard University, concentrating on human development and psychology, and a PhD in educational psychology from Stanford University.
Distinguished Professor of Practice, National Louis University; Former Member, Chicago Board of Education×
Carlos Azcoitia is the Founding Principal of a new “Comprehensive Community School” concept on Chicago’s Little Village Neighborhood. He left central office to become Principal again at John Spry Community School and Community Links High School. Dr. Azcoitia served as the Deputy Chief of Education in the Chicago Public Schools. In this role, he was administratively responsible for a large number of wide-ranging departments, programs and services. He has been a teacher, administrator, and has served as principal in the Chicago Public Schools. Currently, Dr. Azcoitia serves as Professor Emeritus in Educational Leadership at National Louis University. He was the former Distinguished Professor of Practice. He also provided leadership to thirty five schools and 33,000 students as Interim Chief of Midway Network in Chicago during the 2011- 2012 school year. He has been a mentor, coach and assessor for new and aspiring principals.
Senior Transformation Sensei, Virginia Mason Institute×
Chris Backous, MHA, is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. He leads improvement activities, workshops and training for health care leaders and providers worldwide. By embedding innovative methods into the lean concepts he teaches, he works with clients to unlock the revolutionary thinking necessary to transform health care. Prior to joining Virginia Mason Institute, Chris led the integration of lean methods into the design of Virginia Mason’s 350,000-square-foot hospital addition, the first environment of its kind to be built from the ground up using the Virginia Mason Production System. He also led numerous improvement events using lean tools and methods to improve health care processes.
6th Grade Lead Mathematics and Science Teacher & ILT Member, Para Los Niños Charter Middle School×
Jesse Balderas has been an educator for 11 years and has taught both elementary and middle school students. Jesse holds a masters degree in Curriculum/Instruction and Elementary Education and serves on an instructional leadership team and as a credential induction mentor to teachers through the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Jesse has also been trained in instructional coaching by the New Teacher Center to help coach teachers to improve instruction.
President, Missoula Education Association
Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation×
For seventeen years, Amber has worked as a teacher, researcher, grantmaker, advocate, and community organizer. Amber is a Senior Program Officer, Pacific Northwest at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is part of local grant making team focused on closing opportunity gaps in the Puget Sound region. Previously, Amber was a partnership consultant for Oakland Unified School District and a practice associate at Education Trust-West. Amber was a Leadership Fellow with the Pahara Institute working on early design and research for the NextGen Fellowship. Amber started her career as a special education teacher in Los Angeles, and taught K-12 students for eight years. Amber left the classroom to pursue a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University and a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington.
Coordinator P3, Early School Success, Marin County Office of Education×
Bonnie Barron has been an educator for 32 years. She worked as a 1st-5th grade teacher for 15 years, an elementary principal for 16 years, and is now in her second year as the Coordinator for Marin County’s P3, Early School Success (P3, ESS) Initiative. Funded by Marin Community Foundation, Marin County schools have been working for over 10 years on the P3, ESS initiative to improve the full learning continuum that children experience from pre-school through the elementary years. Our current driving question is, “Knowing that institutionalized racism and poverty lead to predictable and inequitable student outcomes, how do we as informed adults interrupt this narrative”? Bonnie is passionate about this work, spending most of her time working collaboratively supporting school leaders in a continuous model of improvement to improve student outcomes for our most vulnerable students in Marin County.
Assistant Clinical Professor and Program Coordinator, University of Illinois at Chicago EdD Program in Urban Education Leadership×
Dr. Cynthia K. Barron is Coordinator of the UIC Ed.D. Program in Urban Education Leadership, where she has served as clinical faculty and leadership coach for ten years. She co-leads the full-year residency course for aspiring principals, and coordinates and teaches courses in the UIC superintendent endorsement strand of the Ed.D. Program. Cynthia has more than forty years’ experience in education, of which thirty-five were in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) as a teacher, athletic coach, counselor, assistant principal, principal, truancy and dropout prevention coordinator, Area Instruction Officer, and Interim Chief Officer for High Schools. As Area Instructional Officer, Cynthia supervised and developed 40+ high school principals. During a seven-year period, schools under her supervision improved performance on a wide range of measures. Cynthia completed her B.A. at George Williams College, her master’s degree at Chicago State University, and her Ph.D. at Loyola University of Chicago.
Executive Director of Elementary Schools, Green Bay Area Public Schools
Multi-Tiered System of Support Coordinator, Santa Clara County Office of Education×
Rhonda Beasley is currently the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) Coordinator at the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Prior to joining the SCCOE as the Elementary ELA/ELD Coordinator in 2012, Rhonda served as an elementary classroom teacher, a Reading First Coach, and a Teacher on Special Assignment for English Language Arts supporting 29 elementary schools. As the Multi-Tiered System of Support Coordinator, she supports districts with their alignment of their academic and behavior systems in order to more comprehensively support students, teachers, and families.
Nicole Williams Beechum
Senior Research Analyst, UChicago Consortium on School Research×
Nicole Williams Beechum is a researcher at the UChicago Consortium. Nicole’s work has focused on the transitions to high school and postsecondary opportunities. She is co-organizing a national network focused on equity for historically marginalized students, the Building Equitable Learning Environments Network. Her research interests include how classroom environments contribute to student success, academically and developmentally. Nicole was in the second cohort of the Surge Institute’s fellowship designed to empower education leaders of color. She has a BA from Mount Saint Mary’s University, and an MA and PhD from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.
Principal Advisor, Improvement Science Consulting; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation×
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 senior 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, Solar Preparatory School for Girls×
Dr. Nancy Bernardino is the founder and principal of Solar Preparatory School for Girls in Dallas ISD. Bernardino has led Solar Prep to earn an “A” rating on the Texas Education Agency’s accountability system and the campus earned all the distinctions it was eligible to receive, making it one of the top 25% of schools in its comparison group with schools across the state. In December 2019, Bernardino was recognized as Dallas ISD Principal of the Year and Master Principal, making her one of the top 10% of principals in the district. Bernardino serves as a Trustee for the National Coalition of Girls Schools, the leading advocate for girls’ schools in the US. Additionally, Bernardino is the president of the Association of Hispanic School Administrators, an organization dedicated to increasing the pipeline of Latino leaders in school administration. She is also a member of Dallas’ based Hispanic 100.
Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation×
Al Bertani is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He also serves as a senior advisor with the Urban Education Institute at the University of Chicago and a senior advisor with LEAP Innovations at 1871 in Chicago. His work focuses on designs for professional learning; 21st century personalized learning models; leadership and organization development; and innovation and improvement for large-scale change. Al spent the last third of his career working on urban school reform in support of the Chicago Public Schools, having served as: senior researcher for the Urban School Leadership Program with University of Illinois at Chicago; chief officer for professional development with Chicago Public Schools; senior executive director for Chicago Leadership Academies for Supporting Success with the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association; and co-director of School and Leadership Development with the Center for School Improvement at the University of Chicago.
Senior Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation×
Manuelito 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.
Assistant Dean of Culture, Pritzker College Prep×
As the current Assistant Dean of Culture at one of the highest rated public high schools in Chicago, Chris continues to pull from his background and experiences in Cultural Studies, Linguistics, and TESOL. His teaching background consists of leadership coaching at a gap year program, Teach for America on a Lakota reservation in South Dakota, and secondary math instruction. He has led more than 20 service-learning education projects for students in over 15 countries and presented workshops to educational leaders on Cultural Competencies and partnerships in the classroom and community.
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 a 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, high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment. Heidi’s work for StriveTogether was recognized as a 2019 Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement by the Carnegie Foundation.
Director of Curriculum and Learning, School District of Menomonee Falls×
Casey Blochowiak serves as the Director of Curriculum and Learning for the School District of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Casey has served as a high school social studies teacher, literacy specialist, associate principal, elementary principal, and high school principal. She believes in the capacity of all teachers to make a difference in the lives of students. Casey holds a B.A. from Marquette University, a master’s degree in literacy from Concordia University-Wisconsin and is completing her doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Her research interest is the value of improvement science to education, with a specific focus on positive deviance mythology.
Associate Research Analyst, Santa Clara County Office of Education×
Dr. Erica Boas is an Associate Research Analyst at the Santa Clara County Office of Education. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Studies in Education from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley and has over ten years of experience in education research. In addition, she has been an elementary classroom teacher, Reading Specialist, university professor, educational consultant, and community organizer. In her current role, she works with the Differentiated Assistance and District Support team in the Equity and Educational Progress Division at the SCCOE to assist school districts in their improvement work. In addition, current projects include work toward the development of an equity assessment tool for schools, facilitation of professional learning for teachers on action research for racial equity, and learning as much as she can about supporting schools and districts in continuous improvement.
Founder and CEO, Improving Education×
Jarrod Bolte is the founder of Improving Education, a non-profit working with schools, districts, and organizations to improve educational outcomes through the use of improvement science. He has led efforts in Baltimore City Public Schools to improve early literacy, increase teacher quality and retention, and develop curriculum for PreK–12 classrooms. He is a former teacher, school-based administrator, Director of Teacher Development, and Executive Director of Teaching and Learning. He has served on multiple state and national commissions focused on a variety of educational initiatives. He also served as Baltimore Team Lead for the BTEN improvement initiative with the Carnegie Foundation and has been using improvement science in a variety of contexts in the non-profit education sector.
Improvement Specialist, WestEd×
Alicia Bowman is an Improvement Specialist at WestEd for the Innovation Studies Program and Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West). Alicia has over 20 years of experience working in K-12 schools, as both a practitioner and coach, applying continuous improvement for equity. Her K-12 roles have included teacher, principal, principal supervisor, and district office administrator. She is also a former coach for the National Equity Project, where she led and supported on-the-ground improvement efforts in schools and school districts.
Executive Director, Center for Leadership and Educational Equity×
Prior to co-founding CLEE, Donna served in urban secondary public schools as a science teacher and a school leader in Tucson, AZ and Providence, RI. She holds a BS from Southern Illinois University, an MS from the Florida Institute of Technology, is a PRN grad and has an Ed.D. from Johnson and Wales University. Donna’s focus is on research and implementation of transformative leadership development to advance educational equity.
Senior Director District Improvement, StriveTogether×
Cheryl Broadnax is senior director for district improvement at StriveTogether, where she leads efforts to support K-12 systems to achieve better, more equitable results through providing technical assistance and aligning national partners supporting school districts. Before joining StriveTogether, Cheryl was an assistant superintendent for Cincinnati Public Schools. She expanded preschool programs, led improvement efforts, and improved literacy outcomes by partnering with community and health care agencies. She received the Women of Influence Award in 2015. Prior to leading at the district level, Cheryl served as principal of Hartwell School in Cincinnati. She led the school to the Ohio Department of Education’s highest state rating. These results earned her the Cincinnatus Association’s 2013 James N. Jacobs Award for Outstanding Administration. Cheryl earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Tennessee, a master’s in education from Mount St. Joseph University and an administration certification from Xavier University.
Elaine Farber Budish
Director, UPD Consulting×
Elaine has been with UPD since 2010, during which she has led the development and roll-out of continuous improvement processes with State Departments of Education and school districts across the country. Elaine led a project that brought four Florida districts (Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Lake and Volusia) together as part of a collaborative network to improve implementation of standards-aligned instruction. She has supported the Memphis, TN, Omaha, NE, and Syracuse, NY school districts to bring district leadership, principals, and central office staff together to set goals, identify the highest leverage work to reach their goals and then implement regular data-driven, continuous improvement practices. Previously, Elaine designed, facilitated and managed nine cross-district networks in Rhode Island to accelerate the implementation of the state’s Race to the Top initiatives. She also led the replication of this model in Illinois, under the umbrella of the US Department of Education’s Reform Support Network. Elaine holds a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from Brown University and a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
Mai Anh Bui
Data Analyst, Evidence & Analytics, Carnegie Foundation×
Mai Anh Bui is a data analyst in the evidence and analytics group. Her work helps education systems improve outcomes through analytics, automates analytic processes, and works with collaborative technology for social network analysis. Mai Anh previously worked at the World Bank Group as a statistical analyst who utilized time series analysis and regression models to provide timely updates on global economic developments and gross domestic product forecasts. She also worked as a research analyst at the International Monetary Fund assessing country risk from the Vulnerability Exercise for Low-Income Countries.
Mai Anh received an M.A. in statistics from the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds a B.A. in economics and mathematics from Grinnell College.
Engagement Manager, Mass Insight Education & Research×
Jenna is an Engagement Manager on Mass Insight’s School Improvement Team. Her work includes school and district diagnostics, facilitation of planning processes, and leading instructional improvement work with partners. Since 2016, Jenna has supported the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation with the development of an instructional coaching model that leverages a network model to quickly address common challenges and scale solutions. This work began with a national analysis of why some instructional coaching models lead to results and others do not, forming the basis for the Mass Insight Instructional Coaching Framework now used to improve teacher practice and student learning in Evansville and elsewhere. Jenna began her career in education as a high school biology teacher and grade level chair in rural North Carolina.
Director, Academic Services, Alum Rock Union School District×
Barbara Campbell is currently Director of Academic Services at Alum Rock Union Elementary School District located in East San Jose, California. She has been with the school district since 1985 when she began her career as a Special Day Class teacher. Prior to being a director, she has been a bilingual SDC teacher, Title I Resource Teacher, Assistant Principal in both elementary and middle school, Dean of Academics in middle school and most recently a Principal in middle school. She has served in her present role since 2017. As Director, she supports school administrators’ leadership development, and guides sites in academic instruction and curriculum implementations. She works with the implementation of state accountability, leading Differentiated Assistance at the LEA level and the continuous improvement efforts at the sites.
Executive Director, Marshall Street Initiatives, Summit Public Schools×
Adam Carter is the executive director of Marshall Street Initiatives, the program development division of Summit Public Schools. Adam led the design of Summit’s school model, Summit Learning, and Summit’s educator pathways programs. Today, tens of thousands of families and hundreds of public schools have embraced the Summit model. As chief academic officer at Summit Public Schools from 2012-2019, Adam led academic programs, curricula, research and development, data and information, product development, continuous improvement, coaching, and professional development across the network. Adam was a teacher in Argentina and Indonesia, where he founded the Innovative Schools Programme, an NGO initiative advancing school improvement in Jakarta. He was a founding teacher at Summit Preparatory Charter School, where he received California’s New Outstanding Teacher Award. Previously, he worked in district schools in California. Adam is an Aspen-Pahara fellow and he holds degrees from Stanford University and Presbyterian College.
Vice President, Implementation, Colorado Education Initiative (CEI)×
Before Dr. Alex Carter joined the leadership team at the Colorado Education Initiative in 2016, Alex served as a high school history teacher, department chair, assistant principal, principal, Chief Academic Officer for an educational start-up, and as the superintendent of schools of the Montezuma-Cortez School District in southwestern Colorado. In 2003, Alex was honored to receive a National Milken Educator Award. He has authored two articles for the NASSP journal Principal Leadership, co-authored The Insider’s Guide to High School (2010), a handbook designed to help parents support their child’s successful transition to high school, contributed to the acclaimed educators’ handbook Be A Teacher (2007), and was featured in Sterrett’s ASCD’s publication on effective school leadership, Insights into Action (2011). Alex has presented at multiple national conferences on topics ranging from 21st century learning, to the power of developing meaningful relationships in the classroom, to leading change in schools and districts.
Vice President, Education Programs, Pivot Learning×
Allison Carter leads a portfolio of grant-funded projects, including three networks of school districts working together to solve shared problems of practice, several research-focused projects, and a project focused on working with districts to redesign state-mandated Local Control and Accountability Plans. Allison manages partnerships with organizations including Policy Analysis for California Education at Stanford, WestEd, American Institutes for Research, EdTrust-West, the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, and the California Department of Education. Prior to joining Pivot, Allison was a Fellow at Alameda USD with Education Pioneers, and an elementary school teacher in New York City. Allison was a 2005 NYC Teach for America Corps Member. Allison has an MA in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies from Stanford University and an MST in Elementary Education from Pace University in New York.
Principal, Carver & Company; Senior Fellow, Strategy and Business Development, Carnegie Foundation×
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.
Senior 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 an 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.
Director of Outlier Research & Evaluation, UChicago STEM Education; Research Associate Professor, University of Chicago×
Jeanne Century is the Director of Outlier Research & Evaluation at UChicago STEM Education and a Research Associate Professor at the University of Chicago. Century has spent the majority of her thirty-two-year career working in and with urban schools and large urban school districts. She has done curriculum development, professional development, technical assistance and strategic planning with teachers, school and district administrators, organizational leaders and state leaders across the country. Century has conducted evaluations of wide-ranging programs for learners of all ages in both in-school and out-of-school settings. While her research efforts have included the impact of inquiry science instruction, STEM Schools, and computer science education, her primary area of interest is measurement of implementation, spread and sustainability of innovations. Century and her colleagues at Outlier have developed frameworks for conducting implementation research that they have applied in numerous settings, primarily through research-practice partnerships.
Associate, Managing Director, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation×
Melissa is an associate managing director for networked improvement science 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.
Senior Associate, Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy×
Sinead Chalmers was born in the Bronx, NY into a working-class family and immigrant community. Sinead was the first in her family to earn a postsecondary education, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Stonehill College and a Master’s degree in Sociology with a focus on education policy from Boston College. Ms. Chalmers’ experience navigating higher education as a first-generation American and first-generation college student inspired her to pursue a career evaluating and improving the public education system. As a Senior Associate, Sinead focuses on the inequities in the education pipeline and has produced policy reports that critically analyze trends in state-level indicators that measure progress and proficiency. Sinead also serves as the lead consultant to intermediary organizations that partner with local public-school districts to strategically implement strategies that are designed to support the diversity of student populations across the state. Additionally, Ms. Chalmers has worked as an adjunct professor at Stonehill College and Bridgewater State University, teaching courses in the fundamentals of sociological practice and a seminar on social movements.
Education and Non-Profit Advisor×
Warren K. Chapman is a transformational leader with extensive expertise in education, philanthropy, and nonprofit management. Chapman spent much of his career in philanthropy, serving as the Vice President and National Philanthropic Advisor at JP Morgan Chase; President of the Bank One Foundation, and Lead Program Officer at the Joyce Foundation. He also served as the Vice Chancellor for External Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he founded the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement. Other roles in higher education and nonprofit management include: Senior Vice President for Administration, and Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Columbia College Chicago; Chief Advancement Officer at the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind; and Statewide Coordinator for High School Reform, Illinois State Board of Education. Chapman received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeastern Illinois University, and a doctorate in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
LaShawn Route Chatmon
Founding Executive Director, National Equity Project×
LaShawn Routé Chatmon is the founding Executive Director of the National Equity Project, leading the organization’s transition from the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools (BayCES). LaShawn previously served as a coach and director of BayCES’ high school redesign initiative, where her team pioneered new school design processes, principal network development and site coaching that transformed educational experiences and outcomes for teachers and students in Oakland, CA. Prior to joining the National Equity Project, LaShawn served as a teacher and leader at Redwood Day School, Alameda, CA; The Wheeler School, Providence, RI; and Berkeley High School, Berkeley, CA. LaShawn is a contributing author in the book Unfinished Business: Closing the Racial Achievement Gap in Schools. She was a MetLife Teaching Fellow, a LeaderSpring ED Fellow, and a Pahara Fellow. LaShawn earned a B.A. in political science from University of California, Berkeley; a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University; and an Administrative Credential from California State University, Sacramento’s Urban Leadership Program.
Chief Officer, Office of Teaching and Learning, Chicago Public Schools×
Dr. Sherly Chavarria is a bilingual, urban school leader with ten years of educational experience serving as an educator and administrator focused on equity and access at the classroom, school, and district level. Most recently, Sherly served as the Deputy Chief of the Office of Teaching and Learning where she has focused on advancing the district’s commitment to academic progress through major initiatives such as the Curriculum Equity Initiative. Prior to her role as Deputy Chief, Sherly served as the principal for William P. Nixon Elementary School, and spent her tenure building trust throughout her school community while developing a shared instructional vision, strengthening community relations and activities, and improving the school’s operational functioning. Sherly was a teacher at National Teachers Academy where she was recognized for her leadership with the Madeleine Maraldi Award for Teacher Leader Excellence. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in psychology and cultural social anthropology, a master’s degree in teaching from National Louis University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Executive Director, Chula Vista Elementary School District×
Gloria Elena Ciriza is the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD), which is California’s largest K-6 school district. Dr. Ciriza has been an educator for 24 years. Her career includes serving in three of the largest school systems in San Diego County. She has served as a classroom teacher at elementary and middle school levels and as a site and district-level administrator. Her community involvement includes serving a three-year term on the Commission on Aging for the City of Chula Vista and serving as a member of the Chula Vista Kiwanis. She is an active member of the Association of California School Administrators, Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, and the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators. Dr. Ciriza was named the 2018 ACSA, Region 18 Administrator of the Year for Curriculum and Instruction.
Partner, Boston Consulting Group×
Kelsey Clark is a member of Boston Consulting Group’s Public Sector and People & Organization practices as well as a member of the firm’s education leadership team in the US. Kelsey focuses primarily on the education, employment, and welfare sector, covering topics including strategy, change management, performance management, consumer insight, and organization design and transformation. Some of her client work has included supporting the development and implementation of a comprehensive early-childhood education strategy—from birth to third grade—for one of the largest urban school districts. She also supported the transformation of a community college to align programs to the workforce needs of the community and increase student success; and developed a case for change and long-range strategic planning to guide a state legislature with deep dives on education, health care, and economic development in rural communities.
Director of Legal Strategy and Policy, Center for Public Research and Leadership×
Andrea is a Director of Legal Strategy and Policy at Columbia University’s Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL). Before joining CPRL, Andrea worked with Bronx educators to advocate for policy change at the local and state level. Andrea began her career as a middle school English teacher in Newark, New Jersey. She earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her AB in English from Princeton University.
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.
Consultant, PSU Leaders of Color Mentorship Program×
Lisa is an education professional with 25 years of experience. She holds degrees in psychology and education and works as a business and education consultant. As a learning and development professional, Lisa supports talent management and business partners to solve workforce challenges. She brings a gender and equity lens to her working environments and her communities as a person of color. Lisa can see multiple perspectives, creates community, and is completing a doctorate in education. Lisa serves on the Oregon Assembly of Black Affairs and the advisory board for Strategies of Trauma Awareness and Resilience with Eastern Mennonite University, Portland State University Educational Leaders of Color, and Oregon School Employee Wellness Conference Committee. Creatively, Lisa is a playwright with works produced in New York (Manhattan Repertory Theater) and Portland (Hipbone, Portland Center Stage, and the Armory). She lives in Portland with her wife and the youngest of their four children.
Lecturer, Stanford in Washington Program, Stanford University; Former Senior Executive, U.S. Department of Education×
Joseph Conaty currently teaches educational policy at the Stanford in Washington program, Stanford University. He was a Senior Executive of the U.S. Department of Education. During his 30-year government career, he served in a variety of leadership roles including Director of the Office of Research, Director of the Student Achievement & Assessment Institute, Director of Academic Improvement & Teacher Quality, Acting Director of the Office of Educational Technology, and Acting Deputy Secretary of Education. Prior to his government service, Dr. Conaty taught graduate statistics & research methods for the social and behavioral sciences.
Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation×
Benjamin Cooper is an associate with the networked improvement science group at the Carnegie Foundation. He joined the Foundation in 2018 as a networked improvement science fellow, 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. At the University of California, Benjamin worked as a researcher with the Improvement by Design Research group, a network-improvement support person for multiple school sites with the Los Angeles School Improvement Network, and a researcher for multiple K-12 initiatives with the NSF-funded Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center.
Before moving to California, Benjamin was 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 earned a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Post-Baccalaureate Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation×
Cierra 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.
Senior Team Lead, Montclair School of Academics and Enrichment in Denver Public Schools×
Nicole Cooper-White has been a teacher in special education and teacher leader for 15 years. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a MAEd in Administration from the University of Phoenix. Nicole has had the unique pleasure of teaching a variety of levels including 2nd grade through 12th in mild/moderate settings and general education. She created the system of inclusive practices at Montclair School of Academics and Enrichment using the Driver model and PDSA cycles. As a teacher leader, Nicole coaches special education teachers and general education teachers on how to co-teach to produce results for all students. In addition to her work as an instructional coach, Nicole is the lead for equity at Montclair.
Director of Research and Evaluation, BARR Center×
Maryann Corsello, Ph.D. is Director of Research and 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. Department of Education 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 for underserved students.
Evelyn Cosme Jones
Assistant Director, Principal Residency Network, Center for Leadership and Educational Equity×
Evelyn attended public schools in NYC and RI and has a BA (Brown University) and an M.Ed. (URI) in education. She has been a social worker, freelance interpreter, teacher, and school and district leader in Providence for 13 years and in Central Falls for 10 years. She founded the Seal of Biliteracy in 2015 in Central Falls, which helped to launch districts from across RI to implement the Seal. She believes that a key to equity is providing students with varied opportunities for language learning (any language!). She shares her life journey with her husband, 3 children and grandchildren, and enjoys long hikes and geocaching.
State Transformation Specialist, Kentucky Department of Education×
Andrea Craig joined the Kentucky Department of Education in the fall of 2019 as the State Transformation Specialist. In this role, she continuously improves the capacity of the state and its regions, districts, and schools to effectively implement the State Systemic Improvement Plan and improve mathematics outcomes for all students with a focus on students with disabilities. Through the use of Implementation and Improvement Science, she engages teams and teachers who are linked with strong communication protocols to continuously improve the systems of supports available to school staff and teachers to close long standing disparities. She holds a B.A. in Communication Sciences & Disorders from Harding University and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education and Elementary Education from Liberty University. Before joining the Kentucky Department of Education, Andrea worked as a special educator developing expertise in co-teaching personally and in collaboration with school staff.
Chief Schools Officer, New Visions for Public Schools×
Shannon Curran joined New Visions in 2016 as Chief Schools Officer. Shannon leads the School Support Department, providing direct support to a network of 71 district schools and comprehensive supports to its network of 10 charter high schools in NYC. This includes core strategy implementation in continuous improvement and strategic data check ins. Before coming to New Visions, she was managing director at the Urban Assembly where she was responsible for support services for the UA’s 21 district secondary schools across NYC. Shannon’s career in public education spans over 25 years, serving NYC students as a teacher, staff developer, assistant principal and as principal of the Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice. She received a Fulbright Administrator Exchange to Argentina and an Educational Seminars Exchange in Brazil. She holds an MA in TESOL from Teachers College, Columbia University and an M.Ed from Bank Street College of Education.
Associate, Networked Improvement Science; and Director, Post Baccalaureate Fellowship Program, Carnegie Foundation×
Patrice Dawkins-Jackson is an associate in networked improvement science. She 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.
Jen de Forest
Partnerships Lead, YouthTruth Student Survey×
Jen has a passion for the art and science of school improvement. Jen spent a decade in the classroom and led schools in California and NYC. She earned a master’s degree as a fellow at Teachers College, Columbia and a doctorate from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education where she chaired the Harvard Educational Review’s editorial board. As a professor at UVA, Jen published widely about philanthropy in education reform, and she taught courses on research design. Jen relishes her work at YouthTruth, where she helps school leaders access the insights of their communities — and turn those insights into action.
President, Green Bay Education Association×
Justin Delfosse has been a special education teacher for the last 18 years in the Green Bay Area Public School District. He received his Masters Degree in special education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Justin has served as the president of the Green Bay Education Association for the last two years.
Executive Director, Oak Park Education Foundation×
Tracy Dell’Angela (Barber) has spent the last three years as executive director of the Oak Park Education Foundation, an independent nonprofit which provides STEAM enrichment to 5,000+ students during and after school and through a fee-based summer learning camp. She previously worked as a founding director and managing editor at Education Post, served as Director of Outreach and Communications for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C, and led communications at the Chicago Public Education Fund and the University of Chicago’s Consortium on School Research. Tracy spent most of her career as a newspaper journalist, including 12 years at the Chicago Tribune as an education reporter covering national education policy and the Chicago Public Schools.
ELA Fellow, Institute for Learning, University of Pittsburgh×
Sara is an English language arts (ELA) Fellow at the Institute for Learning (IFL) at the University of Pittsburgh. As a Fellow, she works with educators in various school districts on research, curriculum development, and professional development. She is currently part of the Network for School Improvement grant team, collaborating with educators in Dallas ISD to study a problem of practice using improvement science methods. Before joining the IFL, Sara taught high school ELA and reading in Hillsborough County, FL. She is also a teaching fellow at University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education, where she teaches graduate-level methods and research courses.
Principal, Buena Vista High School×
Kevin is the principal at Buena Vista High School in the rural mountain community of Buena Vista, Colorado. Previously, he was a math and science teacher-leader at Polaris Expeditionary Learning School in Fort Collins, Colorado. In addition to these roles, Kevin has served in a variety of capacities with National Geographic Education, EL Education, Fund for Teachers, Colorado State University’s School Leadership Institute, and as the Chair of Education for a Rwandan NGO, Arise Rwanda. He has a B.S. in Natural Science education, an M.S. in Instructional Design, and is currently pursuing a PhD with a focus on sustainable innovation and school leadership practices. He is involved with the Colorado Education Initiative in work around competency-based/personalized learning and authentic performance assessments. Kevin lives with his wife Lynelle and three kids and they enjoy climbing up and skiing down mountains and all the other adventures that are in between.
Executive Director, Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy×
Dr. Chad d’Entremont is the Executive Director of the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy. He is responsible for shepherding the organization’s mission to improve public education through deep knowledge and evidence of effective policymaking and practice. He has published numerous articles, book chapters, and reports on education improvement strategies ranging from early childhood education to early college designs and launched multiple, community-based initiatives to support the implementation of evidence-based practices. In 2012, Dr. d’Entremont helped found the Massachusetts Education Partnership, a coalition of labor and management leaders committed to sustainable school improvement. Success and lessons learned were captured in his book Improving Education Together: A Guide to Labor-Management-Community Collaboration. Dr. d’Entremont has supported over 100 school districts drive improvements through network-based initiatives, including the Excellence in Social-Emotional Learning (exSEL) Network and the Massachusetts Institute for College and Career Readiness. He is a former 8th grade global studies teacher and holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy and Social Analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Associate Professor in Education Administration, Leadership and Research, Western Kentucky University×
Marguerita K. DeSander, JD, PhD, is the Department Head for Educational Administration, Leadership and Research at Western Kentucky University and the Project Director of the University Principal Preparation Initiative, a $4.2 million dollar grant funded by the Wallace Foundation. Dr. DeSander received her BA from Michigan State University, JD from The Thomas M. Cooley Law School and PhD from the College of William and Mary. She practiced law for five years in the metropolitan Detroit area with an emphasis on employment related issues and served for 10 years as a Human Resources executive for school districts in Virginia and North Carolina. Dr. DeSander’s research interests include effective principal preparation, principal and teacher evaluation, and developing school leaders with an ethic of social justice.
Superintendent of Schools, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District×
Dr. PK Diffenbaugh is a proven educational leader with experience bringing people together to achieve a shared vision. He was appointed Superintendent of the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District in June 2014, and is responsible for the education of more than 10,000 scholars in 11 elementary, three middle, three comprehensive high schools, one alternative high school, a dependent charter school, and a handful of programs and services on the Monterey Peninsula. Since his appointment, Dr. Diffenbaugh has led the district in the bold reimagining of its secondary schools, expanded early childhood education, strengthened arts education across the district, expanded Career Technical Education, improved district and school culture, and passed a major school facilities bond with 70% voter approval. Dr. Diffenbaugh holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Harvard University, an innovative partnership between the Harvard Business School, Kennedy School of Government, and Graduate School of Education.
Executive Director, Office of Data and Accountability, Boston Public Schools×
Mary Dillman is the Director of Data Inquiry for the Boston Public Schools. In this role, Mary leads the BPS Inquiry Team, which builds the capacity of teacher teams across the district to improve their practice and accelerate student learning through the implementation of data-driven cycles of inquiry. Prior to joining BPS, Mary taught high school English and ESL in Oakland, CA as a Teach For America Corps Member and served as a Lead Humanities Educator for Aspire Public Schools. Mary holds a B.A. in Policy Studies and Sociology from Rice University and a Master’s Degree in Urban Education Policy from Brown University.
District Literacy Instruction and Design Coach, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District×
Sydney Dion supports the literacy system for the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District and works with instructional coaches and literacy intervention teachers in each school. She believes in building the capacity of educators to support all students on their journey toward success. Throughout 34 years in the educational field, she has served as a teacher, reading specialist, professor of student teachers, and district academic coach. She holds a master’s in Curriculum & Instruction and has earned several awards, including the Linda Brown Fellows Award and Placer County Teacher Who Makes a Difference. She is a Professional Certified Coach recognized by the International Coaching Federation. Sydney has provided executive coaching in both the private and educational industry as well as presented many workshops on Coaching Skills, Brain Research, and Positive Language.
Improvement Advisor, Carnegie Foundation×
Christina Dixon is a former associate for networked improvement science at the Carnegie Foundation, 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.
Education Quality Manager, Vermont Agency of Education×
Lori Dolezal is an Education Quality Manager and Improvement Coach at the Vermont Agency of Education. Previously, she served as a Literacy Assessment Coordinator, an Instructional Coach, and a classroom teacher at various grade levels. Lori holds a BA in Psychology, a BEd in Elementary Education and a MEd with a focus on Educational Psychology. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Her research focus is Networked Improvement Community leadership. Lori is committed to ensuring equitable, quality educational experiences for students by supporting educators and leaders in building capacity for continuous, quality improvement. Lori is a native of Canada, where she began her academic education and professional experience. In 2003, she ventured to the USA, initially as an international educator/ambassador with the Visiting International Faculty Program. She currently lives in Vermont with her husband and 5-year old son.
Senior Improvement Specialist, WestEd×
Jonathan Dolle is a Senior Research Associate with Regional Educational Laboratory West and works in the San Francisco office.
Partner, Measurement, Learning & Evaluation, Catalyst:Ed×
Over the last 15 years, Bernadette Doykos has worked with a wide range of education and community development organizations to integrate research and evaluation as a means by which to inform strategic growth and development. Prior to joining Catalyst:Ed, she worked at CEPARE at the University of Southern Maine, where she was also an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education and Human Development. Additionally, she consulted with a number of organizations, including Mercy Housing, South Ward Children’s Alliance, and the Tennessee College Access and Success Network. She earned a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in Community Research & Action, an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Prevention Science & Practice, and a B.A. in Sociology from Wesleyan University. She currently lives in Portland, Maine, where she can be found consuming endless podcasts, searching for coastal treasures, and scouting new restaurants before the tourists takeover.
Teacher, Barrington High School×
Kathleen is in her eighth year as a Social Studies teacher and serves as her department’s utility player. She has taught, at varying levels, US History, World History, Economics, Sociology, and created a Gender Studies course. Student engagement, literacy, and ownership are at the front of her teaching philosophy. Recently, Kathleen created the Equity Team, comprised of administrators, educators, and counselors to confront and correct the achievement gap in Barrington. Their goal is to better place students, who have been historically and systematically ignored, into desired classes of rigor. In addition, Kathleen works on a social-emotional learning committee, sponsors a students’ Equal Rights club, and partners with community organizations like Unsilence and Courageous Conversations to guide students to become more civically engaged.
Co-Executive Director, University of Chicago Network for College Success×
Sarah Duncan is a serial nonprofit entrepreneur working at the nexus of education, organizational development, and human development towards social and racial justice. She co-founded and co-directs the University of Chicago Network for College Success, a professional development network for high school leaders, including principals, assistant principals, counselors, and teacher leaders, as well as district leadership, at the School of Social Service Administration. The Network for College Success works to cultivate postsecondary readiness and success for all students by translating research into practice and supporting high school leaders to organize their schools for improvement and innovation. In her previous work with the Ariel Education Initiative, she worked in youth development and opened two schools, the Ariel Community Academy as a staff member, and Young Women’s Leadership Charter School of Chicago as a founding board member. Duncan is a Chicago native and has four children.
President, New Visions for Public Schools×
Mark Dunetz began his career as an educator teaching English as a second language and social studies in New York City public schools. He first worked at New Visions for Public Schools in 2006 supporting the implementation of a certification program for aspiring school administrators. Dr. Dunetz served as the founding principal of the Academy for Careers in Television and Film from 2008 until 2013. In 2013 he returned to New Visions as Vice President for School Support and Operations. In 2016, he was selected as the president of New Visions. Dr. Dunetz holds a B.A. in U.S. History from the University of California, Santa Cruz; an M.A. in Teaching Speakers of Other Languages from New York University; and a Ph.D. in Urban Education with a concentration in education policy from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He sits on the boards of the New York City Charter School Center and The Research Alliance for New York City Schools.
Superintendent, Michigan City Area Schools
9th Grade Success Network Co-Lead, Northwest Regional Education Service District×
Kimberley Ednie, Ed.L.D., is co-lead of the 9th Grade Success Network at NWRESD. She has worked across educational contexts to advance equity, leading teams to design and implement innovative and inclusive solutions to increase opportunities for students. She taught reading and writing at Hunter College and in Queens, supporting first generation college students and English language learners. She served as the first managing director of programs at iMentor, and she worked in the NYC Department of Education, leading professional learning for district leaders. Kimberley served as the Director of Talent at the Boston Teacher Residency, where she led adult learning and organizational development, and oversaw talent recruitment for BPE’s two schools and teacher residency, focused on increasing diversity. Additionally, she supported the opening of BPE’s first secondary school. Kimberley has a BA from SUNY Geneseo, an MA from CUNY Hunter, and a doctorate in education leadership from Harvard.
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.
Melissa Eiler White
Project Director, WestEd×
Melissa Eiler White is Project Director in Innovation Studies at WestEd, where she leads research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects focused on teachers and teaching. Over the last several years, her work has focused on supporting improvement of teacher preparation programs through formative evaluation and Improvement science-based technical assistance. White has also led numerous research efforts for the Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) at WestEd. White received a BA in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MA in policy analysis and evaluation and a PhD in administration and policy analysis from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education.
Elementary Math Coordinator, Los Angeles Unified School District×
Joseph Espinosa serves as the Elementary Math Coordinator for Local District West in Los Angeles Unified, supporting elementary schools, principals, and teachers to engage in Ambitious Math Teaching. He has partnered with CORE Districts to support three schools over the past three years with their improvement efforts in the area of math teaching and learning. Joseph has used much of this learning to facilitate efforts with others to build systems and structure for improvement at schools in a systematic manner to affect deep math instructional change. Joseph is a forward-thinking educator, passionate about innovation for the purpose of creating student-centered learning systems for teachers and students and maximizing the human potential of all those around him. Joseph holds a B.S. and M.ED from UCLA and currently resides in San Gabriel, CA with his wife, a kindergarten teacher, and three children.
Researcher, American Institutes for Research×
Kyle Fagan is a researcher at AIR, where he works with state, regional, and local agencies on research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects at the intersection of educational and community change. His work is primarily focused on addressing issues of equity through collaborative research and technical support, with a concentration in cross-sector collaboration. Kyle is skilled in a range of research methodologies, with a focus on mixed-methods research designs. He is also the technical lead for multiple projects using social network analysis, leading the design, data collection, analysis, and communication of findings. He holds a MA in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology and a PhD in Leadership, Policy, and Educational Change from Boston College.
Network Director, Tulare County Office of Education×
Shelah 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.
Senior Researcher, American Institutes for Research×
Amy Feygin is a Senior Researcher at the American Institutes for Research, where she works with state and local education agencies on research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects. She is an expert in college and career readiness for underserved youth. She oversees 15 research projects as the Applied Research task lead for the Regional Education Laboratory Midwest. She also serves as the project director for two other IES-funded projects: a randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of Pathways to Success, a psycho-social intervention designed to help eighth-grade students connect what they are doing in school right now to the person they expect to become one day, and a systematic review of research literature on strategies for improving college completion rates. Dr. Feygin also has participated in a number of networked improvement communities as an improvement coach, and currently is developing methods to study the implementation of networked improvement communities.
Senior Research Scientist, WestEd×
Neal Finkelstein is a Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Innovation Studies Program at WestEd. His work focuses on connecting research, practice, and policy across K-12 and higher education systems. He works nationally on education evaluations and their implications for education systems and policy design; several recent efforts have included large professional networks and the application of improvement strategies with a variety of measurement approaches. His current research areas include: high school completion patterns and the transition to postsecondary education; middle school mathematics teaching and learning; diagnostic uses of school-based data systems; school governance systems; and educational productivity. Finkelstein received a BA in economics and psychology from Swarthmore College and a MPP, MA, and PhD in education policy and management from the University of California, Berkeley.
G. Bryan Fleming
NSI Associate Director, BARR Center×
G. Bryan Fleming is an advocate for children, families and educators. He brings many years of experience in numerous school settings and has honed a unique blend of education and research acumen developed over his years as an educator, school administrator and community leader. As NSI Associate Director at BARR Center, Bryan co-leads BARR’s five-year Network School Improvement project, ensuring that 30 network schools benefit fully from all facets of the NSI project.
A native of San Francisco, California, Fleming attended the University of New Mexico where he earned undergraduate degrees in Music Education and Trombone Performance. Heeding the call to education and public service, Fleming began his career as a music educator at Albuquerque Public Schools and at Albuquerque Academy. He received his Master of Arts degree in Education Administration from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and has pursued post-graduate studies at Harvard University in education leadership and policy.
Anna T. Foster
Research Assistant, University of Michigan School of Education×
Anna Foster (“Foster”) is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Education studying Policy, Leadership, and Innovation with Don Peurach. She is also a Project Manager at the Youth Policy Lab, where she manages a portfolio of projects related to education and schooling in Michigan. She holds a master of education studies degree with a focus on leadership and policy and a bachelor of fine arts degree, both from the University of Michigan, and is a licensed K-12 special educator.
Senior Associate Vice President, Bank Street Education Center×
Tracy Fray-Oliver is the Senior Associate Vice President of the Bank Street Education Center, overseeing School System Partnerships & Programs and the College’s Center on Culture, Race & Equity. Tracy began her career in education as a middle school math teacher after graduating from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. 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, and then as the Senior Director of STEM, playing a major role in defining the city’s approach to STEM instruction.
Director of the Strategic Literacy Initiative, WestEd; Former Director of Research and Evaluation, National Writing Project×
Linda Friedrich is the Director of the Strategic Literacy Initiative (SLI), which has a proven track record in improving disciplinary literacy in middle school, high school, and college. For nearly three decades, Friedrich has worked at the intersection of practice and research to engage teachers in collaboratively improving teaching and learning with a strong focus on literacy. Most recently she served as the National Writing Project’s (NWP) Director of Research and Evaluation, where she led writing assessment efforts and developed and co‑facilitated an initiative that engages young people in crafting civic arguments and improving academic arguments. Prior to joining NWP, she served as Research Director at the Coalition of Essential Schools and as a program officer at the Philadelphia Education Fund. Friedrich earned her PhD in Administration and Policy Analysis at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education and holds an AB in History from Bryn Mawr College.
Professor Emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto×
Michael Fullan, O.C., is the Global Leadership Director, New Pedagogies for Deep Learning and a worldwide authority on educational reform with a mandate of helping to achieve the moral purpose of all children learning. A former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto, Michael advises policymakers and local leaders around the world to provide leadership in education. Michael received the Order of Canada in December 2012. He holds honorary doctorates from several universities in North America and abroad.
Director of Improvement, High Tech High×
Ryan Gallagher is a Project Director within the Center for Research on Equity & Innovation at the High Tech High Graduate School of Education. He coaches improvement science projects within HTH K-12 schools, co-facilitates a networked improvement community focused on college, career and civic readiness, and directs the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Early Implementation Initiative at High Tech High. Ryan has taught middle and high school within the HTH system since 2004, and co-designed and facilitated HTH’s first MOOC on Deeper Learning. Ryan holds undergraduate degrees in Biology and Philosophy from UC San Diego and was a member of the first graduating cohort of students in the HTH GSE where he is now a faculty member. He is a proud member of the Distinguished Educators Panel at the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center and is featured in Kathleen Cushman’s recent book The Motivation Equation!
Principal, UCLA Community School×
Leyda W. Garcia has been an educator for over twenty years. Her ideal classroom represents a space full of possibilities to transgress and to make education the practice of freedom (hooks, 1994). Ms. Garcia is an ardent advocate for subaltern voices in the field, from immigrant students to students with special needs. Her social justice orientation guides her shared-leadership approach to create vibrant school communities where all voices are heard and elevated. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Education from Stanford University, and a Master’s degree in Education from UCLA. Ms. Garcia is a second year doctoral student at Loyola Marymount University. As a researcher and scholar, Ms. Garcia focuses on the experiences of immigrant-origin youth, YPAR methodology, and school leadership. Ms. Garcia was born in Guatemala and immigrated to Los Angeles in 1986.
Senior Associate, UChicago STEM Education, University of Chicago×
Martin Gartzman is a Senior Associate at UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago, where he served as its Executive Director from 2011–2016. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Vice Chancellor and Executive Director for High School Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). In these positions he established and/or participated in numerous funded projects involving professional development for K–12 teachers and administrators, and curriculum development. From 2002–2006, Gartzman served as the CPS Chief Mathematics and Science Officer, where he directed the Chicago Math and Science Initiative (CMSI), the district’s touted program for mathematics and science improvement. Previously, Gartzman served in several capacities at UIC, including Associate Director of UIC’s Institute for Mathematics and Science Education, which he co-founded with mathematician Philip Wagreich and physicist Howard Goldberg. From 1978–1986, Gartzman taught biology and directed the bilingual program at Benito Juarez High School in Chicago.
Chief of Staff, New Visions for Public Schools×
Nikki joined New Visions in 2013. She is responsible for supporting the executive members of senior management in executing critical strategy across the organization and helping ensure intentionality of focus. Previously a kindergarten teacher in Alexandria, Virginia, Nikki holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Virginia, and a second master’s degree in education (measurement, evaluation, statistics, and assessment) from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Senior Researcher, American Institutes for Research×
Dr. Gnedko-Berry is an experienced researcher and evaluator. She oversees a portfolio of studies that vary in complexity and technical requirements. She is responsible for the selection and application of design and methodology, quality of research products, and dissemination of findings. She is proficient in quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and instrument development. She is an effective communicator skilled in synthesizing and interpreting research for different audiences, including a nontechnical audience. She provides technical assistance to external partners to build capacity for measurement and evaluation, identify research objectives, and develop measurement frameworks to facilitate learning and growth. Dr. Gnedko-Berry leads internal research and evaluation teams of diverse skills and abilities. She leads federal and private business pursuits and ensures compliance with funding requirements.
L. Michael Golden
Executive Director and Senior Fellow, Catalyst @ Penn GSE×
Dr. Michael Golden is the Executive Director and Senior Fellow at Catalyst @ Penn GSE, a center for global education innovation at the University of Pennsylvania. In this role, he directs a bold endeavor to design innovative education practices and to create and scale actionable solutions to pressing problems in education. Previously, Dr. Golden co-founded and served as CEO of Educurious, a non-profit corporation that provides project-based courses and professional development services. Dr. Golden was the Deputy Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, developing systems, programs and funding to make schools more effective and efficient including the formulation and implementation of statewide education technology policies and initiatives. He also served as Senior Vice President at Pearson, leading the planning and administrative functions for Pearson’s U.S. education division and as Corporate Vice President of Education at Microsoft. In that role, he directed Microsoft’s global efforts in education across the company.
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 a Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Corey is an experienced leader. He has 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, UCLA; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation×
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.
Associate Professor in Residence, University of Connecticut×
Richard Gonzales is an associate professor in residence and director of educational leadership preparation programs at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. He currently serves as project director for UConn’s $6 million University Principal Preparation Initiative project which is funded by the Wallace Foundation. Dr. Gonzales received a B.S. in applied learning and development and a M.Ed. and Ph.D. in educational administration from The University of Texas at Austin. Before entering higher education, he worked for sixteen years as an elementary bilingual teacher, an elementary principal, and a district-level administrator. His research interests include leadership development, principal preparation, and school improvement. He has collaborated on scholarship that has been published in Educational Administration Quarterly, the Journal of School Leadership, Educational Planning, and the UCEA Handbook on the Education of School Leaders.
Educator and BARR Coordinator, Banning High School×
Over the course of 22 years, Brittney Goodwin has worked in the high school setting as an English teacher, department chair, district librarian and instructional coach. Currently Brittney works at Banning High School in Banning, CA, as BARR Coordinator and enjoys the opportunities that BARR provides for working directly with students, teachers, and parents.
State Lead for North Carolina, TrueSchool×
Lori is an academic program leader with over 20 years of accomplishment developing and leading effective strategies in educational growth, staff development, and success for diverse students. In her previous professional roles, Lori has held positions as an elementary school principal, an adjunct professor and an educational consultant. Lori is recognized and respected for her track record of proven success. She has an unyielding passion for education and is always seeking educational improvement opportunities that advance all students equitably. Lori’s organizational strengths lie in influencing positive direction and continuous improvement through strategic planning. Lori is a supportive and interactive leader who encourages cohesion, trust, and engagement among colleagues, students, parents, and community. Lori is currently finishing her Doctorate in Education and holds an Advanced Study Certificate in School Administration.
Senior Director for Thought Leadership, Studer Education×
Pat Greco is the Senior Director for Thought Leadership with Studer Education℠. She is a champion of continuous improvement focused on building system, leader, and team capacity for Evidence Based Leadership. Pat is a first-generation college student who completed two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. focused on the success of all students. She is a retired superintendent who served 38 years in public education. Pat shares her expertise and dedicates her time to writing and consulting with leaders and organizations focused on improvement and Evidence Based Leadership. Examples include the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, US Department of Commerce Baldrige Board of Overseers, Sweden’s Association for Quality, American Association of School Administrators, AASA New Leader Mentorship Program, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Improvement University and Collective Impact, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Administrative Leadership Advisory Committee, and Strive Together Network for Collective Impact.
Improvement Advisor, Education and Literacy Consultant
Director of Research, PERTS (Project for Education Research that Scales), Stanford University×
Sarah Gripshover has worked for over 10 years at the intersection between educational research and practice and is currently the Director of Research at the Project for Educational Research that Scales (PERTS). Dr. Gripshover completed her doctorate at Stanford University where she pioneered a developmental science-informed method for teaching young children the science of nutrition. In 2014, Dr. Gripshover joined PERTS to contribute to its mission of empowering educators to create engaging and equitable learning environments where all students can thrive. Her current work is to translate evidence from the psychological sciences into programs and materials that education practitioners can use; develop large-scale research and development infrastructure and partnerships to test the impact of new education practices on students’ experiences and outcomes; and create practitioner-, industry-, and researcher-facing communications to disseminate the learning from these efforts.
Co-Founder and Improvement Specialist, Improvement Collective; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation×
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 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.
Research Assistant, Catalyst@Penn GSE×
Sarah is a consultant and doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania. She supports the development of networks of practitioners that engage in inquiry cycles for continuous improvement. Previously, Sarah was the Director of Curriculum for a school district in Austin, TX where she led the development K-12 curriculum and founded an academic data team. She has been a Director of STEM, a science coordinator, an assistant principal, and a teacher.
Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, Missoula County Public Schools×
Elise M. Guest, Ed.D is a third-generation educator who is committed to leading educational communities, with integrity and collaboration, by creating a positive and successful academic and social education experience for all students, families, and staff. She holds a Doctorate of Education from the University of Oregon in Education, Methodology, Policy and Leadership, as well as a Masters of Special Education and two Bachelor of Arts Degrees, English and French. With over 20 years of K-12 teaching and administrative experience, Elise is honored to serve as the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning at Missoula County Public Schools in Missoula, Montana.
Assistant Director, General State Schools Performance, State of Queensland Department of Education×
Stacie Hansel is the Acting Assistant Director-General State Schools – Performance Queensland Department of Education. She leads teams responsible for the implementation of the Department of Education’s School Improvement Model, including the implementation of the Australian Curriculum, the new QCE System, and targeted initiatives to lift outcomes for students across all Queensland State Schools. Her 25-year career has taken her across Queensland as a teacher, Deputy Principal, Head of School, Director, Executive Director and Principal. She has worked with school communities across Queensland in rural and remote locations, distance education, and small and large primary and secondary schools. Stacie was recognized for her educational leadership with an Australia Day Medal for service to State Schools. She received a National AADES Gold Leadership award for her work with distance education leaders across Australia and was recently awarded an ACEL QLD Fellowship.
Regional Manager/Coach, BARR Center×
Kjirsten Hanson has worked in the education field for 23 years and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with a Master’s in social work. She worked at St. Louis Park High School in Minnesota as a social worker for 21 years in both Special Education and regular education and functioned as the Chemical Health Specialist in her last 6 years there. She has been involved with BARR since it started in 1998, sitting on Block and Risk Review teams, in addition to doing I-Times with a self-contained Special Education population. She has trained and coached BARR schools for the past seven years. Over a year ago, she left St. Louis Park High School to become a BARR Regional Manager where she trains and coaches 10 schools in the model.
Former Superintendent, Fresno Unified School District; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation
Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation,×
LaRena is an associate in the networked improvement science group. She 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.
Erin Hellmann Ashoka
Data & Implementation Specialist, Bank Street College×
As Data and Implementation Specialist at Bank Street Education Center, Erin coaches teacher teams through the continuous improvement process and oversees the data collection strategy for the Yonkers Network for School Improvement funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In this role, she develops and implements tools and processes to support teacher teams to implement instructionally focused PDSA cycles, supports teams to develop practical measures, and reports on the impact of the network to district and Foundation partners. Previously, Erin served as Data and Analytics Manager of a network for school improvement and managed the data collection strategy of K-12 math project partnerships with the New York City Department of Education. Erin taught middle school math in Phoenix, AZ where she engaged in continuous improvement work with her middle school teaching team. Erin holds a B.A. in Sociology from Wake Forest University and an M.A. in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University.
President, Partner to Improve×
Erin Henrick is founder and president of Partner to Improve, an education research and consulting group supporting improvement and systemic change in education. Dr. Henrick works as a Research Practice Partnership (RPP) researcher, evaluator, and professional development provider. She served as lead investigator of a WTGrant Foundation study which resulted in a framework for assessing the effectiveness of RPPs. Dr. Henrick is an instructor in the Vanderbilt online Ed.D. program in Leadership and Learning in Organizations. Previously, Dr. Henrick was a senior research associate at Vanderbilt University. Her work centered on an NSF-funded RPP (known as MIST) that aims to improve math instruction across large urban districts. She is co-author of Systems for Instructional Improvement: Creating Coherence from the Classroom to the District Office. Dr. Henrick holds a BA in English from the University of Georgia and a M.Ed. in English Education and an Ed.D. in Leadership, Policy, and Organization from Vanderbilt University.
President and CEO, Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity×
Dr. Cassandra Herring is President & CEO of Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED), a national nonprofit aimed at maximizing programming and driving innovation in preparing highly effective diverse educators for all learners. Dr. Herring’s passion for equity-driven education reform fuels her work. Her career spans all levels of education, with professional experiences in Head Start through higher education and leading state education policy. Prior to founding BranchED, Dr. Herring served as Dean of the School of Education and Human Development at Hampton University for nearly ten years. Under her leadership, struggling education programs were transformed, earning state approval and highest commendations by accrediting bodies. She doubled her school’s enrollment through strategic recruitment efforts and secured external resources for student support. Dr. Herring holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Policy from Georgia State University, and Master of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.
Teacher, Homestead High School×
Kirk Hinton has been teaching for 17 years. He is currently an English teacher at Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. In addition to California’s Bay Area, he has taught internationally in France and Kenya. He received a B.A. in English from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and an M.A. in literature from San Jose State. He also hold Google Educator and Google Certified Trainer certifications.
Education Associate, Social Policy Research Associates×
Jennifer Hogg is an Associate at Social Policy Research Associates (SPR) who serves as a project manager and task leader for evaluations of education initiatives that aim to create the systems, practices, and conditions that lead to equitable student learning. Before joining SPR, Ms. Hogg conducted research for the US Office of Management and Budget’s education division and Berkeley Unified School District’s extended learning program. She previously taught 8th grade mathematics in North Carolina. Ms. Hogg holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Executive Director, Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE)×
Heather Hough is the Executive Director of PACE. Prior to serving in this role, she led the partnership between PACE and the CORE Districts. Her recent work has focused on using research to strengthen state structures supporting continuous improvement and advance policies that support the whole child. Dr. Hough has worked in a variety of capacities to support policy and practice in education, including as an Improvement Advisor at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and a researcher at the Public Policy Institute of California, the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University, and the Center for Education Policy at SRI International. Dr. Hough holds a PhD in Education Policy and a BA in Public Policy from Stanford University.
Vice President of Programs, Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation×
Cody joined Raise Your Hand Texas as Director of Leadership Development in August 2016. Before joining the team, Cody worked as Senior Coordinator at the Texas Center for District and School Support at Education Service Center Region 13. In his seven years at ESC 13, Cody developed training and resources for thousands of district and campus leaders around the state and managed the implementation of multiple statewide school improvement grants, including the Texas Title I Priority Schools Grant, and a grant focused on building capacity in rural schools. Cody has also worked as a district behavior specialist and a middle school special education reading teacher. Cody has a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.
Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation×
Jennifer Husbands is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she manages the Community of Practice for the Networks for School Improvement. Throughout her career, she has focused on adult learning, including roles such as Executive Director of Schools That Can Chicago, where she convened a cross-sector network of schools to share best practices; Director of the AUSL Institute, where she built a consulting practice that delivered advisory services to organizations interested in AUSL’s approach to school turnaround and teacher training; and Director of School Incubation at Chicago Public Schools, where she provided resources and training for schools in their start-up phase. She also led the nation’s first state-approved, charter school-based teacher certification program at High Tech High, a network of high-performing, project-based, learning-focused schools in San Diego. She earned her BA from University of Virginia and her Ph.D. from Stanford University’s School of Education.
Professor of Practice, College of Education, University of Maryland, Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation×
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).
Senior Advisor for Equity and Inclusion, Transformative Educational Leadership×
Dr. Janice Jackson is the Senior Advisor on Equity and Inclusion for Transformative Educational Leadership (TEL). Previously, she was an independent consultant with districts and schools. She has been a Senior Associate with the National Equity Project and was Executive Director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Dr. Jackson served as the Deputy Superintendent for the Boston Public Schools, as a Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and as Senior Associate on the Executive Leadership Program for Educators. Before coming to the Harvard Graduate School of Education she was an assistant professor at Boston College in the Lynch School of Education with a joint appointment in the Department of Teacher Education, Special Education, Curriculum & Instruction and the Department of Educational Administration and Higher Education, and she was an adjunct faculty member in the Leadership for Change Program in the Carroll School of Management. During the first term of the Clinton Administration she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education and later as Acting Assistant Secretary. Dr. Jackson has held several district office positions with the Milwaukee Public Schools in Wisconsin. Her career has included two positions with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee: the Director of the Office for Black Catholics and elementary school teacher.
Kathleen Ryan Jackson
Implementation Specialist, National Implementation Research Network×
Kathleen Ryan Jackson, DEd, is an Implementation Specialist at the National Implementation Research Network, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Kathleen has extensive experience in organizational and system change in the field of education, early childhood, juvenile justice, residential schools, and community organizations. Currently, she provides intensive implementation informed support to state departments of education in the United States. The aim is to align state, regional, and Local Education Agency priorities in support of educators’ effective use of practices with evidence. Kathleen is the Founder of the Western Implementation Society for Practice and Research, which aspires to advance practitioner knowledge and effective use of implementation science and practices as an affiliate of the Global Implementation Society. Kathleen received her Doctor of Education in Policy, Measurement, and Leadership; MS in Special Education; and BS in Psychology from the University of Oregon.
Professional Learning Manager, Office of Data and Accountability, Boston Public Schools×
Sarah Jay is the Professional Learning Manager in the Office of Data and Accountability in the Boston Public Schools. She provides district-wide professional learning on effective meetings, continuous improvement and assessment practices, as well as coaches school and teacher leaders to build the capacity of educators in adjusting teacher practice in response to data. Prior to joining the BPS Inquiry Team, Sarah taught Spanish in both public and private school settings and served as Spanish Department Chair, New Teacher Coordinator and Coordinator of the Master Teacher Program at the Prospect Hill Academy Charter School. Sarah holds a B.A. in English and Spanish Literature from Swarthmore College, and an M.A. in Bilingual/Bicultural Education from Teachers College.
Managing Director, School Improvement, Mass Insight Education & Research×
As Managing Director of School Improvement at Mass Insight, Rob oversees the design of work with partner districts and state education agencies. Frequent work includes diagnostics, strategic planning processes that equitably engage stakeholders, supporting the creation and implementation of performance management systems, and designing and facilitating networks for school improvement.
Since 2015, Rob and his team have supported the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation with strategic planning, school management, and the development of an instructional coaching model that leverages a network model to quickly address common challenges and scale solutions. This work began with a national analysis of why some instructional coaching models lead to results and others do not, forming the basis for the Mass Insight Instructional Coaching Framework now used to improve teacher in Evansville and elsewhere.
Rob began his career in education as a high school Spanish teacher and department chair in rural North Carolina.
Senior Research Analyst, UChicago Consortium on School Research×
David W. Johnson is a Senior Research Analyst at the UChicago Consortium. His current research explores efforts to develop supports for educators that merge racial and cultural identity development and awareness with instructional improvement strategies. Other projects also include research aimed at understanding how exposure to community violence in Chicago affects school communities, including both educators and students, with an emphasis on building the capacity of educators and schools to support and nurture all students. David’s work broadly explores the contexts and experiences that contribute to how both children and adults learn. Prior projects include efforts to describe and understand the noncognitive factors that shape students’ academic success, as well as the creation of a developmental framework for understanding young adult success inside and beyond school. David has also been closely involved in the planning and facilitation of a national network of school support organizations aimed at creating more equitable learning environments for historically marginalized and oppressed children and communities. His past and current work reflect a thoroughgoing commitment to building the capacity of public school educators to create developmentally rich learning experiences for all children, particularly across lines of racial, class, and cultural difference. David is a former Washington DC Public Schools teacher.
Superintendent, Oakland Unified School District×
Kyla Johnson-Trammell, who has more than 18 years of service to Oakland Unified School District, was named superintendent of the district in May 2017. She had been the district’s interim deputy superintendent of academic and social emotional learning, as well as the district’s lead network superintendent of elementary schools. Johnson-Trammell has also served the district as a teacher, principal, director of talent development, and associate superintendent for leadership, curriculum and instruction. The Oakland native is known as a fierce advocate for Oakland Public Schools, which she attended as a student. Johnson-Trammell strives to work collaboratively with staff to unearth and eliminate inequities that impede student learning. She is known for being a strong instructional leader who has developed deep relationships in the district. Johnson-Trammell earned her master’s degree and doctorate in educational leadership from University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in communications from University of Pennsylvania. She is recipient of the Oakland Unified School District Leadership Excellence Award, and the district’s Principal Academic Excellence Award. She was keynote speaker at the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference.
Adela Madrigal Jones
Superintendent, Sanger Unified School District×
Adela Madrigal Jones is Superintendent of Sanger Unified School District, a model Professional Learning Community (PLC) district, where she is in her 32nd year. She began her career as an elementary teacher before leaving the classroom to work in the English Learner Services Department. She moved on to administration, becoming a Vice Principal and Elementary Principal, Area Administrator, and eventually Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. She assumed the role of Superintendent in July 2018. During her time at District Office, she led the transition to Common Core Standards and the new accountability system using continuous improvement inherent in the PLC model. Adela received her bachelor’s degree in Education from California State University, Fresno and her master’s degree in Bilingual Education from Fresno Pacific University. She holds a credential in Multiple Subjects, and a Bilingual Specialist Credential, in addition to her Professional Administrative Credential.
Instructional Leadership Partner, New York City Department of Education×
Imani Jones-Ratcliffe is an Instructional Leadership Partner and member of the Chancellor’s central team responsible for implementing the system-wide Instructional Leadership Framework across the NYC Department of Education (NYCDOE). In her role, Imani is a leader for equity, providing consultation and thought partnership to the Executive Superintendent team in order to promote Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education. In her former role with the NYCDOE as a senior director, she led and coached teams to build their capacity to eliminate racial achievement disparities through school improvement. Imani also works directly with schools to help them start school-based equity committees and she works to empower and equip teams, companies, and institutions to examine systems and structures through the lens of culture and racial equity. Her mission is to provide the strategies to disrupt, dismantle, and eradicate systems of inequity, while simultaneously building the capacity of leaders and teams to advance equity.
Implementation Specialist, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction×
Melissa Kahn is an Implementation Specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, co-leading continuous improvement and Implementation Science work to transform systems that build, assess, and sustain effective practices. Prior to her position at WI DPI, Melissa served as a teacher and school administrator in multiple states. She also served in Mumbai, India as the first program director for the India School Leadership Institute, a start-up NGO dedicated to providing transformational leadership training and coaching to principals. Her 24 years of leadership in education are grounded in systems change, continuous improvement, and supporting teacher/principal development.
Director of Strategy and Operations, Marshall Street Initiatives×
Megha Kansra is the Director of Strategy and Operations at Marshall Street Initiatives, Summit Public Schools’ effort to shift the broader public education system to meet all students’ needs. Megha provides operations and planning support across Marshall initiatives, with a particular focus on the Students with Disabilities Networked Improvement Community, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior to this role, Megha launched a multi-tiered system of supports to better support diverse learners across Summit’s schools. She was a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and worked in strategic planning roles at Green Dot Public Schools and the DeBruce Foundation. She earned an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley. As an immigrant and product of public schools, Megha is driven by a desire to see public education deliver on its promise to all students.
Co-Lead, 9th Grade Success Network; Professional Learning Specialist, Northwest Regional Education Service District×
Laura Kanter Fellows, Ed.L.D., is the co-lead of the 9th Grade Success Network at the NWRESD. Laura’s work in education has centered on supporting adults to innovate and shift practices to ensure that students— particularly the most historically marginalized students—receive the needed support for key transitions throughout high school and beyond. Laura spent her early career co-founding Success Academies, a network of public charter schools in NYC. She went on to earn her doctorate in Education Leadership from Harvard. She designed and launched Denver Public School’s Innovation Lab (Imaginarium) and has engaged in consulting focused on professional learning design and reimagining the student experience. Since returning to her home state of Oregon, she served as the Director of Post-Secondary Pathways at the Northwest Regional Education Service District, and shifted roles in 2017 to co-lead the 9th Grade Success work with a focus on equity and deeper learning.
New Faculty Instructional Coach, Missoula County Public Schools×
This is Brittnie Keilman’s 18th year in the field of education. For the past three years, she has served as an Instructional Coach for the New Faculty and Mentor program at Missoula County Public Schools, where Brittnie leads with a vision for improvement for all and building collaborative relationships to strengthen teacher efficacy. Prior to becoming a coach, she taught middle school STEM classes for 15 years. She has a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology.
Director of Data and Continuous Improvement, Network for College Success×
Quinton Keith is the Director of Data and Continuous Improvement with the Network for College Success. At the intersection of research and practice, Quinton helps school administrators focus on data collection, analysis, and dissemination to support strategic evaluation, decision making, and school improvement. As a Network Data Strategist, he provides data coaching and support to a Professional Learning Community of data technicians comprising 17 Chicago Public High Schools. Prior to joining NCS, Quinton worked for a human services organization in North Carolina to help those who are least able to help themselves.
Improvement Advisor, Carnegie Foundation×
Edit Khachatryan is an improvement facilitator and advisor supporting teams through school and instructional improvement utilizing improvement science tools and processes. Her current research includes developing an improvement coaching framework. Edit was most recently an associate at the Carnegie Foundation, supporting organizations to initiate networked improvement communities (NICs).
Edit started her career as a high school teacher, and cares deeply about strengthening the teaching profession and ensuring that educators have the collaboration time, necessary supports and resources, and authentic professional development opportunities. The desire to understand how to do this well led her out of the classroom to engage in federal policy at the U.S. Department of Education as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow, and then to earn her doctorate at Stanford University. Edit’s research has included feedback on teaching from classroom observations, teacher professional development, and teacher and district leadership development. In order to make improvements on any problem in education, Edit believes that we must invest in accessing and utilizing both research and practitioner expertise. Edit is a researcher, a practitioner, and an improver.
Robert Beck Endowed Professor, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities×
Dr. Muhammad Khalifa is the Robert Beck Endowed Professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He is a nationally renowned scholar in the area of culturally responsive school leadership and has developed two products that thousands of school leaders have used: online data-driven Equity Audits, and the Culturally Responsive School Leadership Academy. Dr. Khalifa is the author of the highly acclaimed new book, Culturally Responsive School Leadership (Harvard Education Press, 2018). His research examines how urban school leaders enact culturally responsive leadership and anti-oppressive schooling practices. In addition to his previous work as an urban educator and district leader in Detroit, he has worked with education ministers in Africa and Asia and has helped them craft educational goals and reforms.
Partner, Strategic Initiatives, Catalyst:Ed×
Rachel passionately believes that public schools should be a path to success for every student. For over 20 years she has worked to achieve equitable outcomes in schools and school systems as a Partner at Catalyst:Ed, a District Administrator in Highline Public Schools, a Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and as a Board President for Bike Works, an innovative nonprofit in South Seattle. Rachel has also worked in Seattle, Boston, and Chicago Public Schools. Rachel currently serves on the advisory boards of Ada Developers Academy and Threshold Podcast. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School.
Founder, Managing Partner, The Academy Group×
Timothy Knowles serves as founder and managing partner of the Academy Group, a new enterprise designed to prepare extraordinary young people from under-resourced communities to own and operate successful companies nationwide. Previously, Knowles founded and served as director and chairman of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute. Knowles also founded and served as director of the University of Chicago Urban Labs, which works globally to design, test, and scale policies and programs that are effective, humane, and cost-efficient. Knowles also served as the John Dewey Clinical Professor of Education. Prior to his work in Chicago, Knowles served as the deputy superintendent of the Boston Public Schools and co-directed the Boston Annenberg Challenge, a nationally regarded initiative to improve literacy. Knowles also served as director of a full-service K–8 school in New York City, founding director of Teach for America in New York, and a teacher of African history in Botswana.
Principal, EDGE Consulting Partners; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation×
Jim Kohlmoos is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, co-founder and partner of EDGE Consulting LLC, and a senior policy advisor for the William T. Grant Foundation. With more than four decades of experience in education leadership, Kohlmoos supports new innovative approaches in policy development, organizational management, research and development, marketing, and evaluation.
Prior to founding EDGE, Kohlmoos was executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education, a non-partisan non-profit membership association dedicated to serving and strengthening State Boards of Education. From 2001-2012, he was the president and CEO of Knowledge Alliance, a nonpartisan nonprofit trade association in Washington, D.C. dedicated to the effective use of research-based knowledge in education policy and practice.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Kohlmoos was vice president of The Implementation Group. From 1993 to 2000 Kohlmoos served at the U.S. Department of Education as both deputy assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education and as senior adviser and special assistant. He also served on the presidential transition team in 1992.
A graduate of Stanford University, Kohlmoos started his career in education with the U.S. Teacher Corps in Salinas, CA, and subsequently served two years in the U.S. Peace Corps in Malaysia as a professional development specialist.
Educator Preparation Data Scientist, Education Quality Center, California State University×
Dr. Sarah Kolbe is the Educator Preparation Data Scientist for the EdQ Center. Her current work focuses on using data infrastructure and dashboard development to support data-informed decision-making in educator preparation in the California State University system. Prior to joining the EdQ Center, she was a K-12 education consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. She is an alum of the Strategic Data Project, an initiative of the Harvard University Center for Education Policy Research with a mission of transforming the use of data in education to improve student outcomes.
Senior Fellow, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation×
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.
Chief Executive Officer, BC Patient Safety & Quality Council×
Christina Krause is the Chief Executive Officer of the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council (www.bcpsqc.ca), and an Adjunct Professor, School of Population & Public Health, Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Her interests include the use of social change models and network theory in efforts to engage and mobilize stakeholders, as well as the role of culture, teamwork and communication to advance quality of care. Christina is an EXTRA Fellow with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, a member of the Board for the OSNS Child & Youth Development Centre, and a member of the Board Quality Committee at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.
Senior Engagement Manager, WestEd×
Kelsey Krausen, PhD is a Senior Engagement Manager with the Comprehensive School Assistance Program at WestEd. Her areas of expertise include strategic resource allocation, systems planning and education leadership. Through her diverse experiences as an educator and as a qualitative researcher, Dr. Krausen has developed a strong foundation in education policy and leadership research.
Mathematics Teacher and Instructional Coach, Mann UCLA Community School×
Sunanda Kushon has almost 20 years of education experience. She currently teaches math and physics to secondary students at Mann UCLA Community School. She serves as an instructional coach and lead for the math teachers who are committed to developing a strong program for all of their students. Ms. Kushon also has experience teaching and advising graduate students as part of the UCLA Teacher Education Program. She has a strong passion for promoting academic success, critical thinking, and social justice for urban youth so they will be college and work ready.
Director, Principal Residency Network, Center for Leadership and Educational Equity×
Kirsten believes in the power and potential of public schools and is driving toward a vision where every student’s unlimited potential is unleashed, rather than defined. Kirsten’s career has spanned over twenty years as an elementary school teacher and administrator. She has been with CLEE since 2011. Kirsten lives with her husband, two teenage daughters, and beloved dog where they enjoy various sports and recreational activities, the outdoors, and traveling.
Executive Director, Field Implementation, Louisiana Department of Education×
Delaina LaRocque joined the Louisiana Department of Education in 2017. She received a B.A. in Spanish from McNeese State University in 1997, her Alt. Cert. in 2003, and her M.Ed. in 2008. After serving as an administrator in some of Louisiana’s most persistently struggling schools, she joined the Department as part of the Recovery School District. Delaina’s role at the LDOE included supporting school systems to build plans for school improvement, as part of the LA’s ESSA plan. As Executive Director of Field Implementation, Delaina manages the work of the LDOE’s School Improvement Team and supports improvement across the state.
Director of Program, Sound Discipline×
As a classroom teacher, Stacy experienced firsthand the challenges that educators face. As Director of Program at Sound Discipline, in addition to professional development, coaching, and consultation, Stacy facilitates school district teams with continuous improvement to improve outcomes for students and transform schools. Stacy clearly sees the systems challenges in schools and is committed to supporting educators who want to make a difference. Over the years, Stacy has come to understand that the work of Sound Discipline is not simply to intervene to fix a broken system, but to disrupt a system that in fact is doing precisely what it was designed to do: create division and oppression. For Stacy, this work has shaped how she interacts with everyone in her personal and professional life. She is deeply grateful for the impact it has had on her relationships with her three children and has a passion for teaching parenting classes.
Principal, Alder Creek Middle School×
Hien Nguyen Larson is the principal of Alder Creek Middle School (ACMS). She holds a MS in Educational Leadership from University of Nevada, Reno and a BS from UC Davis. As an educator with 25 years of experience, she has served as a teacher and a site administrator. Hien’s experience as an immigrant and a second language learner give her a vast understanding of the whole child, learning, and leadership. She earned awards including the Linda Brown Fellows Award and Placer County and Region Principal of the Year. Her school was recognized as a Gold Ribbon School by the state of California and nationally as A School to Watch: National Forum for Middle Grade Forum. Hien is committed to providing challenging and engaging learning opportunities in order for our students to thrive in college, career, and life.
Executive Director, Equity, San Diego County Office of Education×
Dr. Jaguanana (Jag) Lathan is the Executive Director, Equity at San Diego County Office of Education where she is developing a newly forming Equity Department. The goal of the Department is to build the organization’s capacity to lead for equity and support districts and schools to transform their systems into places of opportunity. Dr. Jag has previously served as an Executive Leadership Coach, elementary teacher, education specialist, GATE coordinator, and K-8 principal in the Los Angeles, Oakland, and Emery Unified School Districts (California). While all of these experiences have been amazing, building educator leadership and leading the redesign of schools/departments as a way to respond to the diverse needs of students and communities has been some of her most rewarding work. She has been a two-time fellow with the National Equity Project and earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Mills College in Oakland, CA.
Senior Vice President, Programs, Carnegie Foundation×
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.
Co-Executive Director, University of Chicago Network for College Success×
Jacquelyn Lemon is a Co-Executive Director with the University of Chicago Network for College Success. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Jackie served as the inaugural principal of Chicago Talent Development High School (CTDHS). During her time at CTDHS, she facilitated a unique partnership with Chicago Public Schools and John Hopkins University to provide students with the foundation for successful careers in various health/human services and media/technology professions. Before joining CTDHS, Jackie served as a teacher at Mary C. Terrell Elementary School and Walter H. Dyett Middle School, and as assistant principal at Steinmetz Academic Center. During her tenure as contract principal of Walter H. Dyett High School, she guided staff and the school community in reshaping the instructional focus of the school as it transitioned from a middle school and evolved into a high school.
Executive Director, Leadership for School improvement, New York City Department of Education×
Julie Leopold leads the Continuous Learning team at the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). The team supports a network of schools focused on the needs of multilingual learners, working to build the capacity of adults across the system to identify problems, iteratively develop new approaches, measure impact, and develop sustainable improvement. The team focuses on the how of school improvement by providing broad support through resources and professional learning opportunities while also providing deep support through direct coaching in schools. Julie believes in empowering teachers as professionals to accelerate progress toward racial equity. Julie led the development of instructional policy during the NYC’s transition to the Common Core and its new teacher development and evaluation system. Prior to joining NYCDOE’s Central Office, Julie led a parenting project in England, managed change projects for a university, and led and taught in the Bronx.
Assistant Superintendent, Early Learning, Dallas Independent School District×
Derek Little serves as the assistant superintendent for early learning with the Dallas Independent School District. In that role, Derek leads the district’s efforts from birth to 2nd grade, working to ensure every kindergartner is ready for school and every 2nd grader reads at grade level. Derek previously served as deputy director of early childhood at the Louisiana Department of Education, where he led policy planning for funding, accountability, enrollment, workforce and governance of early childhood programs. Derek was the director of finance and operations for the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, where he increased funding for the school despite statewide budget cuts to education. Derek started his career teaching high school math. He earned a BA in molecular biology and a MA in finance from Tulane University. He also earned master’s degrees in educational leadership from Northwestern State University and the Broad Center for Urban Education.
Senior Manager, Innovation and Improvement, Denver Public Schools×
Sandra Lochhead is a lifelong learner, mother and career educator. Currently, she oversees the Innovation & Improvement Team in Denver Public Schools. In partnership with schools and central departments, her team is building capacity in improvement science, supporting NICs and nurturing innovation to accelerate improvement on their most persistent problems to achieve the vision of students thriving by design. She is an experienced special education teacher, National Board-certified teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal and Director of Leader Development. As a school leader, her school received the Virginia Board of Education Competence to Excellence Award and the Virginia Board of Education Title I Distinguished School Recognition. She is currently completing her doctorate at Denver University and is a steering committee member on the Carnegie Foundation’s iLead Initiative. With 30 years of experience, Sandra is committed to achieving equity by continuously improving education to ensure all students achieve success.
Senior Policy Analyst, National Education Association×
Jennifer Locke is a teacher advocate who works for the National Education Association (NEA). At NEA, her focus is on improvement science coaching, work that is pushing her to rethink many of her assumptions about improvement practices in the K-12 arena. Labor-management collaboration and the power of networked improvement communities (NICs) are of particular interest to her. Jennifer grew up in Asia and Latin America, earned a degree in theology focused on Tibetan Buddhism, and then taught in a wide range of schools. In her former role as a high school English teacher, she achieved National Board Certification. When not at work, you will find her outside playing and gardening.
Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services, Stockton Unified School District×
Sonjhia Lowery is a 24-year educator, kid champion and integral agent of change, committed to providing all students with equitable access to high quality education. Ms. Lowery serves as Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in the Stockton Unified School District. Her previous professional experiences include serving as a Director of Learning Support Services, PreK-6 Principal and Vice Principal, and elementary, middle and high school teacher. She has served as Equity Representative for Region 3 for the Association of California School Administrators. and was awarded the Administrator of the Year – Central Office in 2018. She was recently appointed to serve on the Board of Directors for the California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators. Ms. Lowery holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Master’s in both Educational Management and Business Administration, and a credential in Administrative Services. Ms. Lowery resides in West Sacramento, CA with her husband, Josh, and their two daughters, Nia and Nyah.
Senior Program Associate, S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation×
Jana joined the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation in 2015 and is an Associate Program Officer in the Education Program. Her focus is supporting teacher preparation programs as they prepare educators to equip California students with the knowledge and skills to thrive. Prior to joining the Foundation, Jana worked as an education specialist at Berkeley High School, where she supported students with learning differences and collaborated with general education teachers and families to ensure the success of all students. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Wesleyan University and a Masters of Arts in Learning & Instruction from the University of San Francisco.
Instructional Leadership Partner, New York City Department of Education×
Betty Lugo is a former NYC Principal and leader for equity working fearlessly to eliminate opportunity and achievement gaps for Black and Latino students throughout the country and the Dominican Republic. She is currently an Instructional Leadership Partner and member of the Chancellor’s central team responsible for implementing the system-wide Instructional Leadership Framework across the NYC Department of Education in order to promote culturally responsive and sustaining education. In her former role with the NYCDOE, she helped start, coach and lead a team that worked to eliminate achievement disparities along the lines of race. Betty collaborates with organizations to provide strategies to disrupt, dismantle, and eradicate systems of inequity, while simultaneously building the capacity of leaders and teams to advance equity. Betty is also the proud founder and Executive Director of Latinas & Lideres, a nonprofit that seeks to empower and inspire girls from under-resourced communities to become leaders.
District Instructional Specialist, East Baton Rouge Parish Schools×
Kyna Magaña joined the East Baton Rouge Parish School System in 2011 as a fourth-grade teacher. After teaching elementary grades for three years, Magaña found her passion for teaching students in the middle school grades. In 2015, she earned her Montessori certification and continued creating authentic Montessori learning experiences for her students. In the summer of 2018, Magaña moved to the Curriculum and Instruction department and has dedicated her time to serving the teachers and leaders in her school system.
CEO, Chiefs for Change×
Mike Magee is CEO of Chiefs for Change. Prior to working at Chiefs for Change, he co-founded and was CEO of Rhode Island Mayoral Academies (RIMA). Before starting RIMA, for a dozen years, Mike taught American literature and philosophy at Haverford College, Wheaton College, and the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2004, his book, “Emancipating Pragmatism,” won the Elizabeth Agee Prize in American Studies. He is a 2013 Pahara Aspen Education Fellow and Pahara Fellowship moderator. Mike holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and English from the College of the Holy Cross.
Senior Program Manager, Pivot Learning×
Elizabeth Maki, Senior Program Manager, leads Pivot’s California Curriculum Collaborative initiative. Elizabeth has worked in education in for over a decade with experience in teaching, school administration and operations, school systems design, assessment design and early childhood education. Prior to joining Pivot, Elizabeth was an educational consultant working with innovative school models to redesign curricular and operational systems. As a teacher, Elizabeth piloted the Transitional Kindergarten program for West Contra Costa Unified School district and an inclusion preschool classroom for San Francisco Unified School District. Elizabeth was a founding team member at The New School of San Francisco, where she managed school operations and supported teachers in early childhood education. Elizabeth received her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from San Francisco State University.
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 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 earning 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.
Principal, Truckee High School×
Logan Mallonee is the principal of Truckee High School, a 9-12 comprehensive public high school. Logan’s educational background includes teaching in the San Francisco Unified School District, teaching English Language Arts in middle school for Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, and serving as an academic coach at the middle and high school level. She has been a professor of student teachers at the University of San Francisco and an administrator at the high school level for eight years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, a master’s degree in teaching, and teaching and administrative credentials all from the University of San Francisco. Logan believes that students are the focus of all decisions. She is passionate about offering opportunities for all types of scholars at the high school level including reading at grade level, CTE courses, and caring relationships with adults on campus.
Senior Associate, Managing Director, Collaborative Technology, Carnegie Foundation×
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.
Director of Curriculum, Lindenwold School District; President and Founder, South Jersey Data Leaders Partnership×
Marc Mancinelli is the president and founder of the South Jersey Data Leaders Partnership. The SJDLP is an organization dedicated to professional learning, networking, and advocacy for educators who wish to build their capacity as data leaders. Marc is currently the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Lindenwold (NJ) Public Schools. Before coming to Lindenwold, he served as a data specialist for the NJDOE, where he was tasked with providing data leadership development support for districts across NJ. Prior to the NJDOE, Marc was an assistant principal, instructional supervisor, and high school English teacher. Marc holds a doctoral degree in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum from The University of Pennsylvania, as well as a master’s degree in Educational Leadership. His research interests include data leadership in educators across different roles, educational policy implementation, distributed leadership, and new teacher development. Marc lives in New Jersey with his wife and children.
Computer Science Instructional Specialist, Broward County Public Schools×
Annmargareth Salyer Marousky is a Computer Science Instructional Specialist for Broward County Public Schools, a Florida Atlantic University alum with over 20 years of teaching experience, and a facilitator for Everglades Literacy Foundation and Code.org. She works in the district’s Applied Learning department focusing on STEM, Computer Science, and environmental initiatives in K-12 education. She participated in the National Science Foundation (NSF) STEM + Computing Partnership Exploratory Integration grant, renamed “Time4CS” (NSF Grant # 1542842), and currently works on the Hewlett Foundation “Outlier-Broward County Public Schools Research Practice Partnership: Diffusion of Deeper Learning” grant. Prior positions include private, charter, and public educational systems as a STEM Teacher, Science Coach, 5th–8th grade classroom teacher, and leadership teams. She has written curriculum for the school district, Science4Us.com, and NSF grants, and provides professional development to teachers in elementary curriculum, STEM, environmental concerns, and blended technology.
Co-Founder and Director of Principal Coaching (retired), Urban School Leadership Program, University of Illinois at Chicago
Vice President, Community Partnership, Colorado Education Initiative×
Dr. Landon Mascareñaz is Vice President of Community Partnership at Colorado Education Initiative (CEI), where he leads community engagement, family partnership, equity, and policy initiatives. Landon is a regular writer and speaker on issues of education, family engagement and politics. He was appointed by Governor Jared Polis to serve on the state board of Community Colleges and Occupational Education. Prior to CEI, Landon led advocacy and partnership efforts as a Vice President at A+ Colorado, an action think tank focused on helping school districts to build momentum for educational change across Colorado. Before that, he helped lead family and community empowerment efforts at Denver Public Schools. He began his career teaching first grade on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. He earned his Doctorate in Education Leadership from Harvard University in 2015. He is a Pahara Aspen Next Gen Fellow and a Flamboyan National Family Engagement Fellow.
Lead Coach, Studer Education×
Dr. Melissa Matarazzo, lead coach for Studer Education℠, is in her sixth year supporting leadership development and systems improvement in organizations across the country. Previously, 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. Prior to her 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.
Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District×
As superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), Dr. Vincent Matthews serves as the top executive of the eighth largest school district in California and the third largest employer in San Francisco. A native of San Francisco, Dr. Matthews completed his pre-K-12 education as a student at William DeAvila (formally Dudley Stone ECE), Grattan Elementary, Hoover Middle, and JE McAteer High School. Following graduation from McAteer, Matthews earned his Bachelor of Arts, teaching credential, and eventually his doctorate in education from San Francisco State University. Early in his career as an educator he taught at George Washington Carver Elementary School and served as principal at Alvarado Elementary School. Before the San Francisco Board of Education selected Dr. Matthews to serve as superintendent, Matthews served the California Department of Education as the state-appointed superintendent of Inglewood Unified School District. Prior to serving in Inglewood, Matthews led the San Jose Unified School District as superintendent for 5 1/2 years where he is credited with raising academic achievement, narrowing the achievement gap between Latino and white students, and passing landmark agreements with the San Jose teacher’s union. Prior to working in San Jose, he served as a state-appointed superintendent for Oakland Unified and as an area superintendent for San Diego City Schools.
Director of Equity and Impact, Network for College Success×
Adelric McCain believes that adults in schools are responsible for providing the conditions necessary for young people to develop a strong sense of self-identity and self-worth. Currently, McCain is the Director of Equity and National Impact with the Network for College Success at the University of Chicago (NCS). He coordinates coaching support, programming, and facilitates professional learning for local schools and educational communities across the country. Prior to educational leadership, McCain worked for 12 years as a public high school teacher-leader in Boston and Chicago – teaching humanities, history and English. McCain graduated from Morehouse College earning a bachelor’s degree in U.S. History and Sociology, and a Master of Arts in Teaching, History, from Tufts University. McCain also holds National Board Certification in Social Studies/History. He has been featured on NPR and regularly speaks and lectures about educational equity, locally and nationally.
Assistant Superintendent of Education Services, Berryessa Union School District
Director of Innovative Initiatives, Center for Educational Leadership, University of Washington×
Jennifer McDermott serves as the director of innovative initiatives for the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership. She leads key innovation projects in the field, instigates changes in CEL practices, and serves as a resource for faculty innovation. She also focuses on supporting leaders to create effective cultures of teacher learning and to design strategic professional development. Prior to her work at CEL, Jennifer taught high school English, worked as a district literacy coach and educational consultant, and led professional development initiatives for the Center for School Improvement at the University of Chicago.
Associate, Evidence & Analytics, Carnegie Foundation×
Kelly is an associate in the evidence and analytics group. She 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.
Director of Improvement, Tennessee Early Literacy Network×
After eight years of experience in the NYC school system as a teacher, teacher leader, systems coach, and assistant principal, in 2016 Rachelle relocated to Nashville and began working within continuous improvement as founding lead improvement coach in the Tennessee Early Literacy Network (TELN). Within TELN, she coached Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) academic staff to transform new district and school teams into excited, productive learners and contributors to the NIC. She is currently directing content development for an online course that will codify the TDOE’s approach to continuous improvement. She also has expertise in performance-based assessment as an alternative to traditional standardized assessment, experiential and project-based education, transformative coaching for teachers, and restorative justice as a school discipline system.
Teacher, John Dewey High School×
Hirvelt Megie is an educator at John Dewey High School in Brooklyn, NY. He received his B.S. in Neuroscience and Biology from Brandeis University where he was a Posse scholar. Though fascinated by the sciences, he was captured by the art of teaching when he took his first education class at Brandeis with Professor Marya Levenson. He later acquired his M.A.T. from Relay Graduate School for Education. Despite having taught a myriad of classes, Hirvelt continuously strives to perfect his teaching techniques by seeking opportunities like PERTS (Project for Education Research that Scales). Today, in addition to teaching science at John Dewey High School, Hirvelt is a Program Director for One Goal, a program that strives for equitable opportunity for high school juniors to achieve their greatest postsecondary aspirations.
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. Mejia began her career in direct services as a social worker and coordinator for parent engagement, mentorship, and tutoring programs. 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.
Senior Managing Director, NewSchools Venture Fund×
Frances Messano is a Senior Managing Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund where she leads the new schools development and diverse leaders investment areas. Previously, Frances served as VP of Strategy at Teach For America, where she led the organization in developing their three-year strategic plan. Before that, Frances was an Associate Partner at Monitor Institute, where she helped education organizations scale impact through strategy, organizational and leadership development. She also worked at Morgan Stanley. Frances attended Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She serves on numerous non-profit boards, including UnidosUS, Latinos for Education, Pahara Institute, Stand for Children and GO Public Schools. Frances is a first-generation college graduate and an alum of Prep for Prep, MLT, and SEO, organizations that she credits with helping her gain access to educational and professional opportunity.
Director of Improvement, CORE Districts×
Amanda Meyer serves as Director of Improvement at CORE Districts, supporting California educators in their efforts to solve problems using improvement science. Amanda leads the design and delivery of professional learning, provides improvement coaching to school-site and district staff, and serves in the hub of CORE’s improvement communities. 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 as a Second Language in San Antonio, Texas. She holds a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and currently resides in Oakland.
Senior Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation×
Vivian Mihalakis is a Senior Program Officer with the K-12 team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Vivian’s current work is focused on supporting networks of schools to use continuous improvement methods to improve outcomes for Black, Latino, and low-income students. Prior to joining the foundation, Vivian led the English language arts team at the Institute for Learning (IFL) at the University of Pittsburgh where her work focused on ensuring that all students, particularly those who have been underserved, have access to ambitious and engaging instruction that prepares them for college and careers. During her tenure at IFL, Vivian partnered with public school districts across the country to provide professional learning and coaching for teachers, coaches, and administrators; she also designed ELA curriculum and performance assessments. Vivian began her career as a high school English language arts teacher. She holds a Ph.D. in English Education from the University of Pittsburgh.
Associate, Learning Resource Design and Development, Carnegie Foundation×
Catherine Miller is an associate in learning resource design and development 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.
Executive Director, CORE Districts×
Rick Miller serves as Executive Director of CORE Districts. CORE is a partnership between eight large urban districts, representing over a million students, that have committed to a collaborative learning community focused on improvement. Previously, Miller was a Deputy State Superintendent at the California Department of Education, developing policy recommendations to improve student achievement. Prior to his time at CDE, Miller worked at Microsoft developing communications strategies. Miller also served as a strategic communications advisor to the Chancellor of the California State University System and as Press Secretary to Richard W. Riley at the U.S. Department of Education. Miller was periodically detailed to the White House Office of Advance where he traveled domestically and internationally on behalf of President Clinton. Miller lives in Rocklin, California with his wife, Julie, an elementary school speech therapist and their two sons. He was elected to the Rocklin Unified School board in 2018.
Shay Bluemer Miroite
Lead Improvement Advisor, Shift Results×
Shay has spent the last 15 years as an advisor and capacity builder in the quality improvement space. Shay started her improvement career in international health and led CaReQIC, an initiative that spanned four countries and over 25 healthcare facilities in the Caribbean region. Her passion for improvement work and its ability to transform teams fueled her to successfully lead projects across the globe, in the United States, the Caribbean, Kenya, South Africa and Ukraine. Shay currently leads a portfolio of projects at Shift including the Building Equitable Learning Environments (BELE) Network and the Erikson Family Childcare Collaborative.
David Montes de Oca
Deputy Chief of Improvement, CORE Districts×
David joined the CORE Districts team supporting the design and expansion of developing District capability and capacity as improvement organizations as Deputy Chief of Improvement. David has most recently worked for Oakland Unified School District as the Senior Deputy Chief of Continuous Improvement, and previously as the Associate Superintendent of Quality, Accountability & Analytics. Prior to that, David managed school turnaround and school redesign. David has been a founding board member of several arts and education-based non-profits; has served as adjunct faculty in Education Leadership at Cal State University; and was a principal and a K-12 teacher. David’s wife is an Oakland kindergarten teacher and his two children attend schools in Oakland.
CENTRS Project Lead, Madison Teachers Incorporated×
Kerry Motoviloff believes teachers play a pivotal role in student achievement, and thus sees collaboration between teachers’ unions and districts as a key driver to improvement in education. She has been an educator in Madison Metropolitan Schools for three decades, currently serving as Teacher Leader for Elementary Mathematics. She has also served as a union leader in Madison for over 15 years, twice serving as President of MTI, Madison Teachers Inc, the local teachers’ union.
Co-Director, High Tech High CARPE College Access Network×
Edgar Montes serves as Co-Director of the CARPE College Access Network through the High Tech High Graduate School of Education. The CARPE College Access Network supports high schools throughout southern California to increase post-secondary opportunities for students identified as Latinx, African-American/Black and low-income. Previously, Edgar served as the executive director of a California statewide initiative to scale up a multi-tiered system of support focused on advancing the academic, social-emotional, and behavioral development of the whole child through the Orange County Department of Education. Edgar also served as director of state and district partnerships for the College Board’s western regional office, director of college counseling at High Tech High Media Arts, and admission counselor at the University of San Diego. Edgar earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Arts in School Counseling from the University of San Diego. He is currently completing a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership at the University of Southern California.
Director of Continuous Improvement, Marshall Street Initiatives, Summit Public Schools×
Kyle has worked with Summit, and now Marshall Street, for over a decade as a founding math teacher at Everest Public High School, an instructional coach, and program/project manager. He has taught abroad in Indonesia and Ecuador, holds a master’s in Education from Stanford University, and is a National Board Certified Teacher and Math for America Master Teacher Fellow. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and being with friends and family.
Deputy Director, University of Chicago Consortium on School Research
Director, Systems Transformation, Center for Prevention & Early Intervention, 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 culture 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 to the California State Board of Education, 2019, 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, 2019.
Associate Superintendent, East Baton Rouge Parish School System×
Ben Necaise has been in the education field for 19 years serving in a variety of roles at local, district, and state levels. He currently serves as an Associate Superintendent in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. In this role, he leads a team that supports and supervises over 20 middle and high schools. His focus has been improving student opportunities by expanding quality programs across the school district and focusing on improving graduation rates and post-secondary attendance. The measurement of this work is codified in the district-created Gradu8 Pillars to Student Success, which focuses school and district S.M.A.R.T. goals on the eight most important factors in supporting students to a successful exit from high school. As an educator, Ben was nominated as a Louisiana State Teacher of the Year Finalist in 2008 and was awarded the Louisiana State Middle School Principal of the Year Award in 2014.
Co-Founder, Community Design Partners×
Kari Nelsestuen is the Co-founder of Community Design Partners, an organization that helps organizations make lasting change within their communities. Her approach combines mindsets and tools from improvement science, design thinking, and human-centered design to tackle complex problems in real time. Kari has coached school leaders through the Stanford d.school School Retool program, helped intermediary organizations strengthen their improvement supports, and even co-authored some swell toolkits for improvement coaches. Kari spent over 15 years in the field of research and evaluation; learning how to ask great questions, synthesize information, and closely examine implementation. She holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Teachers College and has worked on projects from sea (Alaska) to shining sea (New York) and many places in between.
Senior Transformation Sensei, Virginia Mason Institute×
Ellen Noel, MN, RN, CPHQ, is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. Prior to her work at Virginia Mason Institute, Ellen worked as an adult clinical nurse specialist and director of quality and safety. As an improvement leader, she led system-level improvement work in medication safety, nursing and care team workflow efficiencies, pain management and patient safety.
Associate, Managing Director, Evidence & Analytics, Carnegie Foundation×
Jon Norman is an associate managing director for evidence and 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.
Ann Nutter Coffman
Manager, Teacher Quality, National Education Association×
Ann Nutter Coffman is a Manager in the Teacher Quality Department at the National Education Association. She served as a middle school teacher in West Virginia and Virginia as well as a district-based mentor and professional developer before serving as a project director of a university-based teacher preparation program. Dr. Coffman’s research and career has focused on issues of teacher preparation, teacher leadership, teacher professional learning, policy implementation, and teacher quality. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and her M.A. and B.A. from West Virginia University.
Director of School Support, Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation×
Audra Offutt is the Director of School Support serving six middle schools in the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. In this capacity, she coaches leaders on strategic planning, performance management, leadership development, and school improvement. Prior to this role, she spent 20 years as a teacher, three years as a middle school assistant principal, and three years as an elementary principal. She participated in the Learning Leadership Cadre with Brown University, the district team for Carnegie iLEAD with Indiana University, and the district partnership with Mass Insight Education.
Karen (KK) Owen
Leader Coach, Studer Education×
KK Owen is a leader coach with Studer Education. Previously, she was the Director of Professional Learning for Escambia County School District (FL). KK served as project leader for reforming teacher and leader evaluations under Race To the Top; supervised principal and teacher leader training for federal, state, and district initiatives; worked with the Florida Association of District School Superintendents and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to improve teacher and principal quality; and worked on collaborations with the Teachers Union Reform Network and the National Education Association. KK was a classroom teacher in general and special education, spent 15 years as a school principal, and was a finalist for Florida Principal of the Year. KK earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of West Florida, and a B.A. in Elementary and Exceptional Student Education from Louisiana State University.
Vice President, Translational Research, Ounce of Prevention Fund×
Debra Pacchiano is Vice President, Translational Research at the Ounce of Prevention Fund. She is an applied researcher who conceptualizes, implements, evaluates, and scales models of professional learning and practice development to improve early childhood education leadership and teaching and learning. She is Co-Principal Investigator on the Early Education Essential Organizational Supports Measurement System to develop, validate, and implement surveys that measure organizational supports for quality implementation and improvement in school- and community-organization preschool and infant-toddler settings. Debra was Co-Principal Investigator on an Investing in Innovation (i3) development grant to design, pilot, refine, and externally evaluate an early childhood instructional leadership and teacher collaboration intervention. Debra has held positions as a special education administrator in a large, public school system; co-directed special education capacity-building grants; and developed implementation tools to improve educator performance. Debra holds a Ph.D. from Indiana University in Educational Psychology with emphasis in Early Childhood Special Education.
Managing Partner, Education Counsel LLC×
Mr. Palmer provides policy, legal, strategic planning, and advocacy services to education leaders across the country, including state/national policy counsel and federal advocacy before the White House, U.S. Department of Education, and Congress. He works on a wide range of major reforms, from designing K-12 policies that promote college and career readiness, to building comprehensive birth-to-five early learning systems, to promoting access and diversity in higher education. Mr. Palmer previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education and Attorney and Policy Advisor in the Clinton White House where he worked on the President’s Race Initiative on education and civil rights issues. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of California Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelor of Arts with honors from the University of Maryland.
Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation×
Dr. Simone Palmer is an associate in the networked improvement science group. She joined the Foundation in 2018 as a networked improvement science fellow. 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.
Program Manager, Pivot Learning×
Jignasha Pandya is an experienced educator and designer who loves building equity-focused, culturally relevant, human-centered learning environments for students and adults. In her current role with Pivot, she serves as a design coach for networks of districts to support them in utilizing the design process to prototype solutions, and provides project management support to projects focused on curriculum implementation and pathway design. Jignasha has leveraged design thinking to help design and launch new education programs with Reset Foundation, Thrival World Academies, Design School X (DSX) and Roses in Concrete Community School, working at the intersection of design, education, social justice, and cultural competency. Previously, Jignasha was DC Teaching Fellow with DCPS, a Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellow and Educate78 School Design Fellow. Jignasha holds a BA in Neuroscience from Macalester College and an MEd in Education Policy and Leadership from American University.
Co-Founder and Improvement Specialist, Improvement Collective; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation×
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, DC, and was director of programs at First Graduate in San Francisco. She holds a BA in sociology from Georgetown University, a teaching credential and MAT from Louis & Clark College, an EdM in administration and policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a PhD in education policy from UC Berkeley, and an Improvement Advisor certificate from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation×
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.
Director of Renton Innovation Zone Partnerships and Early Learning, Renton School District×
Ebony Pattenaude is the Director of Renton Innovation Zone Partnerships and Early Learning for the Renton School District. With over 12 years of experience in the areas of education and workforce development, she understands the importance of engaging families and communities for successful student outcomes. Ebony has served as a Director since August 2018. From August 2016-2018, she held the position of Family and Community Engagement Coordinator.
The Renton Innovation Zone (RIZ) is a district commitment to provide customized resources and supports for elementary schools of improvement. RIZ schools are committed to teacher embedded professional learning, effective collaboration, supporting the school principal’s role as the instructional leader, and social emotional learning.
Ebony engages the community and develops partnerships with early learning and out-of-school time providers. This affords opportunities for partners to connect in shared professional development, collaboration, and alignment, as all seek to serve the whole child and family.
Co-Founder and Executive Director, PERTS (Project for Education Research that Scales), Stanford University×
Dave Paunesku studies the psychology of learning—his work investigates how educators can create optimal conditions for student success. He is the founding director of PERTS, a center at Stanford University that helps educators apply insights from the psychological sciences to improve students’ educational experiences and outcomes. Hundreds of high schools and colleges across the United States are currently using PERTS’s free, evidence-based programs to raise achievement, retention, and, student success.
Principal in Residence, University of Minnesota×
Dr. Katie Pekel is the Principal in Residence at the University of Minnesota. In this role, Dr. Pekel serves as the department’s direct connection between the fields of research and practice in K-12 education. She leads the Minnesota Principals Academy, co-directs the Urban Leadership Academy, and developed the Culturally Responsive School Leadership Academy with colleague Dr. Muhammad Khalifa. Dr. Pekel also serves as a graduate coordinator of the Educational Policy and Leadership track within the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development. She teaches courses for aspiring school principals and doctoral students and leads the Executive PhD cohort for educational leaders. Dr. Pekel has served at all levels of K-12 education as a high school English teacher, an elementary principal, and in her favorite role as a middle school principal for six years in Austin, MN.
Senior Program Associate, WestEd×
Rebecca Perry is a Senior Program Associate with WestEd’s Innovation Studies program. Her current work focuses on evaluation of and technical assistance for several California initiatives aimed at improving mathematics and science teaching and learning. Her work uses rapid-cycle data collection and evaluation reporting to capture lessons about implementation, improvement, and sustainability to share with practitioners, researchers, funders, and policy-makers. Her prior research has also centered around teacher professional development in mathematics, specifically how teachers use lesson study to support instructional improvement. She’s a mixed methods researcher, enjoying the perspectives of both quantitative and qualitative analyses, and has experience co-designing and implementing RCTs and field-tests; assessing implementation of policy and instructional ideas; and identifying student, teacher, and organizational learning. Rebecca received a BS in cognitive science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD in education administration and policy analysis with a minor in organizational theory from Stanford University.
Professor, University of Pittsburgh×
Anthony Petrosky co-directs the Institute for Learning (IFL) at the Learning Research & Development Center. He is a Professor in the School of Education and the English Department. He headed up the design team to develop assessment prototypes in English language arts and literacy for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career. He was the Principal Investigator for the Early Adolescence English Language Arts Assessment Development Lab for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards that developed the first board certification for English teachers. Most recently, he is the project lead on a 5-year Network for School Improvement grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to work with 14 Dallas ISD schools in literacy.
Associate Professor, University of Michigan; 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.
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.
Postsecondary Coach, Network for College Success×
Kate Pressler is a Postsecondary Coach with the Network for College Success at the University of Chicago. In her role, she collaborates with Chicago Public School counselors, coaches, and teams to incorporate adolescent development into postsecondary efforts by helping them to create equitable school cultures that develop students’ integrated identities and agency, in order to build their capacity to make informed choices for life after high school. After making the move to Chicago in 2008, Kate joined Umoja Student Development Corporation, where she truly found her passion for supporting all students with pursuing and achieving their postsecondary goals. Most recently, Kate served as the Chicago Public Schools MTSS District Manager, where she supported schools, networks, and central office teams in developing and implementing the systems and structures to ensure ALL students had equitable access to high-quality instruction and the necessary academic and social-emotional supports to be successful.
Lead Postsecondary Coach, Network for College Success×
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.
Deputy Chief of High Schools, Chicago Public Schools×
Dr. Pruitt began his career in the Chicago Public Schools where he has served as a teacher, principal, deputy chief, and chief of schools. Dr. Pruitt has also supported families in the Houston Independent School District as a School Support Officer and Achieve 180 Area Superintendent. Dr. Pruitt is currently the deputy chief of high schools supporting all district-operated schools in the city of Chicago. Dr. Pruitt earned his B.A. in Elementary Education from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, his M.Ed. from Loyola University Chicago, and his Ed.D. from National Louis University.
Senior Program Associate, S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation×
Stanze joined the Foundation in 2015 and is an associate program officer in the Education Program. She works to support the STEM team around the implementation of the new math and science standards. She also served a one-year term as the co-chair of the Environmental Education Funders Collaborative. Prior to joining the Foundation, Stanze worked on the operations team at KIPP Bay Area Schools, where she managed a portfolio of six schools in the Bay Area on projects such as recruitment, enrollment, improving operational systems, and data management. Before that, she was a Teach For America corps member and taught 8th grade science at KIPP Ujima Village Academy in Baltimore. She received a Bachelor of Science in human nutrition, foods, and exercise from Virginia Tech and completed graduate work at Johns Hopkins University to receive her teaching certification.
Global Director, New Pedagogies for Deep Learning×
Joanne Quinn is the director of Global Capacity Building for New Pedagogies for Deep Learning: a global partnership focused on transforming learning. Previously she provided leadership at all levels of education as a superintendent, implementation advisor to the Ontario Ministry of Education, director of Continuing Education at the University of Toronto, and as special advisor on International Projects. She consults internationally on whole system change, capacity building, leadership, and professional learning, and is sought by professional organizations and institutions as a consultant, advisor and speaker. These diverse leadership roles and her passion to improve learning for all give her a unique perspective on influencing positive change.
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.
Senior Vice President for Student Success, Georgia State University×
Timothy Renick is Senior Vice President for Student Success and Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia State University, where he has served as Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Director of the Honors Program. Since 2008, he has directed the university’s student success and enrollment efforts, overseeing one of the fastest improving graduation rates in the nation. Dr. Renick was named one of 2016’s Most Innovative People in Higher Education by Washington Monthly, was the recipient of the 2015-16 Award for National Leadership in Student Success Innovation, and was awarded the 2018 McGraw Prize in Higher Education. He is currently principal investigator for a $9 million U.S. Department of Education grant to study the impact of predictive-analytics-based advisement on low-income and first-generation students. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Dr. Renick holds his M.A. and Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University.
Mathematics Specialist, Jefferson County Schools×
Leslie Richards has been in education since 2000 after starting her career in broadcast journalism. She was first an elementary teacher but felt called to secondary to help students love mathematics like she does. She was in the NOYCE Master Mathematics Teacher program at UAB and has helped lead the rewriting of the State of Alabama Course of Study for Mathematics to align with NCTM recommendations. Leslie holds an Ed.S in Education Leadership and is currently working on her doctorate. Recruiting, developing, and retaining math teachers for her district is her passion. She lives in Pelham with her husband and father, near her daughter, son-in-law and new grandson.
Executive Director, Read Charlotte×
Munro Richardson is Executive Director of Read Charlotte, a community initiative that unites families, educators and community partners to improve third grade reading proficiency in Mecklenburg County to 80%. In this role he is responsible for using research, data and strategic funding to coordinate, integrate and align the efforts of dozens of organizations across Charlotte-Mecklenburg to improve children’s language and literacy development from birth through third grade. Munro has worked in philanthropy for most of the past 20 years. Read Charlotte is his fifth startup venture. Munro holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with Honors, master’s degrees from both Harvard University (where he was a Mellon Fellow) and Oxford University (where he was a Rhodes Scholar), and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. Munro is married to his high school sweetheart, Teresa, and has three daughters.
Director, Networked Improvement Communities, Improving Education×
Kelly has extensive experience in the field of education with both elementary and middle school populations. She began her career in Baltimore City Public Schools where she served in a variety of capacities including classroom teacher, instructional support teacher, district literacy leader, and Assistant Principal. She spent the following two years as a school leader in Harford County Public Schools prior to assuming a full-time education fellowship with Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education. Kelly leads Improving Education’s work to support a NIC of 11 schools in Baltimore focused on improving early literacy outcomes for students in grades K-2.
Education Consultant and Chief Research Officer, Michael Fullan Enterprises×
Santiago Rincon-Gallardo is an education consultant and Chief Research Officer at Michael Fullan’s consulting team. He conducts research and advises leaders and educators to transform teaching and learning across entire educational systems in North America, Latin America, and Europe. His work explores how effective pedagogies for deep learning can spread at scale. Santiago holds an Ed. M in International Education Policy and Ed. D on Education Policy, Leadership and Instructional Practice from Harvard. He completed postdoctoral studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. He lives in Toronto with his wife and their two sons.
Mathematics Staff Development and Curriculum Specialist, 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.
Assistant Adjunct Professor, Educational Leadership Program, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies; Director of Evaluation & Learning, UCLA Partner School Network×
Kristen Rohanna is an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Educational Leadership Program at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies (GSE&IS). She also serves as the Director of Evaluation & Learning for the UCLA Partner School Network, a network of schools focused on improving math instructional practices. Prior to her time at UCLA, Dr. Rohanna was the Manager for Research & Evaluation at the San Jose Unified School District. She received her Ph.D. in Education, Social Research Methods, from UCLA, and has a master’s degree from UC Irvine in Social Science, with a concentration in Demographic and Social Analysis.
Jennifer Lin Russell
Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation×
Jennifer Russell is an associate professor of learning sciences and policy in the School of Education, a research scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh, and a senior fellow of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She received a Ph.D. in education policy and organizations from the University of California, Berkeley. 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 and networks can be structured to support educational improvement. She is a former special education teacher in urban and rural settings and is committed to more equitable outcomes for all students.
Director of Mathematics Instruction and Learning, UCLA×
Theodore Sagun is the Director of Mathematics Instruction and Learning for the UCLA Partner Schools Network. He previously served as an Associate Director of the UCLA Mathematics Projects. He has done a lot of professional development in Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) and has also supported middle school and high school teachers.
Improvement Advisor, Marshall Street Initiatives×
Giovanna is an Improvement Advisor for Marshall Street. As an Improvement Advisor, Giovanna provides Charter Management Organizations direct coaching and support on school-based improvement dedicated directly to making dramatic gains in the learning experiences, environment, and outcomes for students with disabilities. Before being an Improvement Advisor, Giovanna spent a year as a Site-Based Research Manager, implementing continuous improvement science to increase literacy and numeracy outcomes for students and was a Special Education teacher for five years.
Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation×
Wendy Sauer is a Senior Program Officer with the K-12 team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since joining the Foundation, Wendy has focused on the role of networks to advance learning. She has worked with a variety of teacher network organizations to provide teachers opportunities to learn from and connect with one another, and to lead. Currently, she partners with organizations – including the CORE Districts, California Education Partners, the Community Center for Education Results, High Tech High, and Access ASU – to build networks for school improvement capable of improving student outcomes. Wendy has devoted her career to education, teaching high school history and English for a decade and then moving on to a variety of other positions in the field, including: director of education for the Museum of Popular Culture and independent consultant for clients including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the Stupski Foundation, the Sobrato Family Foundation, the Teaching Channel, Educurious, and Education Development Center (EDC). She holds a BA in History from U.C. Berkeley and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Seattle Pacific University.
National Managing Director of Teacher Leadership Programs, Teach Plus×
Dr. Michael Savoy has 23+ years of educational experience including teaching mathematics at the middle, high school, and college levels, working with community organizations on school policy and advocacy, and his current work building the capacity of teacher leaders to improve education experiences and opportunities for their students. Throughout this time, he has continued to focus on ways to improve the educational environment, increase the educational knowledge of school staff, and involve parent and community stakeholders in the success of school students. Dr. Savoy’s educational background also includes developing and facilitating professional development for teachers and administrators on a wide range of topics (ex. formative/summative assessment, standards-aligned curriculum, math content and pedagogy), developing instructional materials, providing daily in-classroom support through co-planning, co-teaching, modeling, observations, and delivering constructive feedback at the elementary, intermediate, and high school levels, as well as analyzing educational policy and qualitative/quantitative research.
Senior Partner, California Education Partners; Former Superintendent, Garden Grove Unified School District
Co-Founder, University of Chicago Consortium on School Research×
Penny Bender Sebring is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Chicago and Co-Founder of the UChicago Consortium. Most of her research has centered on school organization, i.e., the five essential supports. She is an author of the book “Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago.” In addition, she has worked to grow and sustain the UChicago Consortium. Previously, Sebring was a Peace Corps volunteer and high school teacher. She serves on the Policy Advisory Board for Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy and the board of directors for the Chicago Public Education Fund. Sebring has received an Alumni Merit Award from Northwestern, the John J. Dugan Award from OneGoal, the Stanley C. Golder Community Service Award from the Golden Apple Foundation, and an honorary doctorate from Grinnell College.
Program Manager, California Education Partners×
Keyur has spent his career working in low-income schools designing systems that prepare students for college and beyond. He began his career as a high school science teacher and math instructional coach in Miami, was an Assistant Principal of curriculum and instruction in Chicago, and most recently was a high school principal in San Jose. Holding degrees in education and engineering, Keyur couples pedagogical knowledge of student learning with a strong data-driven approach to drive school and district decision-making. As a second-generation college graduate, Keyur strongly believes in the power of education to transform not only individual lives, but entire communities. Keyur has a B.S. in Engineering Management Systems from Columbia University and a M.A. in Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies from Stanford University. He loves to spend time with his wife cooking, rock climbing, and visiting National Parks across the country.
Executive Vice President of Client Services, NYC Leadership Academy×
Michele serves as Executive Vice President of Client Services. She has spent her life dedicated to public education as a lever for equity and social change. Michele has facilitated multi-district Leadership Academy programs including Foundations of Principal Supervision and Coaching for Equitable Practice. Before joining the Leadership Academy, Michele served as the Chief of Schools for Boston Public Schools and the Sr. Director of Administrator Development for Los Angeles Unified School District. She has been a teacher, school social worker, assistant principal, and principal in the New York City Department of Education. She founded Pathways College Preparatory School in Hollis, NY; Pursue Excellence, an education reform organization dedicated to supporting schools and districts in their use of data to improve outcomes for students; and Measure Excellence Consulting, which supports leaders, schools, and districts in their efforts to engage in continuous learning and improvement. Michele received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Bernard Baruch College, a Masters of Social Work from Hunter College at the City University of New York, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Director of Differentiated Assistance and Williams Compliance, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools×
As the Director of Differentiated Assistance for a County Office, Annie Sharp helps districts build capacity for solving complex problems within their system. She works alongside them as a collaborative thinking partner to engage in a process of continuous improvement in order to move the needle toward positive change. She has coached over 13 improvement projects. Annie has K-12 experience as a high school math and AVID teacher, high school Learning Director, elementary Principal and district Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. She earned her Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies, Master’s in Administrative Services and Doctorate in Organizational Leadership. She is a working mom of two toddlers and loves watching both learn about the world around them.
Manager of Impact, TrueSchool×
Marguerite has ten years of experience as a teacher leader in Oakland and New Orleans. She holds a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Mills College. Her research focused on teacher professional development, specifically the connection between teacher-driven inquiry projects, teachers’ sense of efficacy, and the stories teachers tell about their work. She has co-led school improvement initiatives focused on supporting Emergent Bilingual students, school journalism, and civic engagement for students. She facilitated teacher-driven inquiry work at Mills Teacher Scholars, and as a coach for prospective and beginning teachers at Mills College, the University of California-Berkeley, Oakland Unified School District, and TeachNOLA (TNTP). Marguerite is also a Teacher Consultant with the National Writing Project.
Associate, Evidence & Analytics, Carnegie Foundation×
Dave is an associate in evidence and analytics at the Carnegie Foundation. He 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, Partners for Network Improvement, 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 (PNI) team. Her work includes the developmental evaluation of networked improvement communities and 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-16 systems through tool design and implementation, professional development, reform initiatives, and curriculum. Prior to her work with PNI, Sherer was a Design Fellow at the Institute for Learning, supporting the institute’s research, design, and teaching strands. Sherer received her Ph.D. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University and began her professional career as a teacher in Oregon.
Associate, Networked Improvement Science and Director of Professional Education Courses and Program Offerings, Carnegie Foundation×
Barbara is an associate in networked improvement science. She 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.
Executive Director, University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership×
Max Silverman is the executive director of the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) where he provides leadership for improving school systems focused on equitable outcomes for students. Throughout his career, Silverman has served in a variety of leadership positions including classroom teacher, school principal, district leader, and most recently as deputy director of CEL. At CEL, he leads national projects to implement new systems to improve leadership effectiveness. He also partners closely with individual school districts to improve leadership performance at scale. As executive director, he is dedicated to building the know-how and collective efficacy of educators, school systems and states to create a future where every student experiences a rigorous, world-class education.
Educator Preparation Data Coach, California State University Educator Quality Center×
Virginia (Ginger) Adams Simon joined the team at EdQ in 2018. In her role as data coach, she works with Educator Preparation Program leaders and their improvement teams to use data for continuous improvement. Prior to joining EdQ, she worked as a Senior Consultant for Four Point Education Partners and as a program manager for CORE districts. She has both a masters and doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Academic Officer, Literacy Design Collaborative×
Suzanne has built sustainable equity for decades across public educational systems to ensure access for all students. At Literacy Design Collaborative, 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 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.
Founder, Community Design Partners×
Julie is a connector of educators, government leaders and community members, with the goal of shifting mindsets around improvement that are grounded in empathy and focused on systemic change. Julie works with organizations to build capacity for change from the inside out and believes that organizations can realize their goals when they build them with those they aim to serve. Julie has worked as a facilitator, advisor and coach to a diverse range of project including helping organizations implement equity frameworks, community-based school attendance solutions, educator effectiveness systems, and designing state educator networks around continuous improvement.
Marshall (Mike) Smith
Former Undersecretary and Acting Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation×
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.
Senior Program Lead, Colorado Education Initiative×
As senior program lead, Amy leads projects in CEI’s Competency-Based/Personalized Learning portfolio, including launching a networked improvement community with 8 Colorado school districts and Assessment for Learning, which has worked for the past year with schools and districts across Colorado to build capstone and portfolio processes with embedded performance assessments. Amy brings expertise in program design, implementation, and evaluation and has extensive experience working with local and national partners to achieve programmatic goals and objectives. Amy started her career in the classroom, teaching for 11 years. Amy has a Master of Arts in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Public Policy from the University of Denver, and is currently enrolled in the University of Colorado Denver’s Leadership for Educational Equity program with a Doctor of Education expected in May 2021.
Vice President, National Program and Program Director, Education, Carnegie Corporation of New York×
LaVerne Evans Srinivasan is the vice president of Carnegie Corporation of New York’s National program and program director for Education. At the Corporation she oversees grantmaking and amplifying activities aimed at engaging parents and communities, improving teaching and leadership for learning, advancing innovative learning environment designs, providing K–12 pathways to college and career success, and fostering integrated approaches to innovation and learning. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Srinivasan joined Carnegie Corporation in 2014, arriving with extensive experience in senior-level leadership roles in the areas of urban district change, nonprofit education reform, and educational technology. She served as a deputy chancellor of the New York City Department of Education where, among other accomplishments, she designed and implemented Project Home Run, a strategically redesigned system for recruiting, hiring, and placing teachers and school principals that increased the teacher talent available to high-needs schools.
Education Quality Assurance Manager, Vermont Agency of Education×
Donna Stafford is an Education Quality Assurance Manager at the Vermont Agency of Education. Previously, Donna worked as a high school principal, college and career counselor, and business executive. She holds an AS in Business, BA in Liberal Studies with a minor in Psychology, MEd in K-12 Administration, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy. Her research interests include improvement science and continuous improvement in PreK-12 public schools with a focus on high-quality education and equitable and accessible opportunities for all students. In addition to her research, Stafford studied Transformational Change with Coopers and Lybrand in London, England for ten years.
President, Advance Illinois×
Ms. Steans currently serves as President of Advance Illinois, a bipartisan, non-profit education policy and advocacy organization working to ensure every child in Illinois has access to quality schools. She is also Board Chair of the Steans Family Foundation, where she helps guide education and community development grant making in the North Lawndale community. A longtime public school parent, Robin Steans has spent over twenty years working on public school reform. She served as Issues Director of the Small Schools Coalition, as Associate Director of Leadership for Quality Education, and taught at public high schools in Boston, San Francisco and Chicago before going on to earn her law degree. Ms. Steans serves as a Trustee of the University of Chicago Medical Center, and is co-founder and past Board Chair of the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago. She helped found and currently serves as a Director of North Lawndale College Preparatory Charter High School, and has served on two Local School Councils. Robin graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Brown University, received her master’s degree in Education from Stanford University, and attended law school at the University of Chicago, where she graduated cum laude and Order of the Coif. She is married and has three children, all of whom attended and graduated from Chicago Public Schools.
Director of Research and Evaluation, Ounce of Prevention Fund×
Amanda Stein is Director of Research & Evaluation at the Ounce of Prevention Fund. Her research focuses on the outcomes of children and families participating in early education settings and advancing the definition, measurement, implementation, and improvement of “high-quality” practices and organizational conditions. At the Ounce, she leads the Educare Chicago Implementation and Follow-Up Studies as their local evaluation partner, provides strategic direction and supports to research and evaluation efforts in the Educare Learning Network, and is a co-principal investigator on a study examining the role of access in pre-k application and enrollment in Chicago. As a former Head Start teacher and coach, she works at the intersection of research, policy, and practice. She holds a PhD in human development and family studies from Iowa State University.
Teacher, Baltimore City Public Schools×
Erika Stern is a 1st grade teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools. She has spent the last eleven years teaching early childhood. She is passionate about teaching early reading skills and meeting the needs of each individual student. She works closely with Improving Education to analyze data and make instructional plans for her class throughout the year. She received her Master’s in Early Childhood from Johns Hopkins University and she now works as an adjunct instructor for their Graduate Education Program. She loves helping new teachers enhance their instructional practices through courses she teaches.
Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation×
Velinda Stubbs has a Ph.D. and Ed.S. from Indiana State University. In addition, she has a B.A. and M.A. in Education with a Reading Specialist degree from the University of Evansville and a Reading Recovery certification from Purdue University. A career educator, she spent 17 years as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, Title I teacher, and district instructional coach. Dr. Stubbs was the principal at Cedar Hall Elementary School, a Title I Full-Service School, for seven years. She has served as the District Director of English Language Arts K-12, District Director of Elementary Schools, and Director of Title I, and is currently the Deputy Superintendent for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. Dr. Stubbs has participated in the Learning Leadership Cadre with Brown University, the district team for Carnegie iLEAD with Indiana University, and the district team with Mass Insight Education.
CEO, A Better Chicago
Senior Research Associate, WestEd×
Sola Takahashi is a Senior Research Associate at WestEd, where she leads the work of integrating continuous improvement methods in the coaching, technical assistance, and research conducted by the Innovation Studies and Regional Educational Laboratory West teams. Sola is experienced in the use of improvement science methods and specializes in measurement and analytics that support continuous improvement efforts. She also has expertise in traditional research methods, including quasi-experimental design. Her areas of content interest include the teaching profession and educational equity. Sola was previously at the Carnegie Foundation, where she led the development of measures and analytic systems that support improvement efforts in schools. She also served as a public school teacher for several years. She received her EdD from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Assistant Superintendent of Innovation and Instruction Services, Chula Vista Elementary School District×
Dr. Matthew Tessier has served the educational community for the past 22 years in predominantly Latino districts. He began his teaching career at Feaster-Edison Charter School in Chula Vista teaching 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades. Matthew worked as a National Mathematics Trainer for Edison Schools, leading math instruction for 20 schools in California, Texas, and Georgia. His administrative career has been marked by dramatic improvements in student achievement: as a Principal, he led Loma Verde School out of Program Improvement Year 2 and Harborside School out of Program Improvement Year 5. Dr. Tessier was the Director of Technology and Student Assessment for the National School District before returning to Chula Vista as the Executive Director of Technology and Instruction. Matthew now serves the Chula Vista Elementary School District as the Assistant Superintendent of Innovation and Instruction Services. He received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from San Diego State University.
Director of Quality and Analytics, School District of Menomonee Falls×
Suzy Thomas is the Director of Quality and Analytics for the School District of Menomonee Falls, WI and 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 holds a B.A. in Mathematics Education from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in Mathematics from Marquette University, and a degree in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University.
Director Emeritus, Center for Urban Education Leadership, University of Illinois at Chicago; Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation×
Steve Tozer is professor emeritus and past university scholar in educational policy studies at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), where he was founding director of the UIC Center for Urban Education Leadership. Steve previously chaired the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; the Department of Educational Policy Studies at UIC; the Governor’s Council on Educator Quality in Illinois; and a State Legislative Task Force that resulted in a new state school leader certificate. His collaborations with colleagues from UIC and Chicago Public Schools were continuously funded for 18 years by the U.S. Department of Education and numerous foundations.
He is lead author of a textbook, School and Society, Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, 8th Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2020), and lead editor of The Handbook of Research in Social Foundations of Education (Routledge, 2011). Steve is a fellow of the George W. Bush Institute and currently works with Chicago Public Schools and other districts on research-practice partnerships for continuous improvement of school leadership.
Director, Educator Quality Center×
Dr. Paul Tuss is director of the Educator Quality Center (EdQ) at the California State University (CSU) Office of the Chancellor. EdQ is committed to advancing a culture of values-driven, data-informed decision making to enhance the effectiveness of educator preparation throughout the CSU System. The Center supports campus improvement efforts by reducing barriers to data access and providing tools and coaching to support meaningful data inquiry. He has held positions in educational research and evaluation with the Sacramento County Office of Education, San Juan Unified School District, Westat, Inc. and the U.S. Department of Energy. Tuss completed his doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with areas of concentration in program evaluation, research methodology, and math and science education. Tuss is a past President of the California Educational Research Association and alumni of the Strategic Data Project in Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research.
Vice President, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation×
Fay Twersky is vice president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. She leads special initiatives outside of the foundation’s traditional programs. She also leads the foundation’s Effective Philanthropy Group. The team guides strategy, evaluation and organization learning within the Hewlett Foundation, and makes grants in support of organizational effectiveness and a strong philanthropic sector. Fay served for four years as director and member of the leadership team of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, designing and developing the impact planning & improvement division. Fay spent a year working in Jerusalem, advising The Rothschild Family Foundation on strategy. She serves on the boards of The Center for Effective Philanthropy and the UBS Optimus Foundation. She is also the founding co-chair for the Fund for Shared Insight. Fay holds a master’s degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Jefferson County Schools×
Dr. Shelley Vail-Smith is Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning for Jefferson County Schools, which serves over 36,000 students in 57 schools in Birmingham, Alabama. She works as an adjunct professor of Educational Leadership at Samford University and works on several statewide committees, including the Governor’s STEM Council and the Alabama Dyslexia Advisory Council. She began her career as a high school English teacher and went on to serve as a middle and elementary assistant principal and principal. As a school leader, her school earned the State of Alabama Safe Schools Award and a State of Alabama High Achievement Award. She helped design the Turnaround School Leader program at Samford and serves as a Cognia STEM Accreditation Team Member. Her research interests include math and reading achievement, school improvement, and strategic leadership. She lives in Hayden, Alabama, with her husband and is the proud mother of two college students.
Senior Program Associate, WestEd×
Amber Valdez is a Senior Program Associate for the Innovation Studies and Comprehensive School Assistance Programs at WestEd, where she provides technical assistance to state and local education agencies in areas of systems transformation and continuous improvement for educational equity. Amber is experienced in change management, networked learning, leadership development and stakeholder engagement. She is passionate about racial justice and educational equity, and has methodological interests in place-based change, people-centered design, transformative stakeholder engagement, and transformational leadership. Amber has worked as a nonprofit leader in education, philanthropy, and other social sectors, and has consulted independently on systems change with education agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private consulting firms. She received her EdD in Educational Leadership from Mills College.
Lead Freshman Success Coach, Network for College Success×
Toney Vast-Binder is the Lead Freshman Success Coach with the Network for College Success. Before joining NCS, Toney served as Assistant Principal at Lake View High School (LVHS). He helped found LVHS’s first Freshman Success Team, which worked to increase in the average on-track rate of ninth graders from 83% to 93%. Toney also supported the establishment of the Instructional Leadership Team at LVHS, as well as the identification of Reading Apprenticeship as the staff-selected framework for instruction in all content areas. Prior to becoming the Assistant Principal, Toney was a Social Studies and Art teacher for 9 years at LVHS.
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Carnegie Foundation×
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.
Improvement Analyst, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation×
Cami Velasquez is an improvement analyst with the Networked Improvement Science group at the Carnegie Foundation. In this role, she participates in the design and implementation of improvement projects, the delivery of training resources, and the analysis of data for reports and publications.
She joined the Foundation in 2017 as a post-baccalaureate fellow with the networked improvement science group. Before coming to Carnegie, she was a Princeton in Latin America fellow in Mexico, where she supported the implementation of an alternative education model in rural schools nationwide. As a regional liaison, she provided technical assistance through coaching, evaluation, and professional development. Working closely with educators at all levels of the public school system fueled an interest in the organizational dynamics necessary for large-scale pedagogical transformation.
She holds an anthropology degree from Kenyon College.
Executive Director, Literacy Design Collaborative×
Chad 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.
Senior Associate, Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy×
Andrew is a Senior Associate at the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, where he specializes in applying the discipline of improvement science to empower educators with tools and methods to systematically develop, test and continuously improve solutions to their most pressing problems of practice. His passion for improving students’ learning opportunities began while managing academically-focused afterschool programs in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Andrew’s practice in facilitating continuous improvement is grounded in over a decade of experience, including rigorous quantitative and qualitative research training at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, several partnerships on improvement projects with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and years managing program evaluation projects at Abt Associates in Cambridge, MA. Andrew holds B.A.s in Psychology and English from the University of California, Santa Barbara and two master’s degrees in education policy and program evaluation from Harvard University.
Founder and Executive Director, TrueSchool×
Amy has spent her career in education, working in early childhood through post-secondary. As the first person in her family to graduate from college, Amy wanted to pay it forward and joined a non-profit startup focused on improving graduation rates for first-gen students across the U.S. She then helped to launch a school in New Orleans in the years following Hurricane Katrina and worked in economic development in South Africa. She left grad school at Princeton and returned to New Orleans to found TrueSchool in 2013. Working with district leaders and school teams to catalyze powerful improvement efforts led by the frontlines, TrueSchool focuses on people-powered change in education systems.
In addition to working across the U.S., Amy has also worked in education systems in Latin America and West Africa. Amy is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.A. in anthropology and
international affairs. She is an Unreasonable Fellow and was selected as “one of the world’s best emerging social innovators” by Echoing Green as a 2015 Global Fellow.
Chair, Department of Teaching & Learning, Southern Methodist University×
Paige Ware is the Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Endowed Professor of Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Southern Methodist University. She received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in Education, Language, Literacy, and Culture. Her research focuses on how technology can foster digital literacy and virtual exchanges among youth and their teachers through international online projects. Her work has been funded by a National Academy of Education/Spencer Post-Doctoral Fellowship, the TESOL International Research Foundation for English Language Education, and the Department of Education. She has twice been the principal investigator of 5-year federal Office of English Language Acquisition professional development grants designed to support classroom educators in working with English learners. She is part of a networked improvement community of Educator Preparation Program providers in Texas supported by the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Post Baccalaureate Fellow, Collaborative Technology, Carnegie Foundation×
Hannah joined the Foundation in 2019 as a post-baccalaureate fellow with the Collaborative Technology group. She received her B.A. in political science from Scripps College in Claremont, CA. Her research focused on the intersection of education policy, political power, and hegemony, ultimately completing her senior thesis on the rights of K-12 students to participate in political protest during school hours. In addition, Weissler interned at the American Association of University Women, the Office of U.S. Congressman Jamie Raskin, and D.C. Public Schools’ Compliance and Policy Division. She also taught English to unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Denmark at a Danish Red Cross center.
Mary Kathryn Wells
Executive Director, Improvement Networks, Tennessee Early Literacy Network×
Mary Kathryn Wells has led the Tennessee Department of Education’s improvement network, called the Tennessee Early Literacy Network, since its creation in 2016. In her leadership of TELN, she prioritized making improvement science sustainable and user-friendly for the teachers and district leaders who are doing the critical work of serving students and improving schools. Mary Kathryn is an improvement science practitioner and meticulous strategic planner committed to building equitable school systems that support the social-emotional and academic needs of all students, especially those who have been historically underserved by schools.
Associate Professor, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, The University of Texas at Austin
Senior Program Officer, K-12 Education Program, Walton Family Foundation
Executive Director of Human Resources, Green Bay Area Public Schools×
Executive Director Theresa Willems works to create cohesion, culture, and collaboration to support systems that positively impact students, educators, staff, families and our communities. Serving to bring out the best in others, Theresa has a long, varied career path and continues to be on the district administrative team for Green Bay Area Public Schools, Green Bay Wisconsin.
Director, Program Improvement and Practice, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education×
Caitlin Wilson serves as the Director, Program Improvement and Practice at the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE). In this role, she leads AACTE’s Networked Improvement Communities (NICs) related to recruiting more male teachers of color into the profession and addressing the special education teacher shortage. Wilson also leads programming related to teacher performance assessments and supports various initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Previously, Wilson was the Senior Manager for Practice Improvement at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Wilson started her career as a Spanish and Reading teacher for Cobb County School District in Georgia. Wilson has a master’s degree in Secondary Education from Georgia College and State University. She earned an undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Georgia.
State Lead for Missouri, TrueSchool×
Anglia Wittmus is a National Board Certified Teacher and Gifted Education Specialist who is personable and heartfelt about developing dynamic educators. She believes educator support and empowerment are essential to meet the diverse needs of all learners. Experience, creativity, and a sincere love of teaching drive her design and facilitation in adult learning and professional development. A champion of educator retention, she provides support through meaningful workshop experiences and clear communication for the cultivation of tomorrow’s explorers. She brings over 20 years of classroom experience at the primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. Anglia holds a Master of Science in Classroom Instruction and is currently a doctoral candidate in educational technology and e-learning.
Superintendent, Belvidere Community Unit School District 100×
Danny Woestman is the superintendent for the Belvidere, Illinois School District. Danny believes all children are a vital part of our communities and our future, and that we have an obligation to give them the best learning experiences we can. He knows that schools have a tremendous influence on children both in and outside of the classroom, and that a dedicated and ever-learning staff are the most important resource schools offer children. Danny 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 worked as the Chief Quality Officer for Rockford Public Schools in Illinois for five years before taking his current position in Belvidere. He holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Northern Illinois University and has degrees from Brigham Young University and University of Cincinnati.
7th Grade Lead Mathematics and Science Teacher, Extera Public Schools×
Having originally studied Economics at UC Berkeley, Jean Yang made a career change to education after witnessing the inequality between Oakland and North Berkeley schools. She earned her Masters of Education at UCLA, hoping to study this inequity and worked in multiple schools in addressing quality education. Jean currently teaches 7th grade Mathematics and Science at Extera Public Schools in Boyle Heights, CA. She believes quality education begins with quality teachers and resources for every student. She hopes to continue her career with instructional coaching, public policy, or financial literacy for educators in the future.
Assessment Specialist, Center for Urban Education Leadership, University of Illinois at Chicago×
Paul Zavitkovsky has spent most of his career as an elementary and middle school teacher and principal. His Illinois history began in 1991 when he became the principal of a large, K-8 Chicago elementary school. In 1999, this school became the first Chicago public school ever to receive an Exemplary Program Award from the International Reading Association. In 2000, it was one of only six schools nationally to receive a Chase School Change Award from the National Principals’ Leadership Institute. From 2001 to 2004, Zavitkovsky worked as a senior policy analyst for the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago before assuming his current position as a leadership coach and assessment specialist at the Center for Urban Education Leadership, University of Illinois-Chicago.
Founder and CEO, Shift Results×
Karen Zeribi leads a consulting team at Shift Results which specializes in improving outcomes in education, health, and social services. Shift Results partners with communities to learn their context and build the capacity of their leaders to run effective continuous improvement initiatives to transform their field of practice. Over the last 20 years, Karen has designed and implemented enduring improvement networks on a wide array of important topics that impact our society. Examples include early childhood education, equity in schools, childhood obesity, HIV/AIDS, and specialty pediatric conditions. Karen also enjoys teaching and coaching continuous improvement methods; she has designed and facilitated numerous courses ranging from basic to advanced skills, and virtual to in-person. She has a Master of Health Science degree from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Science in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University. She speaks fluent Spanish and enjoys scuba diving with her husband and children.