I have been a student, teacher, school founder, district leader, professor, school network leader, and education technology executive. Throughout, two things have been consistent: the responsibility for leading complex, high-stakes change projects, and a commitment to equity that requires challenging the status quo.
As an executive at AltSchool, I led a bi-coastal network of innovative micro schools, and helped a high-profile technology start-up through a major restructuring. I managed school closures, mergers, and transitions while raising academic achievement and stakeholder satisfaction.
As a professor in the management program at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College I designed a course that now serves a template for exploration of the societal consequences of technological change, and taught four other classes about leadership, ed policy and the future of learning. Read more.
As a 29-year old district executive I led one of the highest profile transformations of human capital systems in a public school district – an $80M partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that included designing and operationalizing one of the nation’s first combined measures of teacher performance across more than 60 city schools. Read more.
As a graduate student, I led a Carnegie Mellon team that designed a high school that would enable all students to succeed in advanced coursework prior to graduation, regardless of prior academic success. Two years later I opened this school as the Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy. Read more.
As a sixth-grade teacher at Elmhurst Middle School in east Oakland, CA I taught math and science, served an extraordinary group of learners, and learned lifelong lessons about leadership, equity and justice.
My own experience as a public school student on Maryland’s Eastern Shore exposed me to the racism and inequity that I have been trying to understand and address ever since.
Skills and expertise
While my experience has been in the education sector, my skills transfer across sectors and are more about the process of leading teams, engaging communities, and managing change. My own academic background is in management, policy, and political science. In education, areas of especially deep content expertise include human capital systems and school design.
I have been fortunate to work with and learn from a diverse and accomplished group of leaders who have taught me so much about life and leadership, some explicitly and most by example. They include former superintendents of Pittsburgh Public Schools Mark Roosevelt and Linda Lane, former California Superintendent of the Year Devin Vodicka, Dropbox CTO Bharat Mediratta, PIMCO SVP Nate Brown, Grable Foundation E.D. Gregg Behr, and Saleem Ghubril from The Pittsburgh Promise among many others.