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Our Staff

 

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STEVEN KELLNER
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Dean Guzman
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Molly Greene
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Jane Lanza
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Steven Kellner
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAM DELIVERY

Over his 25 years in public education Steve has served as a classroom teacher, site and district administrator and superintendent. Throughout his career he has worked to close achievement gaps and open doors for first generation college students in both California and Illinois. At the university level Steve was proud to teach aspiring principals in Northeastern Illinois University Masters in Educational Leadership program.
From a curricular perspective Steve led the development of the first high school in the nation with a STEM for ALL focus. He has presented nationally on topics ranging from new teacher mentoring and best practices in teacher evaluation to creating a sustainable interdisciplinary STEM model at the high school level and effectively implementing instructional technology.

During his 12 years as a classroom teacher he taught English, Social Science and Broadcast Journalism in addition to serving as fellow at the University of Chicago’s Graham School writing interdisciplinary curriculum focused on Asia.


He has a Bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford Ohio, teaching certification from Indiana University and a Master’s degree in Educational leadership from Aurora University and a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from Loyola University Chicago where he researched the impact of superintendent leadership on student achievement.

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Dean Guzman
SENIOR PROGRAM ASSOCIATE

Prior to moving back to California, Dean was an Associate Director of Strategic Planning at the Office of District Planning of the New York City Department of Education where he focused on district wide priorities and planning in the borough of Queens. In this role, he also coordinated the implementation of the strategic removal of the Transportable Classroom Units across the city as part of the Mayor and Chancellor’s initiative to remove all units within five years. Dean was also a Board of Directors member for St. HOPE Leadership Academy Charter School in Harlem where he met monthly to discuss, analyze, and vote on school wide strategy. As a board member, he initiated, presented, and developed the strategy to reconfigure grade levels served at the school by truncating the fifth grade and only serving grades six through eight. Dean’s city government experience also includes being an Urban Fellow at the Workforce Development Division of the New York City Department of Small Business Services where he developed education and health care related workforce programs. Prior to working in city government, Dean taught twelfth grade AP Environmental Science and was the Science Department chair at a small public charter high school in Los Angeles. Dean graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara where he majored in Environmental Studies and Geography. He grew up in San Diego and is finally living in the Bay Area. He enjoys long distance running, fantasy sports, and interior design.

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Molly Greene
Director of Program Design

Molly has devoted her entire career to working towards health and educational equity for young people. After graduating from Amherst College, she began her career in international education, first working as an English teacher in Ecuador and then eventually joining the leadership team of WorldTeach, recruiting, training and supporting volunteer teachers in developing countries around the world. After pursuing a Master’s in Education through the Reynolds Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship at Harvard, she then joined the newly formed nonprofit Peer Health Exchange (PHE), whose mission is to empower young people with the knowledge, skills and resources they need to make healthy decisions. She spent her first 3 years at PHE leading and growing PHE's Boston site, and eventually moved to their headquarters in San Francisco to lead the national program team, responsible for the design, continuous improvement, evaluation and high-quality delivery of PHE's peer-led health education model. Over the course of the next 7+ years, she led a complete overhaul and revision of the PHE program to deepen its impact on young people, and build PHE's capacity as an innovative learning organization. She left the staff of PHE at the end of 2017, joined their Bay Area Board and started her position as Ed Partners’ Director of Program Design and Learning in May 2018.

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 Jane Lanza
OFFICE MANAGER

“No matter where we come from, we want the best for our children. I would like to see every neighborhood have access to a local public school system that can not only provide them with the sense of belonging that I enjoyed as a child, but offer them a quality of education that is the best in the business.”

Prior to entering the non-profit world, Jane spent 20 years at IBM in high-level, large account marketing positions before taking the reins as business development executive at multiple Silicon Valley start-ups. Jane financed her education and graduated Cum Laude from San Jose State University in 1982.

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Jasmine Nasser
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JoDee Marcellin
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Chris Rodriguez 
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Jose Silva
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Jasmine Nasser
PROGRAM ASSOCIATE

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Jasmine’s passion for education developed during summers in college as she worked with youth at various schools and camps in Northern California, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and Hawaii.  Before joining California Education Partners, Jasmine worked as a first grade teacher and ELA curriculum planner in New Orleans and as a research assistant for NYU and Columbia Universities, interviewing students, families, and educators about their experiences with school choice, teacher evaluation systems, and other education related topics.

Jasmine earned her B.S. in Community Development and Education from UC Davis and her M.A. in Sociology of Education & Education Policy from New York University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spoiling her dog - Argent.

 
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JoDee Marcellin
SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER

JoDee Marcellin, Ed.D. grew up in the Bay Area and moved to attend California State University, Fresno. As a Bulldog, she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education, Masters in Public Health, teaching and administrative credentials, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. JoDee began her educational career at Sanger High School and stayed for ten years as a science/health teacher, head athletic trainer, and then assistant principal. She helped SHS become a CalSTAT model school in full inclusion and a California Distinguished School through partnerships with Riverside County Achievement Team (RCAT) and Steve Zuieback (Synectics). For the next eight years, JoDee worked as a district level K-12 curriculum coordinator, an elementary principal, and returned to the district office as a coordinator of grants, instructional technology, and SCALE Up partner.

During JoDee’s K-12 tenure, she built her repertoire in leadership, collaboration, facilitation, curriculum and instruction, systems change, and instructional technology. This multifaceted background afforded her a unique opportunity to join the California Education Partner team. The innovation, drive, and passion to facilitate success for ALL students held by Ed Partners matches her own and will allow her to expand and deepen the amazing work she was blessed to be involved in Sanger to a larger scale throughout California.

 
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Chris Rodriguez
Program Associate

Chris entered education with a drive to help end the achievement gap and believes that opportunities for doing so exist at all levels in our system. His work has taken him across the K-12 spectrum including secondary music, all subjects in elementary, and special education inclusion. He helped create and refine state and national assessments, including Hawai’i State Alternate Assessment and Smarter Balanced math assessments. Prior to joining Ed Partners, he was a school leader serving as a new teacher mentor, instructional and response to intervention coach, and curriculum coordinator. He also worked to inform Hawai’i state education policy with Hope Street Group – facilitating focus groups, engaging stakeholders across the state, and elevating the voice of teachers in the creation and implementation of education policy.


Chris earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education-Secondary from New Mexico State University and his Masters in Elementary Teaching from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. His training and experience have focused on issues of equity, data-based instruction, and continuous school improvement.

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Jose Silva
DATA MANAGER

Prior to joining California Education Partners, he was the Data Manager at Sanger Unified School District. In this role Jose worked closely with district leadership and teachers to inform and impact positive student outcomes. He leveraged his previous private sector experience as a systems manager and continuous improvement engineer to develop new data perspectives and analysis. He was also responsible for completing all data analysis and associated findings to meet all grant reporting requirements.

Jose grew up in Farmersville, a small rural community located in California’s Central Valley. His current work provides him an opportunity to make a positive impact in communities where students share in a similar experience. He is committed to ensuring all students have an opportunity to be successful and achieve their dreams.

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Laura Schwalm
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Laura Wentworth
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Kaitlyn Pearson 
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Natasha Hoehn
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Laura Schwalm
SENIOR PARTNER

“It has been a privilege to spend my entire career in public education. My teaching career began as a student teacher in the Garden Grove Unified School District and ended 41 years later in the same district, the last 14 of which were as superintendent. Along the way I had the opportunity both to teach and serve as a site administrator in elementary and secondary schools as well as to work in a variety of positions at the district level. Each of these experiences allowed me to work alongside and learn from remarkable teachers, administrators and support personnel. The opportunities I had to work with masterful teachers taught me the importance of building caring relationships with students, establishing high expectations and providing all the support necessary for students to meet those expectations. Skillful leaders taught me the importance of applying these same principles to leading schools, and later to leading a system of schools.

Over the years I found that the solutions to even the most complex problems most often were found in the minds of those closest to the work. Given the opportunity to work together, I watched teachers, administrators, support staff, parents and students find and execute creative and practical solutions for challenging situations. Enabling them to do this was simply a matter of giving them the time, space and structure necessary for the work.”

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Laura Wentworth
DIRECTOR OF THE STANFORD UNIVERSITY/SFUSD PARTNERSHIP

Since 2009, Laura Wentworth has been the Director of the Stanford University, San Francisco Unified School District Partnership. In 2014, with the help of Laura’s leadership, the Graduate School of Education funded the Partnership at $1 million a year over five years to build the capacity of Stanford professors and San Francisco administrators to partner on projects aimed at making improvements in San Francisco and beyond. She received her Master’s in instruction and curriculum from the University of Colorado, a Masters in the social sciences of education and a PhD in administration and policy analysis in education from Stanford University.

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Kaitlyn Pearson
Event Coordinator

Kaitlyn is joining Ed Partners after moving from the Midwest, where she worked for Drury University’s Admission program. There, she coordinated the University’s campus visit program and recruitment events for before transitioning into her role as an Admissions Counselor where she recruited and advised prospective students through their college admission and financial aid process. Kaitlyn implemented recruitment events across the United States as well as college prep discussions and panels in Southeast Missouri. Having grown up in a rural, public education system, Kaitlyn finds it incredibly rewarding to work in support of educators and to assist in providing opportunities for students. In her free time you can find her somewhere outdoors exploring, or alternatively, indoors watching movies!

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Natasha Hoehn
SENIOR PARTNER

Founder and Senior Partner Natasha Hoehn traces her lifelong commitment to public education and social justice to her years as a junior high school English teacher in the South Bronx, where she founded the school’s theater program, implemented an “early college” program, and developed a project-based writing curriculum for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. A graduate of Yale University, former Teach for America Corps Member of 1996 and Coro Community Fellow of 2004, Natasha’s passion for teaching and learning has led her to take on numerous leadership roles within the education community: as a student, teacher, policy analyst, fundraiser, funder, and advocate. Natasha is also the Executive Director of the Silver Giving Foundation.

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Nick Resnick
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Pat Andreine
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Phil Halperin

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Luis Argueta
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Nick Resnick
SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER

As the Math in Common Manager at California Education Partners, Nick brings a relentless drive to ensure districts and teachers are prepared to implement the Common Core State Standards in mathematics (CCSS-M). Nick has a unique blend of on-the-ground teaching, coaching and administrative experience. As a teacher in Oakland Unified, Nick taught over 500 students during his tenure, leading these scholars to mathematical proficiency scores that doubled the district and state averages. Introduced to the CCSS in 2010, Nick participated in a pilot study with UC-Berkeley and the University of Nottingham (Mathematics Assessment Project) which aimed to test and create curriculum that brought to life the CCSS-M. Through his multi-year commitment to that study he began to train with the Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative, where he became fanatical about training teachers to educate students through conceptual and relevant math pedagogy. As an Instructional Coach, Nick helped move a cohort of large middle schools to full CCSS-M implementation. A strong advocate for digital learning, he led a team to successfully receive a blended learning technology grant, providing over 800 students with a more personalized education.
Nick is energized by the responsibility to help equip districts with the knowledge and tools necessary to implement a CCSS-M program. He strongly believes that if districts have the capacity to implement a CCSS aligned curriculum, then all students will finally be taught a foundational level of knowledge that will afford them greater opportunities in life.
Nick graduated from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland with an additional focus in Sociology. He received a Masters in Education from Alliant International University in San Francisco.

 
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Pat Andreine
BOOKKEEPER

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Pat Andreine has returned to the work force after partial retirement in order to be engaged and to continue to contribute to our community. She is grateful for the educational opportunities afforded to her through California public education, kindergarten through graduation at Sonoma State in 1976. There she received her bachelor’s degree in the fields of Psychology, Women’s Studies and Business Administration. She received her MBA from University of Phoenix in 1993 and Master of Science in Accounting from the University of Colorado, Denver in 2002. A lifelong learner, she continues to educate herself on many subjects and interests, currently including history, public affairs and philosophy. Her career in business administration and accounting was primarily with non-profit organizations dedicated to improving society, thereby influencing her character. Currently residing in Santa Rosa, California, her hobbies include gardening, embroidery, wine-tasting, art/music appreciation, and participation in book discussion groups.

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Phil Halperin
SENIOR PARTNER

As a founder of both California Education Partners and the Silver Giving Foundation, Phil Halperin has dedicated his career to the kids of California. His work has led him to champion efforts to strengthen pre-school statewide, empower and improve school districts, promote local investment in public schools, support teachers, and build robust and innovative partnerships that close opportunity gaps and help students stay on the path to success in college, career, and life. Phil earned his A.B. in Political Science from Stanford University and his MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business Phil has also co-chaired five successful local campaigns for public schools, including the $450 million 2006 and the $531 million 2011 School Bonds and the $400 million 2008 Quality Teaching and Education Act (Parcel Tax) and the $125 million per year Our Children, Our City Act.

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Luis Argueta
PROGRAM MANAGER

Luis is a former Dual Language Spanish Immersion elementary teacher and K-8 principal in the San Francisco Bay Area, his work now focuses on supporting district administrators in creating and designing district-level improvement work to increasing the academic outcomes of Latinx, African American and socio-economically disadvantaged students. Luis strongly believes in the power of education as an agent for personal and social change. He has worked throughout his sixteen-year career to help provide access to this power to students and families for the betterment of their communities. 

 
Luis holds a Masters degree in Education from the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his Administrative Services Credential and a Masters degree in Teaching from New College of California, where he received his Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. He received a B.A. in History from the University of California, Riverside.

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Our Board

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Brad Stam

As Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Brad Stam co-leads ConnectEd with President Gary Hoachlander, supports organizational development and business development, and aligns programmatic initiatives in support of ConnectEd’s systemic reform goals. Prior to coming to ConnectEd, Brad served as Chief Academic Officer for Oakland Unified School District, leading dramatic academic improvement at the elementary and middle grades, and initiating a systemic Linked Learning approach to high school reform. During Brad’s tenure, Oakland USD had the highest API growth of any large urban district in California, 118 points. Prior to coming to Oakland, Brad served as Special Assistant to the Superintendent and Director of Teacher Affairs in San Francisco Unified, creating innovative and collaborative approaches to support teacher and principal effectiveness and organizational learning. Brad has taught middle school, was a middle school vice principal and elementary school principal in San Francisco, and started his career developing and teaching interdisciplinary curriculum at University Heights High School in the Bronx, New York. Brad brings extensive knowledge and experience in teaching and learning, urban school and district reform, and a lifelong passion for helping underprivileged youth improve their life options through quality education. Brad earned his BA at Harvard University and his MA at Teachers College, Columbia University.

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Jennifer O'Day

Jennifer O’Day is an Institute Fellow at AIR. Over the past 25 years, Dr. O’Day has carried out research, advised national and state policy makers, and written extensively in the areas of systemic standards-based reform, educational equity, accountability, and capacity-building strategies. One main focus of her work in recent years has been on strategies for intervening in low performing, high poverty schools identified under systems of state, local, and federal accountability.

Since joining AIR in 2002, Dr. O’Day has led the state evaluation of California’s Public School Accountability Act (2002-03), the national evaluation of State Implementation of NCLB (2003-08), and the national evaluation of the implementation of Title III of ESEA. This and related work has led to Dr. O’Day’s emphasis on the vital role that school districts play in establishing the conditions for meaningful change in schools and classrooms. In line with this emphasis, she led a four-year investigation (2004-08) of the implementation and effects of the literacy reforms in San Diego City Schools and convened a recent review of the reform strategies in New York City under the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg and Joel Klein (Education Reform in New York City: Ambitious Change in the Nation’s most Complex School System, Harvard Education Press, 2011).

Dr. O’Day is the founder and chair of the California Collaborative on District Reform, which for six years has joined researchers, district practitioners, state policymakers, and funders in an on-going, evidence-based dialogue and collective action to improve instruction and student learning for all students in California’s urban school systems, with particular emphasis on linguistic minorities, who make up over 25% of California’s student population. Dr. O’Day is also a co-convener of the national Working Group on ELL Policy.

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Jorge Ruiz de Velasco

Jorge Ruiz de Velasco is the Associate Director of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities. Affiliated with the Stanford Graduate School of Education, the Gardner Center develops leadership, conducts research, and affects change to improve the lives of youth. Velasco’s work focuses on the study and promotion of change in public schools, the implications of education reform for disadvantaged students, education law and policy, and the effect of immigration on schools and communities. Dr. Velasco comes to Stanford from Berkeley Law, where he was Director of the Warren Institute’s Program on Education Law and Policy. The focus of his work is on the study and promotion of change in public schools, the implications of education reform for disadvantaged students, education law and policy, and the effect of immigration on schools and communities. Prior to his appointment at the Warren Institute, he served as Director of the Institute for Research on Education Policy and Practice at Stanford, and has served terms as a Program Officer for Educational Opportunity and Scholarship at the Ford Foundation, and as a Senior Program Officer at both the James Irvine and William & Flora Hewlett Foundations. Dr. Velasco also served as a Senior Research Associate at The Urban Institute and as a lawyer and policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. He is a graduate of Harvard College (1984), and the Boalt Hall School of Law (1987). Subsequently, he earned an M.A. in Education Administration and Policy Analysis (1994) and a Ph.D. in Political Science (1999), both from Stanford University.

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Kenji Hakuta

I teach at Stanford University in the School of Education, where I have been on the faculty since 1989, except for three years (2003-2006) when I moved to the Central Valley to help start the University of California, Merced as its founding Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. That was a fun and exciting experience, and the university is well on its way to becoming a big presence in the Central Valley. Back “at the farm” as they say at Stanford, I hold an endowed chair as the Lee L. Jacks Professor (when I left to go to Merced, I held the Vida Jacks Chair, so my thanks to the Jacks family!). My areas of teaching and research are in the education of English Language Learners, second language acquisition, education policy and practice, and statistics.

My scholarly inquiry is focused on the areas of bilingualism and second language acquisition, and my policy interest is in improving educational opportunities for language minority students. I also have an quirky policy interest in how the research infrastructure can be improved to support good education research, an acquired taste that I developed which chairing the policy board the the U.S. Department of Education as well as serving on the board of the Spencer Foundation. I am at a phase in my career when I am more into actions than traditional scholarship — what helps schools, teaching, training of future scholars to do work that is directly relevant to improving education. I currrently spend a lot of time in schools looking for interesting collaborations and activities that can directly impact the lives of students.

I am increasingly trying to make my work more web-enabled, so that I can eventually fade into etherspace, hang out in the mountains yet continue to contribute after I retire from active duty as long as there is internet access. That drives my passion to create tools such as WordSift as a tool that can be readily passed from one teacher to another. I also am proud of the on-line presence that I’ve created (with my good colleague Guadalupe Valdés) around ELL resources for teachers and educational leaders. I’m communicating more and more through webinars, rather than getting on planes (I think that makes for a smaller carbon footprint — at least that’s my excuse for turning down most requests that involve travel).

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Laura Schwalm
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Mike Smith
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Natasha Hoehn
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Phil Halperin
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Laura Schwalm
SENIOR PARTNER

“It has been a privilege to spend my entire career in public education. My teaching career began as a student teacher in the Garden Grove Unified School District and ended 41 years later in the same district, the last 14 of which were as superintendent. Along the way I had the opportunity both to teach and serve as a site administrator in elementary and secondary schools as well as to work in a variety of positions at the district level. Each of these experiences allowed me to work alongside and learn from remarkable teachers, administrators and support personnel. The opportunities I had to work with masterful teachers taught me the importance of building caring relationships with students, establishing high expectations and providing all the support necessary for students to meet those expectations. Skillful leaders taught me the importance of applying these same principles to leading schools, and later to leading a system of schools.

Over the years I found that the solutions to even the most complex problems most often were found in the minds of those closest to the work. Given the opportunity to work together, I watched teachers, administrators, support staff, parents and students find and execute creative and practical solutions for challenging situations. Enabling them to do this was simply a matter of giving them the time, space and structure necessary for the work.”

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Mike Smith

Mike Smith is one of the nation’s most respected education policymakers. His career includes significant contributions to academia, policymaking, educational research and evaluation, and has authored and made contributions to seminal reports and studies on education. Smith’s areas of expertise include standards and assessments, educational research and evaluation, use of technology in education, and early childhood education. Dr. Smith is currently an education consultant, after having served as key advisor at the U.S. Department of Education during three administrations.

Prior to serving President Barak Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Smith was both acting deputy secretary and under secretary under Secretary Richard Riley during the Clinton Administration. He was chief of staff to the first secretary of education, Shirley Hufstedler, and also served as the assistant commissioner for policy studies in the Office of Education, in the former Department of Health, Education in the Carter Administration. Before that, Smith helped lead the National Institute of Education’s work in education research and development. While in federal government, Smith oversaw the development and passage of several major education laws.

Just before his most recent stint in Washington, Smith was program director for education at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, Calif. Outside of government; he was at different times an associate professor at Harvard, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Stanford University, and dean of Stanford’s school of education. A member of the National Academy of Education and former chairman of the board of the American Institutes of Research and throughout his career, Smith authored publications on numerous topics, including school effectiveness and standards-based reform. He has lent his expertise to many commission, foundations and boards, including the National Research Council, and has been a consultant to many government agencies, foundations, and nonprofit organizations, such as the Education Testing Service, and to foreign governments. Marshall earned a B.A. at Harvard College and both a master’s and a doctoral degree in Measurement and Statistics from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Natasha Hoehn
SENIOR PARTNER

Founder and Senior Partner Natasha Hoehn traces her lifelong commitment to public education and social justice to her years as a junior high school English teacher in the South Bronx, where she founded the school’s theater program, implemented an “early college” program, and developed a project-based writing curriculum for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. A graduate of Yale University, former Teach for America Corps Member of 1996 and Coro Community Fellow of 2004, Natasha’s passion for teaching and learning has led her to take on numerous leadership roles within the education community: as a student, teacher, policy analyst, fundraiser, funder, and advocate. Natasha is also the Executive Director of the Silver Giving Foundation.

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Phil Halperin
SENIOR PARTNER

As a founder of both California Education Partners and the Silver Giving Foundation, Phil Halperin has dedicated his career to the kids of California. His work has led him to champion efforts to strengthen pre-school statewide, empower and improve school districts, promote local investment in public schools, support teachers, and build robust and innovative partnerships that close opportunity gaps and help students stay on the path to success in college, career, and life. Phil earned his A.B. in Political Science from Stanford University and his MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business Phil has also co-chaired five successful local campaigns for public schools, including the $450 million 2006 and the $531 million 2011 School Bonds and the $400 million 2008 Quality Teaching and Education Act (Parcel Tax) and the $125 million per year Our Children, Our City Act.

 

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