BookNook is on a mission to ensure equitable access to rigorous and engaging instruction through technology innovation

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FOCUSED ON SUCCESS

We are focused on supporting children and families in traditionally disenfranchised communities. Our founding team comes almost entirely from schools, nonprofits, social-good technology, and government.

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DESIGNED BY EDUCATORS

We believe that the best programs are designed by people who have roots in the classroom. Both our instructional strategy and our curriculum come from experienced educators who have seen first hand what works best for students.

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BASED ON RESEARCH

Our approach is grounded in multiple rigorous studies, and cultivated by a team of nationally recognized experts who are both practitioners & researchers. Our patented technology scales to put proven instructional methods into practice.

Our Story

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After building a national children’s literacy nonprofit with a strong base of evidence, our founder launched BookNook out of the belief that only through technology can rigorous programs truly scale. After a small pilot in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2016, BookNook has quickly spread across hundreds of schools and after-school programs, throughout dozens of states.

Our Team

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Alex Dunn

PARTNERSHIPS

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Alexander Drewno

ENGINEERING

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Alexis Graham

HR & TALENT

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Alison Dunn

IMPACT

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Alyssa Jennings

PRODUCT

team amandaaitkens

Amanda Aitkens

PARTNERSHIPS

team amynolte

Amy Nolte

CURRICULUM

team comingsoon

Annie Lee

PRODUCT

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Anthony Clancy

STRATEGY
team aprilstrong

April Strong

IMPACT

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Austin Williams

IMPACT

team ben koshland

Ben Koshland

IMPACT

team bethswayze

Beth Swayze

IMPACT

team bobbymoore

Bobby Moore

TUTORING

team bradley

Bradley Burkett

OPERATIONS

team brandon

Brandon Settje

PRODUCT

team comingsoon

Brittine Hunt

HR & TALENT

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Caitlin Ivol

PRODUCT

team casey

Casey Shipley

HR & TALENT LEAD

team cassie

Cassie Koelsch

ENGINEERING

chauncey brown

Chauncey Brown

IMPACT

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Chase Burke

TUTORING

team christine

Christine Marsh

IMPACT

daniel

Daniel Ruppert

IMPACT

team danielle b

Danielle Bott

OPERATIONS

team comingsoon

David LaGrange

MARKETING

team diedre

Diedre Douglas

IMPACT

team dreybattle

Drey Battle

IMPACT

team emily

Emily Banuelas

PARTNERSHIPS

team emilybellinger

Emily Bellinger

IMPACT

team emme

Emme Veliz

IMPACT

team ezrahecker

Ezra Hecker

ENGINEERING

team comingsoon

Faustino Nunez

IMPACT LEAD

team florasavio

Flora Savio

ENGINEERING

team gaelle

Gaëlle Belhseine

CURRICULUM

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Gamble Stamey

FINANCE & OPERATIONS

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Hannah Imoru

PARTNERSHIPS

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Heather Gomez

PRODUCT

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Ian Huggins

IMPACT

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Ileana Street

TUTORING

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Isaac Kasongoyo

ENGINEERING

team JamesG

James Gambrell

CURRICULUM

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Janel Bonds

IMPACT

team janeller

Janelle Rigler

IMPACT

team jared

Jared Duncan

ENGINEERING

team jasonh

Jason Hammock

ENGINEERING

team comingsoon

Jason Singer

TUTORING LEAD

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Jayne Shanklin

IMPLEMENTATION

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Jennifer Escobedo

BOOKNOOK TUTORING

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Jeremy Kaffrey

ENGINEERING

team JesseK

Jesse Kubanet

PARTNERSHIPS

team jessicaisaacs

Jessica Isaacs

FINANCE & OPERATIONS LEAD

team jimmy

Jimmy Longley

ENGINEERING LEAD

team comingsoon

Jimmy Sheppard

LEGAL

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Jody Nova

OPERATIONS

team johnheming

John Heming

OPERATIONS

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Jose Bolivar

IMPACT

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José Magaña

PARTNERSHIPS

Josephine Thomas

Josephine Thomas

HR & TALENT
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Justice Murray

IMPACT

team justine

Justine Ades

IMPACT

team karenli

Karen Li

ENGINEERING

team Karly

Karly Pritchett

IMPACT

team comingsoon

Kathleen Fujawa

TUTORING

team kaylac

Kayla Clayton

TUTORING

team kaylan

Kaylan Huang

DESIGN

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Kelly Redmond

ENGINEERING

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Kelly Willian

IMPACT

team kennethbrown

Kenneth Brown

OPERATIONS

team kesha

Kesha Prokes

OPERATIONS

team kourtney

Kourtney Weavers

PARTNERSHIPS

team krisbierma

Kris Bierma

ENGINEERING

team krishnapatel

Krishna Patel

ENGINEERING

team krystalcormack

Krystal Cormack

BOOKNOOK TUTORING

team comingsoon

Laytoya Stevens

BOOKNOOK TUTORING

team lauraD

Laura De Casas

PARTNERSHIPS

team laurag

Laura Goodman

PARTNERSHIPS

team lynne

Lynne Stephenson

CURRICULUM

team maia

Maia Levoy

ENGINEERING

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Mallory McClendon

PARTNERSHIPS

team mandi

Mandi Meyer

PARTNERSHIPS

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Margaret Sauve

IMPACT

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Maria Osornio

OPERATIONS

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Marion Kerr

MARKETING

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Mark Ryan

MARKETING

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Matthew Lindly

ENGINEERING

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Melissa Lucrezia

IMPACT

michael

Michael Lombardo

CEO/FOUNDER

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Mindy Yeager

BOOKNOOK TUTORING

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Misbah Tanvir

DATA

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Monica Lopez Nicholas

IMPACT

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Nadia Westlund

IMPACT

team natasha

Natasha Brown

IMPACT

team comingsoon

Nicholas Szkotak

ENGINEERING

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Nikki Serhat

IMPACT

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Nolan Highbaugh

LEGAL

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Oliver Enrique Rodriguez Leon

LEGAL

team pamela

Pamela Gaudet

PRODUCT

team patrick

Patrick Weaver

ENGINEERING

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Reegan Ford

ENGINEERING

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Rhea Vaish

IMPACT

team rod

Rod Walton

IMPACT

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Roxanna Garcia Marcus

BOOKNOOK TUTORING

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Sarah Saweikis

PARTNERSHIPS

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Sarah Schapansky

IMPACT

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Sherryl Roscoe

IMPACT

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Stacey Stallings

IMPACT

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Stephanie Black

PARTNERSHIPS

team stevenjackson

Steven Jackson

HR & TALENT

team tamara

Tamara Fentress

CHIEF OF STAFF

team tandy

Tandy Stephens

IMPACT

team tracieevans

Tracie Evans

IMPACT

team tracy

Tracy Liu

HR & TALENT

team travis

Travis Lekich

ENGINEERING

team vicki

Vicki Levack

CURRICULUM

team wayne

Wayne Thompson

PRODUCT

team wendy

Wendy Mathieu

PRODUCT LEAD

team yera

Yera Lee

DESIGN

team zac

Zac Stein

PARTNERSHIPS

Board of Directors

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Michael Lombardo

Michael is the Founder & CEO of BookNook, an award-winning social enterprise that uses artificial…

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Michael Lombardo

Michael Lombardo is the Founder & CEO of BookNook, an award-winning social enterprise that uses artificial intelligence and other adaptive technologies to support reading skill growth at school, at home, and in the community. Previously, he served as CEO of Reading Partners, building it into one of the largest children’s literacy nonprofits in America and publishing seminal research on volunteer-based reading programs that was accepted into the What Works Clearinghouse at the US Department of Education.

A frequent author on subjects of education policy, social entrepreneurship, and nonprofit governance, Michael also serves as a Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Stanford University and is a founding Advisory Council member of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, President Obama’s signature initiative focused on supporting boys and young men of color.

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Clara Brenner

Clara is co-founder and Managing Partner of the Urban Innovation Fund, a venture capital firm that invests in…

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Clara Brenner e1540311924482 2000x2000Clara Brenner

Clara is co-founder and Managing Partner of the Urban Innovation Fund, a venture capital firm that invests in the future of cities. The fund provides seed capital and regulatory support to entrepreneurs solving our toughest urban challenges – helping them grow into tomorrow’s most valued companies. Previously, she co-founded Tumml, a startup hub for urban tech.

The organization has provided 38 startups with seed funding and mentorship, and hosts thought leadership events around urban innovation. In 2014, Forbes listed her as one of its “30 Under 30” for Social Entrepreneurship. Clara’s work energizing urban entrepreneurship has been featured in numerous press outlets, including MSNBCand TechCrunch, among others. She serves on the Board of Tumml, as well as the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Bay Area Local Advisory Committee. Clara earned her MBA from MIT Sloan and BA from NYU.

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Felipe Sommer

Felipe Sommer is the co-founder, of Nearpod, Inc., a mobile platform empowering educators to create…

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Felipe Sommer

Felipe Sommer is the co-founder, of Nearpod, Inc., a mobile platform empowering educators to create learning experiences that engage and inspire millions of students
around the world. He obtained a BA in economics from the University of Buenos Aires,Argentina, and received an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business.



For ten years, Felipe invested his time in management consulting for financial services and start-ups at Accenture. In 2004, as an entrepreneur, he founded Livin’ Interactive which focuses on custom experiential marketing solutions. His passion for technology and education fueled his desire to empower teachers and engage students with a mobile solution. In 2012, Nearpod, Inc. was founded, beginning his journey as President and co-founder. He now impacts multiple organizations as a board member, advisor and angel investor.



Felipe is a philanthropist at heart, improving the quality of life for others, be it through education, entrepreneurship or community service in any capacity. Family is his number one priority. He takes pride in being an Argentinian, a father of three boys, and a husband to his beautiful wife, Paula. Felipe’s hobbies include world travel, sports and mentorship

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Jennifer Carolan

Jennifer started her career as a classroom teacher in Chicago where she taught history for 7 years in traditional…

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Jennifer Carolan

Jennifer started her career as a classroom teacher in Chicago where she taught history for 7 years in traditional district schools. She moved to Silicon Valley in 2000 to attend Stanford University and was inspired by all of the entrepreneurs working on their ideas. She found a way to use her teaching experience to support these founders. She worked at NewSchools Venture Fund, an organization founded by John Doerr and Brook Byers, for 9 years and learned the craft of venture capital. She also co-created and taught the popular course Innovations In Teaching at Stanford University for 3 years.

This year, Jennifer is on the teaching team for Lean Launchpad ENGR 245 at Stanford. She co-founded her first fund NewSchools Seed Fund in 2011, her second, Reach Capital I in 2015, Reach II in 2018 and Reach III in 2020. Reach backs amazing and often unlikely entrepreneurs who are passionate about bringing cutting edge technology into education. The Reach portfolio of 100+ companies are creating new opportunities for people everywhere who might think of themselves as underdogs due to background or other challenges. Jennifer has sat on the boards of Nearpod, Ellevation Education, Desmos, Outschool, BetterLesson, and BookNook and is heavily involved in TeachFX, Derivata, and Sketchy.

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Verjeana McCotter-Jacobs

Verjeana is a bold, transformative leader with over 30 years of experience as a strong advocate in legal…

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Verjeana McCotter-Jacobs

Verjeana is a bold, transformative leader with over 30 years of experience as a strong advocate in legal, educational, and public safety arenas. As an accomplished attorney and skilled negotiator, she is known for her effectiveness in bringing divergent groups to the table to tackle contentious, yet necessary issues to achieve common goals. She has worked with multiple complex bureaucracies including education systems, state and national nonprofit organizations, government agencies and labor unions.

As the Chief Transformation Officer for the National School Boards Association (NSBA), Verjeana leads the organization’s equity, equality, and social justice efforts.

She served as a 23-year Department of Corrections professional, retiring at the rank of Lt. Colonel, and was an adjunct college professor at the University of Maryland, University College (UMUC), where she taught in a variety of disciplines including criminology/criminal justice, juvenile justice, race and crime, and a host of other legal and behavioral science subjects.

In addition to her distinguished public service career, Verjeana maintains an accomplished record as a qualified consultant/facilitation expert. Having served in numerous leadership roles, she is attuned to diverse audiences, respects the importance of cultural competence, and has great appreciation of the value of cross-sector collaborations within communities.

Yichen Feng - Board of Directors

Yichen Feng

Yichen Feng is a Principal at Lumos Capital…

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Yichen Feng

Yichen Feng is a Principal at Lumos Capital.

The re-centering of our education system to one where all students are thriving, not simply surviving is core to her values and has driven her career. She is a proud daughter of creative, bold, and rebellious first-generation immigrants and a graduate of multicultural and working-class schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Her work in the human development sector has moved between the public and private sectors, and includes founding a primary school in Hayward, CA, developing teacher training programs in Egypt, go-to-market strategy for African edutainment shows at UBONGO, assessing online learning programs in Nepal and developing entrepreneurship training curriculum in Tibet with the US State Department.

Prior to Lumos, Yichen led Asia expansion for Nova Credit and was a technology investment banker at Goldman Sachs during which she taught a design thinking course at Greenleaf Middle School in Oakland via Citizen Schools. She has advised early stage education technology entrepreneurs at Village Capital, created television shows at Amazon Studios and started her career at Cisco’s in-house venture capital arm focused on emerging markets. She is a Business Council board member of the National Head Start Network, an RSF Social Finance Integrated Capital Fellow and a 2019 Resident of the House of Beautiful Business.

Yichen received an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia, and a BA from Harvard University.

James Tieng - Board of Directors

James Tieng

James Tieng is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Lumos Capital Group, a growth equity firm…

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james tieng James Tieng

James Tieng is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Lumos Capital Group, a growth equity firm focused on education and human capital development.

With over 16 years of investing experience, James has led and completed 20+ platform transactions (majority and minority deals), having deployed over $1.7 billion of equity in education, software, business services, and digital media companies. His investments have ranged in enterprise value from less than $10 million to over $1 billion. James has served on the boards of over 16 public and private companies.

Prior to co-founding Lumos, James was a Principal at Quad Partners, a private equity firm focused exclusively on the education sector. Previously, he was with Apax Partners, where he focused on financial, business and digital services investments around the world. Prior to Apax, James was an investment professional at Irving Place Capital. He began his career at McKinsey & Company, where he worked on strategy, M&A and corporate finance engagements across a variety of industries.

James received an MBA from Harvard Business School and earned an AB in Economics from Princeton University with certificates in Finance and Political Economy. James lives in Manhattan with his wife (K-12 educator) and 2 rambunctious boys who love playing chess, piano and tennis.

Advisory Team

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P. David Pearson

P. David Pearson is an important figure in the world of literacy. During his extensive career, he’s developed…

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P. David Pearson

P. David Pearson is an important figure in the world of literacy. During his extensive career, he’s developed state tests, and is an expert in literacy assessment.

Along with writing and co-editing numerous books and articles about research and practice, Pearson has served in leadership roles in the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English.

He was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame in 1990. Currently, Pearson is a faculty member in the Language and Literacy program at UC Berkeley’s School of Education, where he also served as dean of the school for nine years.

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Robert Simmons

Robert Simmons serves as Managing Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and is responsible for…

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Robert Simmons

Robert Simmons serves as Managing Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and is responsible for leading the design and implementation of Share Our Strength’s diversity framework, and subsequent goals, metrics, and assessments that support a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Robert provides organization-wide leadership and partners closely with staff across the organization, soliciting and utilizing input from others to build a meaningful and sustainable approach to DEI.

Prior to joining Share our Strength, Robert was a teacher, school administrator, school district administrator and tenured professor where his research illuminated the lived realities of historically marginalized communities.

Nominated twice as the Walt Disney National Teacher of the Year, Robert has completed fellowships with the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation and the Fulbright Memorial Fund. Robert continues to teach at American University where he focuses on antiracism, education policy and leadership. As a member of the Diversity Scholars Network at the National Center for Institutional Diversity housed at the University of Michigan, Robert serves on the boards of Black Girls Code and the Latinx Education Collaborative, as well the leadership council for Echoing Green’s Black Male Achievement Fellowship. Robert earned a doctorate in education from Hamline University and is a proud Detroiter.

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Brian Stanley

Brian Stanley is Interim CEO of Hamilton Families, San Francisco’s leading agency fighting to end family…

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Brian Stanley

Brian Stanley is Interim CEO of Hamilton Families, San Francisco’s leading agency fighting to end family homelessness. Prior to that he served as Executive Director of the Oakland Public Education Fund, where he refined and strengthened program strategy, used data to deepen impact, and led the implementation of two strategic plans. A second generation native San Franciscan, Brian thinks the Bay Area is the best place in the world to live and has been here his entire life. After graduating from Oakland High School, he earned his undergraduate degree at Saint Mary’s College of California and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Mills College. He currently lives in West Oakland with his wife and two sons.

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Lance Fors

Lance is an expert in scaling social enterprise and served as the board chair of Reading Partners from 2007-2015…

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lfossLance Fors

Lance is an expert in scaling social enterprise and served as the board chair of Reading Partners from 2007-2015, during the organization’s rapid national scaling phase.

He currently chairs the board of the New Teacher Center, which under his leadership has become the foremost teacher mentoring organization in the nation supporting nearly 200,000 educators across the country.He also chairs the Silicon Valley Children’s Fund and serves as Vice-Chair of Strive Together, the nonprofit credited with launching the collective impact movement in the US. Previously, Lance was the founder and CEO of Third Wave Technologies, building it into a leading biotechnology company. He holds a BA from UC Berkeley and a PhD from CalTech.

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David P. López

Dr. David P. López is the executive director of The Center for Latino Education and Innovation…

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Dr. David P. López

Dr. David P. López is the executive director of The Center for Latino Education and Innovation.

Dr. López brings more than 35 years of experience in preschool to higher education to the role as he continues to work to expand access to affordable, quality education for Latinos and other underserved students.

Prior to his current role, he served as The National Hispanic University’s President and Chancellor from 2003-2013.

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Scott Morgan

Scott joined Wonderschool in November 2018 to recruit great people to advance the company’s mission to…

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Scott Morgan

Scott joined Wonderschool in November 2018 to recruit great people to advance the company’s mission to ensure every child has access to early education that helps them realize their potential.

Previously, Scott founded Education Pioneers in 2003 to build a diverse network of leaders dedicated to transforming education so that all students receive a quality education. He led the organization for 15 years to advance its mission while recruiting and training 4,000+ leaders to drive impact in education.

Scott began his career teaching social studies and leadership at St. Jude High School in Montgomery, Alabama, through the University of Notre Dame’s ACE Program. He later served as the legal counsel for Aspire Public Schools, where he worked with the management team and school leaders to open and operate small, high-quality, college prep charter schools in low-income neighborhoods.

Scott graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in government from the University of Notre Dame, received his Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Portland, and earned his law degree from Stanford Law School. He is a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur, a board member of Beyond 12, a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow, and the recipient of the 2017 Notre Dame Award for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Education.

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Ellen Moir

Ellen founded New Teacher Center in 1998 to scale high quality teacher induction services to a national audience…

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ellen moirEllen Moir

Ellen founded New Teacher Center in 1998 to scale high quality teacher induction services to a national audience. NTC has reached over 250,000 teachers across the country. Ellen retired as CEO in August, 2018 and is an independent educational consultant. 

Ellen is widely recognized for her work in beginning teacher development and school reform. She has extensive experience in public education, having previously served as Director of Teacher Education at the University of California at Santa Cruz and worked as a bilingual teacher. Ellen has been named the 2014 Brock International Prize in Education Laureate, became a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow in 2013, an Ashoka Fellow in 2011, and is a recipient of the 2011 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. Ellen has also co-authored many publications, including Keys to the Classroom and Keys to the Secondary Classroom, New Teacher Mentoring: Hopes and Promise for Improving Teacher Effectiveness, and Blended Coaching: Skills and Strategies to Support Principal Development.

For more than twenty years, she has pioneered innovative approaches to new teacher development, research on new teacher practice, and the design and administration of teacher induction programs. She is recognized as a passionate advocate for our nation’s teachers and for the students they teach.

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