Joanna Smith

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At Transcend, Joanna plays a key role in building the Yellow Hats League, our team’s R&D talent force. Before joining Transcend, Joanna was a Research Assistant at the Harvard Education Redesign Lab and was the Family Engagement Coordinator at Excel Academy. She earned an ALB in Social Sciences from Harvard University Extension.

Lavada Berger

Lavada has devoted her career to the movement for educational excellence and equity. Her investment and interest in new school models was sparked during her time as a third grade teacher with UnCommon Schools in Newark, New Jersey and enhanced over the last few years. Prior to joining Transcend, she was the Chief of Staff on the Org-Wide Strategy team at Teach For America and the Deputy Director at the Right Question Institute. She started her career in management consulting focused on nonprofit organizational development and effectiveness. She holds an AB in Sociology from Harvard University and lives in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey.

Jane Bryson

Jane comes to Transcend with 15 years of experience in classrooms, school leadership, and rethinking school models to personalize learning.  She began her career as a teacher-in-residence at an innovative private middle school, and then broadened her experience teaching in a charter school serving low income students.  In her school leadership roles, she acted as a lead teacher and ran both a service-learning and early college program. Prior to working at Transcend, Jane spent four years building and leading the consulting team at Education Elements, a personalized learning consulting firm, where she had the pleasure of partnering with some of the earliest innovators around blended and personalized learning.  Jane has also worked at NewSchools Venture Fund and the Federal Department of Education, on Race to the Top.  Jane has an Masters of Business Administration, Masters of Education and Bachelor's degree in History from Stanford University.  Jane lives with her husband in the San Francisco Bay Area where she can be found chasing after her two young children, exploring the area’s hiking trails, and finding new restaurants.

Jenn Charlot

Jenn joins Transcend leading research and development. She is responsible for helping school designers apply pertinent science and best in-field practices to innovative school models. Over the last decade, Jenn has held several leadership positions. Most recently, she served as the director of implementation at Character Lab, where she partnered with educators and researchers to develop, test, and iterate on strategies that support character development. Jenn has also worked for New York City Public Schools Alternative School District 79. There, she spearheaded student support services, increased access to college and career services for over 4000 disconnected youth, and also designed and co-led a small school to reduce college remediation rates for high school students. Jenn has also worked for Turnaround for Children, Newark Public Schools, and co-founded a nonprofit in Haiti called Konbit Pou Edikasyon. She has taught at Columbia School of Social Work and Harvard Graduate School of Education.  Jenn holds a Doctorate in Education Leadership from Harvard's Graduate School of Education, a Masters of Science in Social Administration from Columbia and a B.A. from Boston College. She loves Bikram Yoga and is excited about starting a Haitian Creole children’s book series to support bilingual literacy development in the Haitian community.

 

 

Kirsten Dargis

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Kirsten joins Transcend leading operations for the Collaborative. She began her career in education as a member of the founding team of School of One – now the organization New Classrooms – which was one of the first blended learning models in the country. Kirsten then spent five years in the classroom as a 1st grade bilingual teacher in Richmond, California and as a K-4 reading interventionist in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. During summers, she worked as a coach and a School Director for Teach For America’s training Institutes. Most recently, Kirsten worked for the Success For All Foundation, where she coached teachers and principals at schools across the country. Kirsten graduated from Barnard College with a BA in Political Science and Human Rights, and received her MA in Reading Instruction from Loyola Marymount University. Originally from Vermont, Kirsten now lives in Portland, Maine, where you’ll find her hiking, kayaking, skiing, or enjoying Portland’s outstanding food scene.

Brittany Erickson

Brittany joined Transcend to partner with school and system leaders to imagine and build innovative learning environments. Previously, she worked at Denver Public Schools where she launched and ran an incubator for principals engaged in innovative and community-based school redesign efforts. In that role, Brittany partnered with other district leaders to build an eco-system that is supportive of holistic and sustaining student outcomes. Her work was informed by prior experiences in and outside of education. She worked previously as the Director of 21st Century Learning at Teach For America, as a Management Consultant at Oliver Wyman, and she began her career as a 6th grade English teacher in San Francisco, CA. Brittany has been on the front lines of numerous school design and redesign projects, including as the lead designer and researcher for The New School of San Francisco – an inquiry-based elementary school that opened in Fall 2015 in partnership with the Exploratorium Museum. Brittany holds a doctorate degree in Education Leadership from Harvard University, and Masters and Bachelors degrees from the University of Pennsylvania where she studied Public Policy and Music.

 

Anna Hall

Anna is a partner at Transcend.  She has spent the better part of her career as an educator designing, launching, and growing new schools – including, very many years ago, a small, innovative secondary school in the South Bronx, where she served as a founding teacher, assistant principal, and, ultimately, principal; and more recently, in her role as Senior Director at Springpoint, as an advisor to partners and design teams across the country who were charged with developing and launching new secondary school concepts.  Before becoming an educator, Anna spent nearly a decade working as a writer, researcher, and project manager in policy, politics, and technology firms. She holds a B.A. from the South Carolina Honors College at the University of South Carolina, and an M.S. in teaching from Fordham University. She is a graduate of the New York City Teaching Fellows Program and the New York City Leadership Academy.  These days, she lives in view of the Hudson, just outside New York City, with her partner John, three impressively opinionated children, and an exceptionally old cat.

Ryan Hall

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Ryan is an experienced school-based leader and classroom teacher. Most recently, he was the Director of Operations and Co-Leader of Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School, part of the Uncommon Schools network and one of the highest-performing middle schools in NYC.  Before serving as a school leader, Ryan taught 8th grade mathematics, first as a 2007 TFA Corps Member in NYC and then with Uncommon Schools.  In 2012, he was a finalist for TNTP's Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice.  Ryan has a Masters in Teaching from Pace University and a Bachelors in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he worked as a researcher for Jim Collins, a leading business thinker and author of Good to Great.  Ryan lives with his wife in Madison, Wisconsin and enjoys soccer, fly fishing, and volunteering with youth development programs.

Cynthia Leck

Cynthia began her career in education as an English language arts teacher in New York City. She taught in traditional and charter public schools as well as designed curriculum for college preparatory programs before transitioning to work as an education researcher and consultant at Columbia University through the Center for Public Research and Leadership. While there, her work focused on continuous improvement, network and systems theory, and personalized learning implementation. As part of Transcend’s Build Knowledge team, Cynthia translates what is known about effective teaching and learning, scaling transformational practices, and more into actionable insights for Transcend's partners and the field, while also helping partners learn from and improve on the creative practices they already employ each day. Cynthia holds a BA from Colgate University in Sociology and Media studies, an MS in Childhood Education from Pace University, and an MA in Sociology and Education from Teachers College Columbia University. She continues to live in and love New York City.

Divya Mani

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Divya is excited to pursue her lifelong passion for equity and education at Transcend as Partner, Strategy, Development, and External Relations. After interning and teaching at various child-focused nonprofits, she began her career at Monitor Group (2005-2010), where she advised companies and nonprofits on growth and marketing and managed underrepresented minority recruiting. At Procter and Gamble (2012-2015), she led global digital strategy for Gillette and brand communications for The Art of Shaving. Most recently (2016), she worked in product innovation at Liberty Mutual. Divya holds an AB in History and Literature from Harvard and an MBA from Dartmouth. She lives in Boston with her husband and two children. Outside of work, she is a Partner with Social Venture Partners Boston, a founding member of the Brooke Charter Schools’ Board of Ambassadors, and an enthusiast of all things family, food, fresh air, and fantasy.

Jemina Bernard

Board Member
Executive Director of Young Women’s Leadership Network

Trevor Brown

Board Member

Partner, Personalized Learning Initiative

 New Profit

Christy Remey Chin

Board Member
Partner
Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

Vanessa Rodriguez

Board Member
Chief of Talent and Leadership
Citizens of the World

Emily Rummo

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Emily leads finance, operations, and development for the Transcend team. Prior to joining Transcend, Emily was the founding Chief Operating Officer at KIPP Bay Area Schools and served in the role from 2008 - 2014. As COO, Emily oversaw finance, human resources, talent recruitment, real estate, technology, operations, and the KIPP Through College alumni program for the 11 school charter network, serving over 2,100 students. Emily now serves on the KIPP Bay Area Schools' Board.  Emily began her career in management consulting, and spent two years on the venture team with NewSchools Venture Fund (2004-2006). She holds a BA in English from Dartmouth College, and an MBA and Masters in Education from Stanford. Emily lives in San Francisco with her husband and two young sons.

Sarah Spadaccini

Sarah is passionate about supporting educators in their work to ensure all children have the opportunity to thrive and meet their full potential. With a knack for translating big visions into actionable strategy, she is thrilled to join the Transcend team to support innovators in building learning environments that better prepare children to transform the 21st century. After graduating from Florida State University, she began her career in education as an ELA and theatre teacher. She received her Masters in Politics and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and has contributed on and led teams at the New York City Department of Education, Teach For America, and Duval County Public Schools. She brings almost 15 years of experience in education policy, assessment and curricular resources, teacher coaching and development, and project management. Sarah lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband and young son who inspires her daily with his curiosity, wild imagination, and sense of humor.

Bror Saxberg

Board Member
Vice President, Learning Science, CZI