Koru Strategy Group is led by a core team focused on relationships, learning, and improvement. We engage with school systems to create a shared vision for success, customize a plan for comprehensive improvement, facilitate meaningful learning, and assess and amplify impact.
Chief Relationship Officer
In her role, Carolyn builds strong internal and external relationships grounded by common purpose and values, and helps to design, plan, and staff professional learning pathways that achieve a shared vision for success. She brings 15 years experience helping education organizations start up and scale up, set clear vision and strategy, attract and develop talent, build strong teams, and cultivate pipelines and partnerships. Her previous work has been vital in the growth of Boston Teacher Residency, Boston Plan for Excellence, Generation Teach, and HGSE.
MONIQUE DAVIS, ED.D.
VP Executive Leadership
Dr. Davis leads executive, central office, and school leadership teams across states and districts to make continuous improvement on focused goals. Prior to Koru, she served for 30 years as a public educator in Maryland, including as an elementary teacher, academic coordinator, assistant principal, principal, regional assistant superintendent, and deputy superintendent in Prince George's County and Anne Arundel County. Dr. Davis is a Data Wise Certified Coach and mentor, and led the Office of Continuous Improvement in PGCPS.
MICHAEL FIGUEROA, ED.L.D.
Senior Consultant &
Dr. Figueroa is a strategist and coach committed to transforming public education, especially for the most marginalized student populations. As a part-time Senior Consultant with Koru, he works with district and school leaders to implement strategies that improve behavioral and academic supports for students, with a focus on supporting rural districts in California. Dr. Figueroa earned a doctor of education leadership from HGSE and has worked with Harvard's Public Education Leadership Program and HGSE Professional Education.
TASHEKA GREEN, M.ED.
Dr. Green is a transformational leader and coach with over 20-years of experience as an educator. She is committed to the call of leading, teaching, learning, and continuous improvement. Dr. Green is a Data Wise Certified Coach and supports school teams and systems to collaboratively improve teaching and learning through evidence-based analysis. Dr. Green is featured in the HGSE, HarvardX Course, Introduction to Data Wise for her innovative coaching approaches to employ the Data Wise Improvement Process to impact systemic change within an organization.
ADAM PARROTT-SHEFFER, ED.L.D.
Senior Consultant &
Dr. Parrott-Sheffer supports school teams and systems to work collaboratively and strategically toward improvement goals in ways that privilege the expertise and experience of those most impacted by the problem. He has served as a teacher, principal, and district administrator, and as an advisor for a national nonprofit focused on developing teachers and leaders. In addition to his work with Koru, he is a coach, advisor, and institute co-chair for the Harvard Data Wise Project. He holds a Doctor of Education Leadership from HGSE and a Masters in Education Policy from UPenn.
JORGE PEÑA, ED.D.
Senior Consultant & Improvement Specialist
Dr. Peña brings a wealth of diverse experience nationally and globally to his role. Prior to joining Koru full time, he served as faculty and in administration at Loyola University of Chicago, and taught graduate students how to use evidence for continuous improvement. He has also served as Director of School Improvement for the Archdiocese of Chicago, and as a coach, facilitator, and mentor for the Harvard Data Wise Project. He has worked with leaders and teams across the US, Puerto Rico, South America, and Australia.
BERENICE RODRIGUEZ, ED.L.D
Coaching & Improvement Specialist
Dr. Rodriguez has over twenty years of distinguished experience in education, including K-12 Principal, Arizona Turnaround, and Data Wise Coach. Earning her Educational Leadership doctorate from the HGSE, she has become a highly motivated leader adept at cultivating impactful teams and fostering strong connections between families, communities, and schools.
KAREN PAVLICK SHOELSON
Senior Director, Outreach
In her role, Karen provides expertise in project management and implementation; outreach and marketing; relationships and talent; and finance and operations. Karen brings to Koru 9+ years of diverse marketing, project management, and education experience. She has worked in marketing agencies, as an after-school coordinator and Kindergarten teacher in Thailand, and, most recently, at HGSE Professional Education leading the Marketing and Admissions teams.
Assistant to the CEO
In her role, Katie supports the CEO in managing tasks, calendars, and communications. She is a former outdoor educator, math and science teacher, director of curriculum and instruction, and after-school and summer programs director, with a particular focus on students with disabilities and struggling teens. Katie is a Data Wise Certified Coach, a professional tutor, and an entrepreneur; she has held multiple roles with Koru throughout its growth, bringing her diverse talents to a variety of priorities for our team.
As Project Coordinator, Michael supports planning, coordination, and execution of complex projects, ensuring we meet our learners' needs and high standards for service. Michael brings to his role a wealth of experience in customer support and event planning, most notably at UncommonGoods, where he was part of the customer service management team and spearheaded a committee focused on company-wide internal relationships and morale.
Founder & CEO
In 2014, Dr. Wessman founded Koru with a desire to facilitate deep and meaningful change in school systems through teaming, evidence, and transformational learning. He serves as an executive coach, strategist, critical friend, lead facilitator, instructional designer, coach, and mentor across a diverse portfolio of projects, ensuring each partner meets shared goals for improvement. Dr. Wessman spent 9 years as a teacher, school leader, and transformation specialist in Utah prior to earning a doctor of education leadership at HGSE. He is a Data Wise Certified Coach and mentor.
Our national network of talented and dynamic consultants and coaches brings a diverse set of experience and expertise to our work with school systems. Our consultants are thoughtfully matched to projects and teaching teams; about 75% of our consultants are actively engaged on one or more projects each school year. Learn more about the growing Koru consultant network and our areas of expertise below:
DAVID BAIZ, ED.L.D.
Data Wise, school leadership, coaching
Dr. Baiz recently earned a Doctor of Education Leadership from HGSE and completed a residency with the College Board in NYC. Dr. Baiz is a big believer in building strong school cultures that drive a passion for learning and continuous improvement. He served for more than a decade with the NYC Dept of Education as a mathematics teacher and middle school principal and is currently National Designer & Facilitator with The Leadership Academy.
DIA BRYANT, ED.L.D.
Data Wise, equity, math education
Dr. Bryant earned a Doctor of Education Leadership from HGSE and was recently named interim director of The Education Trust in New York. With roots in Detroit and Brooklyn, she has served as a NYC Teaching Fellow, teacher, math coach, new teacher trainer, and founding principal. Dr. Bryant is committed to urban education and maintains a deep conviction that all children can learn.
STEVEN CHAMBERS, ED.L.D.
Data Wise, school and system improvement
Dr. Chambers recently earned a doctorate in education leadership from HGSE. His diverse experience includes elementary teaching, college and career counseling and managing district wide programs/initiatives in the Houston Independent School District, and a residency with the NYC DOE. Steven’s work focuses on school and system improvement through the lens of effective teaming, racial equity and social emotional wellness.
ADRIANA CHAVARIN-LOPEZ, ED.L.D.
Data Wise, bilingual education, early childhood education
Dr. Chavarin-Lopez has served as a bilingual educator and principal in California, leading programs supporting the whole child, social-emotional learning, dual language immersion, and parent/community partnerships. Dr. Chavarin-Lopez recently earned a Doctor of Education Leadership from HGSE and currently serves as a Strategy and Instructional Support Officer with San Diego Unified School District.
Kristofer spent his career as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Washington, DC Public Schools. In the classroom, he was recognized as a Teacher of the Year and a recipient of the Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Teaching. As a school leader, he led his campus to unprecedented academic achievement while also making tremendous progress in closing achievement gaps among all subgroups of students.
MATTHEW DREIER, ED.L.D.
Data Wise, leadership, change management
Matt is a doctoral candidate in education leadership at HGSE, having completed 22 years of service with the Marine Corps. He has trained naval officers at the University of Rochester and served as a military professor at the U.S. Naval War College, and had the honor of leading Marines at home and overseas, including in Iraq and in the Philippines. Matt’s goal is to apply his organizational leadership toward educational and social equity for our country.
DANIELLE ROSA DUARTE, ED.L.D.
Data Wise, post-secondary success, social-emotional wellness
A recent graduate of the doctor of education leadership at HGSE, Dr. Duarte brings extensive experience supporting students' social-emotional wellness and post-secondary exploration and readiness. She has served as a school counselor and grant project director, and has led a team in providing training to improve school counseling programs across the country. She is co-author of two books on elementary and secondary school counseling.
KIMBERLEY EDNIE, ED.L.D.
Design thinking, executive coaching, school improvement
Dr. Ednie has spent her career working across diverse contexts to advance educational equity. Her central focus has been leading and supporting teams to design and implement innovative and inclusive solutions to increase educational opportunities for young people and their families. Dr. Ednie serves as a professional learning specialist and co-leads the 9th grade Success Initiative with the Northwest Regional Education Service District in Oregon.
Robin has spent nearly 30 years working in Lawrence, MA beginning in a Community Program in the summers and then after college graduation working for Lawrence Public Schools; as a teacher, an assistant principal and for the last 9 years as the Principal of Arlington Middle School. Her educational journey brought her through schools in Iran, Saudi Arabia, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
ROTUNDA FLOYD-COOPER, ED.D.
Dr. Floyd-Cooper currently serves as a Director of Learning, Achievement and Administration in MCPS where she is responsible for supervising, leading and supporting a variety of district initiatives while supervising and coaching 25 principals in the Gaithersburg, Germantown, and Bethesda regions of Maryland.
KIM FRUMIN, ED.D.
Data Wise, design thinking
Dr. Frumin recently earned an advanced doctoral degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she studied research-practice partnerships and online teacher professional learning. She has served as founding member of the NYC DOE's Office of Innovation (iZone); as a Fulbright Scholar in Israel; and as the Educational Content Specialist for international Sesame Street co-productions in Israel and Northern Ireland.
Data Wise, teacher pipeline
Crystel is from NYC where she has served as a founding middle school teacher, managed NYC’s first teacher residency program, and directed the mayor’s first initiative to increase teacher diversity. She has experience leading teams and scaling programs and initiatives in large urban communities and a proven track record of improving the quantity and quality of teachers. She is currently earning her doctoral degree in education leadership at HGSE.
LANCE HUFFMAN, ED.L.D.
Dr. Huffman earned a Doctorate of Education Leadership from HGSE. Coming from a family of educators, he spent nineteen years in the classroom teaching high school English and Social Studies before serving as a school leader for four years in Arizona and as a Director of Teaching and Learning and Director of Continuous Improvement in Washington and California.
ANTHONY KING, ED.L.D.
Data Wise; executive coaching; race, inclusion, diversity, and equity
Dr. King is a former elementary school teacher and principal. He serves as Director of Strategic Leadership and Inclusion at Education First, where he helps staff address implicit biases and understand the internal struggles that act as barriers to self-improvement. Dr. King is a Data Wise Certified Coach and hols a doctorate in education leadership from HGSE.
ERICA KOLAT, ED.D.
Dr. Kolat serves as Superintendent of Schools for McGuffey School District in Claysville, PA. Wanting to create an improvement process that empowered all educators to enact change based on multiple sources of data, her Data Wise Journey began in 2017 with a small team of district administrators. Since then, each building and the district embarked on a Data Wise Improvement Journey.
MEGHAN LOCKWOOD, ED.D.
Data Wise, education policy
Dr. Lockwood is a certified Data Wise coach based in the Boston area. She recently returned to the U.S. after two years of education policy work in Melbourne, Australia. A graduate of HGSE's doctoral program in Education Policy, Leadership, and Instructional Practice, Dr. Lockwood has taught middle school social studies and English in Boston and Reading, MA, and English as a Foreign Language in Santiago, Chile.
NICOLE LYONS, PH.D.
Data Wise, coaching
Dr. Lyons works with teaching teams to support their work toward improving their goals. She has served as a high school English teacher in urban school districts, supervisor of academic instruction at a career and technical school, and is currently the director of college and career readiness for a school district in Rhode Island. She brings a strong lens of education from building to district level and ultimately wants each adult to be a better leader for students.
WILLIAM MARROQUIN, ED.L.D.
Data Wise, English language learners, school improvement
Dr. Marroquin earned a doctor of education leadership at HGSE and has extensive experience facilitating professional learning for school leadership teams through his Harvard programs and as a strategic partner for a district-wide project supporting English Language Learners and mathematics instruction. He is a former math teacher, middle school principal, high school administrator, and district administrator.
TIM MORIARTY, ED.LD.
Dr. Moriarty leads strategic projects as a contractor for the Office of College, Career and Technical Education at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Tim graduated from the Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) program at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to his doctoral program, Tim spent ten years in Massachusetts public education as a teacher and district administrator.
MATT PRESSER, ED.L.D.
Data Wise, school improvement, teacher leadership
Dr. Presser recently earned a doctorate in education leadership at HGSE. He is driven by an interest in finding creative alternatives to the prevailing school models, especially ones that better honor the voices of students and teachers in their development. He has worked with New Haven Public Schools, the Iowa Dept of Education, the U.S. Dept of Education, and Southern New Hampshire University.
DWIGHT RHODES, ED.L.D.
Data Wise, equity, executive coaching
A former teacher, principal, director of school reform, chief academic officer, and chief advocacy officer, Dr. Rhodes is the Founder and CEO of Rhodes2Equity Consulting and holds an unwavering passion for demanding equitable learning opportunities for all students. He earned a Doctor of Education Leadership from HGSE and, among other work, currently supports school turnaround initiatives and transformation in Georgia.
Data Wise, school and system improvement
Robert currently serves as the Supervisor of Teaching and Learning for the Pittsgrove Township School District, where he coaches district stakeholders in their analysis and interpretation of data in order to improve school and student performance. He has previously served as a teacher, professional development coordinator, curriculum specialist, and district data and assessment director.
JONATHAN SKOLNICK, ED.L.D.
School and system design, leadership development
Dr. Jonathan Skolnick has over 15 years of educational experience as a teacher, administrator, consultant, and nonprofit leader. He most recently served as Executive VP at Educational Alliance, a social services and education nonprofit, and previously served in a variety of roles at the NYC Department of Education. His professional mission is to co-create systems of transformational leadership and learning for every student.
MATT L. SMITH, ED.L.D.
Data Wise, school improvement
Dr. Smith recently earned a Doctor of Education Leadership from HGSE. He has served as a teacher, School Improvement Specialist, Assistant Principal, District Curriculum Director, and Principal. Matt believes school can and should be a place that challenges, inspires, and is fun. He is based in Birmingham, Alabama.
AVA TASKER-MITCHELL, PH.D.
Data Wise, coaching, professional development
Dr. Tasker-Mitchell is a passionate, lifelong educator committed to supporting the rising generation of students. She is a former teacher, team leader, asst. principal, principal, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, and she served as Instructional Director for a Region of Schools in two Maryland districts. She recently completed Howard University’s Urban Superintendent’s Academy and will graduate in May 2022.
CHARISSE TAYLOR, ED.L.D.
Data Wise, social emotional learning, post-secondary success
Dr. Taylor recently earned a Doctor of Education Leadership from HGSE and completed a residency with the Rhode Island Dept of Education. She has served as founding Senior Director of Policy and Implementation for Computer Science for All at the NYC DOE, and has 14 years experience in college and career access and success, including her role as Founding Educational Advancement Coordinator at Liberty LEADS, Bank Street College of Education.
JAMAAL WILLIAMS, ED.L.D.
Data Wise, school and system improvement, education leadership
Dr. Williams is a former high school principal and a recent graduate of the doctor of education leadership program at HGSE. He began his career as a high school education specialist before transitioning into his role as the district AVID coordinator and AVID college preparatory teacher at his local high school. Most recently Dr. Williams was a Principal at a turnaround High School in Los Angeles, California.
MAX YURKOFSKY, PH.D.
Data Wise, research and evaluation, system improvement
Dr. Yurkofsky recently earned a Ph.D. from HGSE and is currently completing postdoctoral studies. A former elementary teacher in Detroit, Dr. Yurkofsky’s research focuses on navigating institutional, organizational, and political challenges to use design-based and/or continuous improvement methods to improve teaching and learning. He has authored a case study on efforts to scale continuous improvement in a large district of 200+ schools.