OUR TEAM

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.

 
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CAROLYN CHEN

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.

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MONIQUE DAVIS, ED.D.

Senior Consultant,
Coaching & Improvement

A skilled and experienced facilitator and coach, Dr. Davis leads executive, central office, and school leadership teams to make continuous improvement on focused goals. For 30 years, she has served as an elementary teacher, academic coordinator, assistant principal, principal, regional assistant superintendent, and deputy superintendent in Prince George's County Public Schools and Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Maryland. She is a Data Wise Certified Coach and oversaw the Office of Continuous Improvement at PGCPS.

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MICHAEL FIGUEROA, ED.L.D.

Senior Consultant,
Improvement Specialist

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.

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WILLIAM MARROQUIN, ED.L.D.

VP Strategic Impact

As VP Strategic Impact, Dr. Marroquin leads and facilitates impactful professional learning engagements that achieve a shared vision for success.  He recently earned a doctor of education leadership at HGSE and has extensive experience facilitating professional learning for school leadership teams through 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.

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KAREN PAVLICK

Director of Outreach and Operations

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 7+ 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.

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JONATHAN SKOLNICK, ED.L.D.

Senior Consultant,
Growth & Innovation

Dr. Skolnick's role is focused on strategic growth and new service development. He brings to Koru 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.

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MICHAEL STOKES

Project Coordinator

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.

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ROBERT WESSMAN,
ED.L.D.

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 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:

 
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DEIRDRA AIKENS, ED.D.

Data Wise, school improvement

Dr. Aikens is Deputy Superintendent of the Christina School District in Wilmington, DE and the former principal of Leasure Elementary School. Dr. Aikens has coached teams and mentored leaders in Rochester, NY; Harrisburg, PA; and Chester County, PA and is an active member of the Harvard Data Wise Project community.

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DARNISA AMANTE, ED.L.D.

Data Wise, equity, executive coaching

Dr. Amante is an educational and racial equity strategist and is deeply committed to the study of culture, innovation, and adult development. She works to transform organizational and school culture on issues of equity through change management and redesign. She serves as the CEO of The Disruptive Equity Education Project (DEEP) and is an adjunct lecturer on systems-level leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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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.

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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.

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STEVEN CHAMBERS

Data Wise, school and system improvement

Steven is a doctoral candidate in education leadership at HGSE. His 12 years of professional experience includes elementary teaching, college and career counseling for high school students and managing district wide programs/initiatives in the Houston Independent School District. Steven’s work focuses on school and system improvement through the lens of effective teaming, racial equity and social emotional wellness.

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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.

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MATTHEW DREIER

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.

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DANIELLE ROSA DUARTE

Data Wise, post-secondary success, social-emotional wellness

A doctoral candidate in education leadership at HGSE, Danielle 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.

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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.

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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.

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CRYSTEL HARRIS

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.

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ALAINA HARPER, ED.L.D.

Data Wise, equity, teacher and leadership development, change management

Dr. Harper is the Dean of Relay Philadelphia & Camden. She is passionate about continuously improving educational opportunities for all children. Dr. Harper was a middle school English and science teacher and recently she works with new teachers to identify the intersections between their pedagogical content knowledge, their students, and their practice.

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LANCE HUFFMAN, ED.L.D.

Data Wise

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.

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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.

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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.

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ALEXIS MORGAN, ED.L.D.

Data Wise, English language learners, special education

A recent graduate of the Ed.L.D. program at HGSE, Dr. Morgan brings extensive experience supporting students with disabilities and English language learners. She has worked with Newark Public Schools, the Education Development Center's Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative, and Vista Unified School District. She currently serves as Assistant Superintendent for Student Services in Cambridge Public Schools.

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ADAM PARROTT-SHEFFER, ED.L.D.

Data Wise, school leadership

Dr. Parrott-Sheffer has served as a middle school English and an elementary school special education teacher, a principal in the Chicago Public Schools, and an advisor for a national nonprofit focused on developing leaders. Dr. Parrott-Sheffer is a coach and advisor for Data Wise and works with NYC Public Schools on increasing cross-functional collaboration. He holds a Doctor of Education Leadership from HGSE.

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JORGE PEÑA, ED.D.

Data Wise, school and system improvement, coaching

Dr. Peña is faculty at Loyola University of Chicago and teaches graduate students in education how to use evidence for continuous improvement. He has served as Director of School Improvement for the Archdiocese of Chicago where he supported schools in analyzing student performance and using the Data Wise Improvement Process.

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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.

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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.

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KATIE SKALKA

Data Wise

Katie 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.

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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.

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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.

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JAMAAL WILLIAMS

Data Wise, school and system improvement, education leadership

Jamaal is a former high school principal and a doctoral candidate in education leadership at HGSE. Jamaal 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 Jamaal was a Principal at a turnaround High School in Los Angeles, California.

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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.