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Experts that informed the “Secret Sauce” Series

 
 

edudream

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Monica Martinez + michelle Oliva | Co-founders, Edudream

A one-line description of what you bring to projects, or your project-related "super power". In a nutshell, our super power is our ability to deliver high-quality and meaningful findings and outputs on-time and on-budget, all while being flexible and open to client feedback.

What kind of projects do you like to take on? At EduDream, we tend to take on projects that align with our mission, and where clients are thought partners and value our services; specifically, evidence to inform strategy, explain program impact, and/or drive continuous program improvements.  

What are your favorite problems to solve? Projects seeking to address system-level changes, inform investments, and produce innovation and scale; specifically as it relates to programs, policies and practices that address educational equity; whether, it is preK funding and access or postsecondary access and completion.  We especially like to work on problems of diversity, equity and inclusion in educational access, quality and opportunities. 

One interesting thing about you that we should all know? Monica and I were college roommates, and while Monica continues to be an avid runner, I am a recovering runner. 

What part does CE and the CE network play in your work? In our start-up year, CE played a huge role in our sustainability.  It was a great way to "cut our teeth" in the consulting/entrepreneur space. In the last couple of years, we have diversified our portfolio; however, CE continues to be part of our work.  There is always an exciting project and client presented to our by CE. The CE team are incredible cheerleaders for the network and have served as mentors along the way. We really appreciate Leona's wisdom, and we are so impressed with the growth of CE and opportunities for the network.  We look forward to the opportunity to collaborate and learn from others in the CE network. 


 

elana

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Elana Feinberg | Elana Feinberg Educational Consulting

What is your project related "super power"? I have deep knowledge of innovative instructional practices and schools throughout the US.  I'm also the girl that "gets things done."

What kind of projects do you like to take on? A wide variety of things, including designing and launching (or expanding) schools, coaching teacher leaders and principals, and professional development.

What are your favorite problems to solve?  Figuring out what the actual problems are, and then what we can do about it.  (Root Causes).  

One interesting thing about you that we should all know? Before I was a teacher, I worked in technology and was one of  the first few employees at Ask Jeeves (now Ask.com). I was one of the people writing and answering questions!

What part does CE and the CE network play in your work? I use it for networking purposes, as well as PD and as a way to be connected to work. I also just wrote this blog post that may be of interest to people. 


 

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Shyam Kumar | North Star Education services

What is your project-related "super power"? NorthStar Education Partners bring the ability to support urban schools and districts to define their unique North Star for excellent education and build the systems to help them reach this North Star. 

What kind of projects do you like to take on?  Urban school and district transformation efforts

What are your favorite problems to solve?  Academic, Talent and Organizational strategy challenges that directly impact student learning and growth. 

One interesting thing about you that we should all know? I'm training to be a certified mindfulness teacher 

What part does CE and the CE network play in your work? Catalyst Education has been an excellent source of equity-focused projects that have given us access to innovative schools and non-profits and fueled our insights. 


 

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Maya Bugg | The Bugg Consulting Group

What is your project-related "super power". My super power is that I am the consummate problem-solver and idea-generator: I am able to listen to clients, learn their context and synthesize other critical internal and external information in order to work side by side with them to generate effective solutions to the problems they seek to solve.

What kind of projects do you like to take on? I have a passion for DEI projects but I also have a strong affinity for projects that focus on strategy development, program/ fellowship design, strategic partnership building, and session facilitation.  Also, I thoroughly enjoy taking on projects where the client demonstrates a spirit of openness; this allows for us to go on the journey together, maximizing our ability to explore the potential of a variety of solutions.

What are your favorite problems to solve? Many of my clients benefit from an internal DEI audit. I love digging through the quantitative and qualitative data to find those thorny practices that are detracting from a more inclusive environment. Even more, I enjoy working with the client to develop a strategy (including metrics, short and long-term goals) that will help them become a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment for all.

One interesting thing about you that we should all know?

I started my career in the classroom and even earned my National Board Certification, the highest credential any classroom teacher can earn in the United States. After years of teaching, serving and adoring thousands of students and their families, their stories and experiences continue to drive my efforts. I've worked now for several years in executive leadership roles for local and national education organizations, and I will continue to ensure that programs, policies and practices are designed with students/ communities at the core.

Also, decades ago before I had to start "adulting", I had a creative side! I used to do visual arts: from watercolor, to oil paints, charcoal and oil pastels-- I loved it all. I also used to do photography, developing film in the darkroom before digital cameras were the norm. I tried my hand at neo-soul poetry but my writing was way better than my performances.

What part does CE and the CE network play in your work? CE has been an amazing opportunity to connect with value-aligned clients from across the country. I am honored to be a member of this impactful network of change-agents.


 

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Rex Varner | BVE Strategy

What is your project-related "super power"?  Insightful advice for senior most leaders and world-class deliverables.

What kind of projects do you like to take on? Strategy projects working one-on-one with CEOs/founders.

What are your favorite problems to solve? Integrating strategies into a solid, easily communicated storyline.

One interesting thing about you that we should all know? I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Mali.

What part does CE and the CE network play in your work? Helps me expand my work to geographies beyond my existing network (which is mostly in Delaware).


 

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Lyman Millard | Bloomwell Group

What is your project-related "super power"? My project super-power is seeing things through the eyes of my partners: understanding their challenges, anticipating their needs, and doing what I can to make their lives a little easier.

What kind of projects do you like to take on? We do all sorts of projects from developing big strategic and growth plans to running very tactical marketing campaigns. My favorite projects are the ones where we're helping our partners wrestle with new approaches to emerging challenges.

What are your favorite problems to solve? I love to help organizations connect with their families and other organizations in their communities, especially when it also involves building the internal capacity of their team.

One interesting thing about you that we should all know? The tips of two of my fingers were bitten off by a lion. Seriously.


What part does CE and the CE network play in your work? Our work is national, but CE connects us with high-quality organizations and amazing leaders that we wouldn't be likely to meet, otherwise.