WHO WE ARE
School Empowerment Network (SEN) is a nonprofit organization comprised of experienced educators with a track record of success. We are dedicated to empowering local leaders to create high-performing schools centered around proven design principles, rigorous and engaging instruction, and caring relationships between students and staff. SEN’s executive team are former school founders and principals who have engineered the launch of 150 schools around the country. Today we share that expertise with school systems, partnering with districts to support the design and implementation of school resets that produce dramatic gains for underserved students.
SEN provides districts and educators with a roadmap for creating high-quality seats and significantly improving results for students. Since its launch in 2015, SEN has brought its services to partners as diverse the Education Achievement Authority and Detroit Children’s Fund in Michigan; the Texas Education Agency; the Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership and Southbridge Public Schools in Massachusetts; Natchitoches Schools in Louisiana; Atlanta Public Schools, as well as the UP Education Network.
Over the course of his 25 years in education, Alex led the design and development of over 135 new schools, improving educational outcomes for 70,000+ students. Alex was the founding principal of Essex Street Academy and then served as executive director of the Office of New Schools in NYC. In 2015 Alex founded SEN to bring the successful practices developed in New York to other districts around the country. More.
Eduardo has more than 15 years of experience managing programs and administrative operations within large government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Previously, Eduardo served as COO for the NYC Department of Education’s Division of Portfolio Planning, where he led finance, grant management, procurement, and HR teams. Eduardo received his MBA from Yale University. More.
Laurie has spent nearly two decades working to create and lead innovative and inspiring educational experiences for children. Grounded in her classroom teaching and school leadership experience, she comes to SEN with a lifelong love of and appreciation for all students, their ideas and their enormous capabilities. Laurie has extensive knowledge of new school startup, innovative curriculum development, and inquiry learning. More.
Emily is the Senior Director of Texas Programs for School Empowerment Network. In her role, Emily helps aspiring school leaders plan and launch innovative new schools that are committed to improving educational outcomes for all students. Prior to her work with SEN, Emily spent 7 years as Chief Talent Officer, Deputy Chief of Talent Integration, and supporting Brave High School as Principal/Head of Schools with a small charter district in Austin. More.
Mike Flynn has 20 years of experience working in public schools. He began his career in education at one of the first small high schools in the South Bronx, where he was an English teacher. Mike then served as assistant principal for operations and as an instructional leader at a small high school where he developed an innovative teacher/coach model and oversaw a transition to standards-based assessment. More.
Aaronthomas Green is a Program Director/Planning Coach with School Empowerment Network where he provides support and coaching for aspiring school leaders as they plan & launch innovative new schools committed to improving educational outcomes for all students. A Dallas based educator, AT is committed to improving educational outcomes for underserved populations. More.
Adam Paredes, LMSW, possesses more than 11 years of experience in public education. He has served as a school social worker, a dean of students, and a restorative justice coordinator. Before joining SEN, Adam served as director of high school admissions for the NYCDOE Office of Student Enrollment. Adam holds a BS in human services from St. John’s University and an MSW from New York University. More.
Cameron has served in a variety of roles in the K-12 sector over her 23 years in education: math teacher, math coach, middle school principal, district technology curriculum coordinator, district executive director of teaching and learning, and SEA educator quality specialist. In each of these roles, she has centered her work around equity and students driving their own learning. More.
Jamie Heilingoetter has been a Texas educator for nearly 20 years. Jamie graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Journalism. After a couple of years working in media, Jamie’s desire to teach became undeniable. She pursued alternative certification and began her classroom career as a special-education teacher serving students with Autism and behavior-related disabilities. More.
Jess Westermann has dedicated the majority of her career in education to developing teachers. As a senior director at SEN, she designed and led the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) of Michigan’s Lead and Master Teacher Development program, for which she trained promising educators across districts in classroom and instructional leadership best practices. More.
Matthew Frank is a longtime educator and education consultant. Prior to becoming Program Director with School Empowerment Network, Matthew served as a Principal and Principal Supervisor coach with TNTP in Elko, Nevada supporting tiered district teams to implement instructional leadership strategies. Before that, Mathew founded and led a high-performing dual language & blended learning elementary campus in Austin. More.
Melinda Lopez was born and raised in New York City. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Brown University and her Teacher Certification from Roger Williams University. She has been an educator since 1994- working in both early childhood, elementary and higher education settings. For over 10 years Melinda has been designing and facilitating professional development for adults. More.
Mohamad has provided instructional leadership training and hands-on coaching support for campuses covering the K-12 spectrum. Previously, Mohamad served as principal of a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon high school campus, where he implemented mastery grading, restorative practices, and an AP For All culture, which led to doubling the number of AP exams taken (from ~350 to ~700) while increasing the number of passing scores by 8%. More.
Rachel Hunt helped to design and launch School Empowerment Network’s New School Design Fellowship where she now coaches leaders creating innovative and equitable new schools within TX districts. She began her career in education as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse in the mountains of Costa Rica. She went on to teach in a large public middle school in Salem, Massachusetts. More.
Founding members of SEN oversaw the quality reviews for all 1,700 schools in New York City. Today SEN leads school quality assessment and strategic planning support for multiple districts in Massachusetts.
SEN’s CEO oversaw the launch of 121 new schools across NYC. MDRC researchers found that these schools successfully increased outcomes for students of color. SEN now leads new school design training across the state of Texas for the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE SCHOOL CULTURE COACHING
SEN coaches previously supported small high schools in NYC to re-imagine staff and student relationships, increasing student and parent satisfaction and leading to improved academic results. Today SEN helps teachers and leaders in Southbridge, MA develop tools and practices that center on equity and create student-centered cultures.