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Blueprint is governed by a Board of Directors that consists of pioneers and leaders in the field of education reform.
Steve Levitt: Steve Levitt is the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he directs the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory. Levitt received his BA from Harvard University in 1989 and his PhD from MIT in 1994. He has taught at Chicago since 1997. In 2004, Levitt was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to the most influential economist under the age of 40. In 2006, he was named one of Time magazine's “100 People Who Shape Our World.” Steve co-authored Freakonomics, which spent over 2 years on the New York Times Best Seller list and has sold more than 4 million copies in 35 languages worldwide. The follow up to Freakonomics, SuperFreakonomics was published in 2009. Steve is also the co-author of the popular New York Times Freakonomics Blog.
Jim Bildner: Jim Bildner is a senior research fellow at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where he is spearheading the Center’s research on the sustainability of arts and cultural institutions in U.S. cities. Bildner is a trustee of The Kresge Foundation, the Nonprofit Finance Fund, Case Western Reserve University, Lesley University, the Public Citizen Foundation, the Trustees of the Reservation, the Women’s Funding Network, and on the investment committees of endowments with assets of $5.5 billion. He is an overseer of both the Boston Symphony Orchestra and WGBH Public TV and Radio, and a member of the executive board of WBUR (Boston Public Radio). Bildner earned his AB from Dartmouth College, his MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, his JD from Case Western Reserve School of Law, and his MFA from Lesley University. He is a member of the bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and an adjunct professor of law at Case Western Reserve.
Don Oppenheimer: Don Oppenheimer is the Chief Information Officer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Prior to the Kennedy School, he was the Chief Information and Knowledge Officer at Goodwin Procter LLP. Don spent the majority of his career in management consulting, as a Partner at Mercer Management Consulting. He received his M.B.A from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Elliot Washor: Elliot Washor is the co-founder and co-director of Big Picture Learning and the co-founder of The Met Center in Providence, RI. Elliot has been involved in school reform for more than 30 years as a teacher, principal, administrator, video producer, and writer. He has taught and is interested in all levels of school from kindergarten through college, in urban and rural settings, across all disciplines. His work has spanned across school design, pedagogy, learning environments, and education reform and is supporting others doing similar work throughout the world. Elliot’s interests lie in the field of how schools can connect with communities to understand tacit and disciplinary learning both in and outside of school. At Thayer High School in Winchester, N.H., Elliot’s professional development programs won an “Innovations in State and Local Government Award” from the Ford Foundation and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has been selected as an educator to watch in Rhode Island and has recently been selected as one of the Daring Dozen – the Twelve Most Daring Educators in the World by the George Lucas Educational Foundation. His dissertation on Innovative Pedagogy and New Facilities won the merit award from DesignShare, the international forum for innovative schools.
Matthew Spengler, Executive Director: Matthew Spengler coordinates with district leadership on Blueprint strategy and oversees the academic components of its implementation in districts. Prior to launching Blueprint, Matthew was the Program Director of The Education Innovation Laboratory at Harvard University (EdLabs), overseeing the implementation of field experiments in districts across the country. Matt has been involved in school reform for more than twenty years as a teacher, leadership coach, nonprofit administrator, and as the founding principal of MetWest High School in Oakland, California. Prior to working at EdLabs, Matt was the National Director of New School Development for the Big Picture Company where he worked with school districts and charter school leaders to create and sustain new elementary, middle and high schools. More recently, he served as Chief Academic Officer for Lighthouse Academies, a national nonprofit charter school management organization. Matt received his A.B. from Harvard University and his M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Urban Superintendents Program.
Jonathan Scherr, Director of Operations: Jonathan Scherr is responsible for the systemization of Blueprint’s programs as well as the development of Blueprint’s internal operations and finances. Prior to launching Blueprint, Jonathan was a Program Manager for the Education Innovation Laboratory at Harvard University (EdLabs) where he developed and implemented new innovations in education reform across the country, including the start up of The Griffin Early Childhood Center, a $10 million privately funded school start-up in Chicago’s south suburbs and a $10 million 30-school pilot of computerized learning systems in New York City. Prior to joining EdLabs, Jonathan worked with Monitor Clipper Partners (MCP), a $2.3 billion private equity fund where he developed strategies for the acquisition and operational improvement of multi-million dollar companies in education, consumer products, retail, software, and logistics industries. He received his A.B. summa cum laude in economics from Dartmouth College.
Jeremy Shaka Beard, National Program Director: Formerly the Apollo 20 School Improvement Officer, Jeremy worked to turn around eleven low performing middle and high schools in the Houston Independent School District. Prior to arriving in Houston, Jeremy served as principal of IDEA College Preparatory in Donna, Texas, a 6-12 campus, which U.S. News & World Report ranked #13 out of 21,000 High Schools in the United States. Jeremy holds an A.B. in English and African-American Studies from the University of Maryland and a M.Ed. in Organizational Leadership from Columbia Teachers College.
Debbie Backus, Regional Director: Prior to joining Blueprint, Debbie was the Chief Academic Officer for Jefferson County Public Schools, the largest school district in Colorado serving 154 schools and 86,000 students. Debbie has served as a teacher, principal, curriculum administrator and assistant superintendent. She is a national trainer for school leaders across the country and currently sits on the board of directors for McREL. Debbie received her A.B. from Boston College and a M.Ed. degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education
Blueprint Schools Network, Inc. also partners with an extensive network of individuals and organizations to support the successful implementation, monitoring and evaluation of our strategic design.