New Talent to Support Our Strategy

February 26, 2015

A couple of weeks ago we shared an infographic about our strategic direction over the next few years.

New folks are joining the team with the background and skills we need to invest in and support entrepreneurs in our priority areas. Here’s an up to date look at new members of our innovative schools and tools & services investment teams.

Innovative Schools team

Scott Benson joined us at the beginning of February to lead this team. During 4 ½ years at the Gates Foundation, he supported more than 100 teams of educators launching or redesigning schools for next generation learning. He was an early investor in some of the most innovative school models in the country and is well known and respected among entrepreneurs, other investors, and thought leaders. He also has experience in the public sector at DC Public Schools and in the private sector in the management ranks at Home Depot.

Liz Arney arrives March 1st after 11 years at Aspire Public Schools. Most recently she was the Director of Innovative Learning, supporting Aspire school teams as they transformed their traditional instructional environments to ones focused on personalized learning with blended instruction. Her book “Go Blended,” a practical guide for schools interested in learning from Aspire’s journey, was released on February 2nd. She began her career as a teacher in Washington state.

Arielle Rittvo arrives April 1st, fresh off a couple of years of independent consulting focused exclusively on supporting teams of educators launching and redesigning schools for next generation learning all over the country. After a number of years working on operations and strategy across the KIPP LA network, she joined Rocketship Learning, a pioneer among next gen schools, where as national VP of Strategy and Operations she led a team that supported schools across the network.

Alex Caram joined NewSchools last summer to work with our teacher prep entrepreneurs. As we sunset our investing in those types of organizations, Alex will continue to support our teacher prep ventures throughout 2015, while working on the innovative schools team to think about their human capital needs and opportunities we might support in the future.

Tools and Services team

Tonika Cheek Clayton joins us March 16th to lead this team. She spent 8 years at Amplify and Wireless Generation, where she most recently was Vice President of Product Management, guiding teams of product and project managers to develop and execute product roadmaps and project plans. This included working closely with clients to understand and incorporate their needs into products and establishing a network of schools to test product prototypes. She also held leadership roles in sales and account management and led a team that sold and supported more than 600 school, district, and state accounts.  

Esther Tricoche joined us on February 23rd from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in Houston, where she was the Education Program Manager for Social Innovation & Education Technology. She managed a $120 million portfolio of K-12 public education investments. Esther supported several city-wide education reform action plans in collaboration with city government, local foundations, and nonprofits across the country, including the Arnold’s first city-wide portfolio schools investment in New Orleans.

As these new investment teams come together, we are excited to begin building a portfolio of innovative schools and tools & services entrepreneurs!