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Welcome to the “Startup Weekend: NextGen Schools.” This weekend, presented by  Silicon Schools Fund, 4.0 Schools, and Startup Weekend EDU, will be an exciting, fast-paced 54 hours of rethinking schooling and designing the schools of the future alongside a high-profile group of educators, designers, funders, and other like-minded individuals.  Unlike other startup weekends, the result of this weekend won’t be a cool product, but rather an entire school model that radically transforms the traditional approach to learning. The spirit of entrepreneurism has transformed many facets of our lives – how we communicate, the medical treatments we receive, how we consume information, and on and on – except that is for schools, which have been left largely the same for the last 100 years.   Perhaps the one thing we all have in common with our great-grandparents is the basics of the school experience. We’re incredibly excited about this upcoming San Francisco StartupWeekend: NextGen Schools! We’re adding a few twists and turns to make this a great event designed to help create the next generation of school models.

  • On Friday, people will pitch their vision for the  one “core innovation”(for instance, why does the school day have to be delineated by a number of fixed periods?  Why should there always be 1 teacher in front of 30 students?) Teams will come together around a core innovation that challenges an assumption about our current concepts of school.  This core innovation will be the basis of a new school model that the team will develop over the course of the weekend.
  • On Saturday, teams will first work to develop and refine their core innovation. This element must be approved by a panel of mentors by passing their innovation test.  Once approved, teams will then embark on developing an entire school model that supports the one core innovation.
  • By Sunday evening, teams will pitch these core innovations and school models to a panel of judges who will give an award for the most compelling core innovation and an award for the most compelling overall school design.

Do you have ideas about how school should be changed that you want to see put into action?  Do you like challenging long-standing assumptions about “how things are”?  Then this weekend is for you.  Get involved and develop something that could change the lives of students for years to come.



Jun 7
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers: Brian Greenberg and Alex Hernandez
  • Pitches Start
  • Top teams announced and start forming
  • Teams formalized, taking an inventory of skills, and planning for early Saturday. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Jun 8
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed, work space set up, everyone deep into the work
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help! All teams must be badged by two coaches to present on Sunday.
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Jun 9
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Lunch and start prepping for final presentation
  • Dry-run for final presentations, tech check, get final feedback.
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!

Alex Hernandez

Partner, Charter School Growth Fund   |  

Alex Hernandez leads CSGF’s “next generation” CMO investments as well as those for portfolio members located in the Western US and Texas. Mr. Hernandez is a former Area Superintendent at Aspire Public Schools and joined CSGF in July 2010. Previous to managing Aspire’s largest region, Alex worked with ICEF, a CMO in Los Angeles, and Portland Public Schools as a Broad Resident. Prior to that, Alex worked for several years with JP Morgan and Disney Ventures. He is a graduate of Claremont McKenna and has an MBA and Masters of Education from Stanford University.

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Jed Wallace

President, California Charter Schools Associaton

Jed serves as the President and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association, a membership organization supporting the state's 1,063+ charter schools serving more than 484,000 students.

Jed began his career in public education as a teacher at Hooper Avenue Elementary School, a 2,000-student school in South-Central Los Angeles. Serving there for seven years, he established a successful school-within-the-school that became the basis for an effort to convert Hooper Avenue to charter status. He later worked in the Office of the Superintendent at San Diego City Schools where, among other duties, he was responsible for the oversight of the District's 22 charter schools. Immediately before coming to the Association, Jed served as the Chief Operating Officer of High Tech High, where he oversaw all operational and financial aspects of the organization during a period when High Tech High grew from one school serving 400 students into eight schools serving more than 3,000 students.

Jed received a Bachelor's degree in the Science of Foreign Service from Georgetown University, an MFA in playwriting from UCLA, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Vincent Matthews

Superintendent of Schools and Secretary to the Board of Education, San Jose Unified School District

In 2010, Vincent Matthews became superintendent for San Jose Unified School District in California, a district with 33,000 students and 42 schools. Matthews previously served as state trustee, state administrator and chief of staff for the Oakland Unified School District in California. Matthews also served as regional superintendent of San Diego Unified School District, the second largest district in California with more than 134,000 students and over 200 schools.

Prior to that role, Matthews served as the educator in residence for the NewSchools Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy firm working to transform public education through powerful ideas and passionate entrepreneurs. Before joining NewSchools Venture Fund, Matthews served as the California operations vice president for Edison Schools, where he managed the overall operations for the eight Edison schools throughout California.

Matthews also served as a teacher as well as in various administrative positions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including principal of Edison Charter Academy and Alvarado Elementary School in San Francisco, principal of John Muir Middle School in San Leandro and assistant principal of Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley.

Brian Greenberg

CEO, Silicon Schools Fund   |  

Brian is the CEO of the Silicon Schools Fund, a not-for-profit investment fund seeking to accelerate the next generation of blended learning schools in the Bay Area of California. He was formerly the Chief Academic Officer of Envision Schools, a Bay Area charter management organization, and the Principal and Founder of Leadership Public Schools Hayward, one of the top charter schools in the state of California. Brian has worked as a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, in politics on statewide and national campaigns, in higher education at Carnegie Mellon University, and in the non-profit sector as the Vice President of Development for Isles, Inc. He has served as a mentor principal for New Leaders for New Schools and is a Stanford University Principal Fellow. Brian is the creator of, a site devoted to experimentation and technology in education. He graduated from Dartmouth College and competed his Masters in Education at Harvard University.

Diane Tavenner

Founder and CEO, Summit Public Schools

Diane Tavenner is the Founder and CEO of Summit Public Schools (SPS), a leading charter management organization serving Silicon Valley’s diverse communities. Summit currently operates six schools serving 1,600 students. Employing a model that leverages technology, world-class teaching and a rigorous, college, career and life prep curriculum, Summit’s graduates are completing four-year college degrees at twice the national average.

Diane founded Summit’s flagship school, Summit Preparatory Charter High School, in 2003, which quickly earned a reputation as one of the best public high schools in the nation, according to national rankings by Newsweek and US News & World Report. Community demand led to the opening of Everest Public High School in the fall of 2009, as well as Summit Public School’s Rainier and Tahoma in San Jose in the fall of 2011, and Denali and Shasta in 2013.

With an acclaimed model focused on rigorous, college-preparatory public school education, nearly 100 percent of students from Summit’s first seven graduating classes have been admitted to four-year colleges and universities.
Diane serves as the Board Chair of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) Board of Directors representing the majority of California’s 1,000+ charter schools. Diane is a member of the Spring 2013 cohort of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship.

Prior to Summit, Diane spent ten years as a public school teacher, administrator and leader in traditional urban and suburban public schools throughout California. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in administration and policy analysis from Stanford University.


Paul Curtis

Director of School Quality, New Tech Network   |  

n 1997, Paul was recruited to Napa New Technology High School and immediately saw the benefits of working in an environment that allows for block scheduling, team teaching, and, of course, a technology rich classroom.

While at Napa New Tech High, he helped define the school's curriculum model, assessment practices, and technology tools that have become the hallmark of all New Technology High Schools. As the school gained a reputation for innovation and hosted hundreds of visitors each year, he became a strong advocate for school restructuring and educational reform. In 2000, Paul was selected as Napa County Teacher of the Year.

Paul went on to help form New Tech Network in order to take the vision and mission of Napa New Tech nationally. Paul moved from coaching to leadership to ensure that New Tech can continue to reimagine teaching and learning throughout the country.

Randy Weiner

Education Entrepreneur

Randy is a co-founder at InnerTube Games, co-founder and Chairman of the Board at Urban Montessori Charter School in Oakland, CA (the nation's first public Montessori, Arts Integration and Design Thinking Skills school) and a consultant to education and technology companies. He has coached at three previous SWEDUs in Santa Clara, CA, San Francisco, CA and Reston, VA. Randy has worked in start-ups for the last ~15 years and has served as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Learn Capital, with an emphasis on education and gaming. Randy is expert in agile development, with interests in Lean, Kanban and Queuing Theory practices. A Teach For America alumnus, he has five years of teaching experience gained in Oakland, CA and Antananarivo, Madagascar. Randy holds B.A.s in Philosophy and Spanish from Middlebury College and an MA in Education from Stanford University.

Allison Akhnoukh

CEO, Caliber Schools   |  

Allison Akhnoukh has been working in education reform for over a decade, most recently with the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) Foundation where she supported the growth and sustainability of KIPP regions in California, Colorado and Texas. Prior to this work, Allison served as Director of School Portfolio Management for Oakland Unified School District where her work included oversight of the Charter School Office and implementation of the district’s local accountability system. Before working at OUSD, Allison served as Director of Development for Epiphany Middle School in Dorchester, MA. Allison received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. She is President of the Board of Directors for Great Oakland Public Schools and lives in Oakland with her husband and two preschool aged sons.

Meg Evans

Education Program Associate, Innosight Institute   |  

Meg Evans is the Education Program Associate at Innosight Institute. She graduated from Yale University with a BA in Political Science. Her senior thesis focused on the story of education reform work in New Haven. Evans began focusing on policy while in college with the Roosevelt Institute, a national non-profit student think-tank, where she served as the Yale chapter president and later as the Chair of the National Student Advisory Board. She also interned as a President’s Public Service Fellow, where she worked in New Haven’s City Hall

Matt Pasternack

Business Development, Clever   |  

With experience in ed tech, policy, and in the classroom, Matt leads business development for Clever. Previously Matt helped found a K-12 learning analytics company and worked on the prototype for School of One in New York. He attended Stanford Law School before leaving to start his first startup. Matt taught middle school English in Harlem for three years with Teach for America. Matt holds a BA in History from Yale and currently lives outside of San Francisco.

Daniel McLaughlin

Founder of One Purpose

Daniel McLaughlin is Founder and President of One Purpose, a new charter school planning to open in San Francisco. Daniel co-founded Envision Schools, a network of four high-performing charter high schools targeting students who would be the first in their family to attend college. He was President and CEO for seven years. Prior to that, he led the Bay Area office of New Leaders, among the nation's top principal training programs.
Daniel also taught high school in New Haven, CT and junior high school in Antioch, CA. He received a Master of Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a BA and Teaching Credential from Yale College

Lisa Daggs

Chief Program Officer, Doris and Donald Fisher Fund

Lisa is the Chief Program Officer for the Doris and Donald Fisher Fund. Prior to joining the Fisher Fund she worked with the Newark Charter School Fund(NCSF) and New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO). Her work at NCSF included the development and implementation of their new school strategy and overseeing their work with existing charter schools. Lisa was a leadership coach for NSNO supported charter schools and led the design and implementation of the training program for the school leaders receiving New Schools for New Orleans incubation grants. Under her leadership, New Schools for New Orleans launched 10 schools serving 2500 students. Prior to working in New Orleans, Lisa served as the Chief of Staff at the KIPP Foundation for five years. She was a founding team member responsible for hiring all Foundation staff, marketing, public affairs, fundraising, school information and all other human resources functions. During her tenure with the foundation the number of KIPP schools expanded from two to forty-six. Before joining KIPP, Lisa was a founding team member at New Schools Venture Fund. Lisa is a Teach for America alum and holds an MBA, a Masters in Education and a Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.

Liz Arney

Director of Innovative Learning, Aspire Public Schools

Liz Arney is the Director of Innovative Learning at Aspire Public Schools, where she is responsible for running blended learning pilots, converting schools to blended learning, and designing new blended learning schools. As a member of Aspire's Education Team, Liz works closely with teachers, principals, IT, and data and analysis to create supportive structures and processes for increasing classroom technology offerings aligned with Aspire's instructional program and culture. Prior to doing blended learning, Liz worked at Aspire as a humanities instructional coach, providing professional development, instructional and content support, and induction coaching to grades 6-12 humanities teachers across the organization. Before coming to Aspire, Liz taught high school English in public and private schools, and provided history content coaching to teachers across New England. Liz earned her BA in English from UC Berkeley, her EdM from Harvard, and a MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago.

Russ Altenburg

Program Officer, The Broad Foundation   |  

Russ Altenburg is a Program Officer at the The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and supports a portfolio of grants in the areas of personalized learning, new school models, and state policy. Prior to joining the foundation, he was an Education Pioneers Fellow at NewSchools Venture Fund. He was also part of the founding team of SummaED, a blended learning program in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Before pursuing his MBA, Russ worked on various international development and education projects as a co-founder of nonprofit Global Playground and Chief Operating Officer of nonprofit Students Helping Honduras. He previously worked at JPMorgan advising corporate clients on currency risk management. Russ holds a BSc in Economics from Duke University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he was awarded the John Wooden Leadership Fellowship.

Jeff Tsang

Education Reformer

Jeffrey Tsang began his career in education reform as the Principal of Bronx Lighthouse Charter School, a high-performing charter school in the Bronx, NY. He went on to become the Chief Academic Officer of Lighthouse Academies, where he directed the academic program of a national network of 14 inner-city charter schools. Most recently, he moved to the SF Bay Area to help realize the potential of technology to accelerate education reform. He worked as Senior Consultant at Education Elements, supporting schools’ efforts to increase student achievement by implementing effective “blended learning” models.

Prior to his work in education, Jeff practiced law at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, where he specialized in corporate mergers and acquisitions. Jeff began his professional career working on civil rights legislation at the California State Legislature. He holds a B.A. in Political Economy from UC Berkeley and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Jess Bialecki

PK-2 School Leader, ReNEW Schaumburg and CEO, Classroom Blueprint   |  

Jess Bialecki will be the school leader for grades PK-2 at ReNEW Schaumburg Elementary School in New Orleans, a new turnaround charter school opening for the 2013-2014 school year. Previously, Jess served as the PK-2 Dean of Students at ReNEW SciTech Academy and as the PK-3 Dean of Students and PK-2 Curriculum Coach at ReNEW Reed Elementary. She originally moved to New Orleans to teach as a Teach For America corps member in 2008. Jess also launched an edtech company last year called Classroom Blueprint, an online community where teachers share and discover best practices for classroom design and setup. Classroom Blueprint won first place at the NYC Startup Weekend Education in February 2012.

Megan Roberts

Executive Director of the Office of Innovation

Megan Roberts is the Executive Director of the Office of Innovation, a division of the New York City public school system. She and her team work to support the development of new and innovative models of schooling as well as radical collaboration efforts with schools across the district. She is a former teacher, principal and district leader and her areas of focus are policies and practices of urban school reform and adult learning theory within the context of education. Megan earned her doctorate in Science Education & Urban Policy from Columbia University.

Kristen McCaw

School Development Manager, California Charter Schools Association   |  

Kristen is the School Development Manager, Northern California, for the California Charter Schools Association and provides strategic support to new school development teams as they design their school, develop a charter petition, and navigate the political process of securing approval. Kristen began her career by establishing a college preparation program for students living in New York City public housing. She then joined the Success Academy Network, where she oversaw special education and assessments at a first-year charter school in Harlem. She has also conducted research evaluating LAUSD policies, provided business development consultation to educational organizations, and managed the implementation of systems designed to improve teacher and student performance as an Education Pioneers Fellow at Lighthouse Community Charter Schools. Kristen holds a B.A. in Politics from New York University and an M.P.A. from the University of Southern California.

Christine Ortiz

Executive Director, Lawton Chiles Preparatory School   |  

Christine Ortiz is a social entrepreneur, with expertise in the fields of marketing and branding, youth empowerment, education and curriculum design. An MIT grad with two masters’ degrees, Ortiz spent her high school years working on the national, teen anti-smoking Truth Campaign and advising corporate executives on engaging youths for social change. At the age of 18 she founded her first company, Allen Ortiz Consulting, through which she developed youth empowerment curriculums, designed marketing and branding strategies for social change initiatives, launched state and country-wide change campaigns, and spoke in front of hundreds of thousands of youth and adults. She opened a tutoring and test prep center, a stepping-stone to her most recent venture, Knowledge Commons, an innovation lab that is rapidly prototyping solutions to education related issues. The Commons include Lawton Chiles Preparatory School, a K-12 school, with mixed- age classrooms, an integrated and thematic curriculum design, and a constant focus on individuality. Her background in entrepreneurship, branding, marketing and empowerment help mold her innovative approach to education.

Katrina Stevens

Education Consultant and Blogger   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Baltimore-based, Katrina Stevens is an education consultant and blogger, currently building an online high school for Calvert Education. Katrina served as Deputy Director for Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth in Bermuda where she designed and implemented an island-wide acceleration and enrichment program and laboratory school for academically talented students. She's been a teacher, principal, district administrator, and former cofounder of an educational technology company.

Katrina writes regularly for Edsurge, SmartBlog for Education, and for her own blog, Education Matters. She cofounded and moderates both #edtechchat and #MDedchat. Katrina has also coached and facilitated previous Startup Weekend EDU events.

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