Staff

 

Beth Rabbitt, CEO

Beth-Headshot_150Beth Rabbitt is CEO of The Learning Accelerator (TLA). An expert in blended and personalized learning, Beth brings deep experience in education entrepreneurship, talent development, consulting, and finance. She is based in Boston, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. As a parent, she is inspired daily and urgently to make schooling better meet the needs of every child, everywhere.

Prior to becoming CEO, Beth was a Partner on the organization's start-up team. In the organization's first phase she led national strategies for developing human capital and for researching emerging teaching and learning models and practices. Before joining TLA, Beth was a Doctoral Resident and the Director of Human Capital at Touchstone Education (now part of Matchbook Learning), where she completed research on building competency-based talent systems in next generation schools. She was also an Associate Partner at the NewSchools Venture Fund, a consultant to and with Education Resource Strategies, and the founding Doctoral Fellow at the Harvard Innovation Lab. Began begin her career in education as research fellow in educational neuroscience and as a director of environmental education for an urban youth program in Massachusetts. 

Beth serves on the board of several education nonprofits, including the Highlander Institute and UNOW, Princeton University's early childhood education center. She earned her B.A. from Dartmouth College and a Doctorate in Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) from Harvard University. 

@BethRabbitt

 

Ellie Avishai, Partner

Ellie AvishaiEllie Avishai joins TLA as a Partner for her residency year as a doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is an expert in organizational strategy, change management and helping people use seemingly opposing ways of thinking to spark new innovations. Before joining TLA, Ellie founded I-Think, a unique K-12 initiative housed at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management that trains teachers and system leaders in Integrative Thinking, a process for blending critical and creative problem-solving in the classroom and across leadership teams. I-Think has helped thousands of district leaders, teachers and students use elements of integrative and design thinking to tackle “wicked problems” in their districts and across subjects in both elementary and secondary schools. She also taught for several years in the Special Education departments of two Toronto middle and high-schools.

Ellie has taught students of all ages from kindergarten through to corporate executives. An avid singer, Ellie first discovered her love of teaching as a music and theater director. It was while getting her MBA, however, that she began to understand the power of using the creative process as a vehicle for solving strategic problems that are traditionally seen as “either-or.” 

When she is not working, Ellie is usually playing lego or riding bikes with her two little boys, reading the first 50 pages of books on social science, or traveling to visit her family in Toronto, Canada.

@EllieAvishai

Juliana Finegan, Partner

JulianaJuliana Finegan is a Partner at The Learning Accelerator. An expert in blended and personalized learning, she leads TLA's human capital work to push forward innovation education by building and supporting a pipeline of blended educators and leaders, seeking to increase capacity at all levels and share best practices and resources at scale.

Over the past 12 years, Juliana has followed her passion for education both in the classroom, having worked for a decade as a Title 1 educator and Teach For America alumna and, more recently, by supporting teachers at the graduate level. As Director of Personalized Learning at Relay GSE, Juliana researched and developed tangible, practice-based content to support teachers and leaders in the blended space. She has observed best practices from all over the country, identified effective strategies, and built a strong network of impact-oriented education professionals throughout the nation. When she is not focused on shifting education, Juliana loves to travel, stay active, enjoy nature throughout the PNW, and spend quality time with her husband, 1 year old daughter, and puppy. 

Juliana earned her B.S. in Chemistry at Villanova University and a M.Ed. at Loyola Marymount University. 

@JulianaFinegan

Kira Keane, Partner

securedownloadKira Keane is a Partner at The Learning Accelerator. With more than 20 years of experience in communications and public affairs, Kira manages external communications for TLA, as well as resource dissemination strategies. She also develops communications tools and provides training workshops to help school districts implement blended and personalized learning.

Kira has consulted for Fortune 500 companies, internet start-ups, education foundations, elected officials and major municipal agencies.  She has extensive experience in media, community, and government relations. Kira is active in K-12 education issues, working with school community foundations and managing communications campaigns for several public school funding measures. Kira holds an undergraduate degree in international relations from Stanford University.

Kira spends her off-work hours trying to keep up with her husband, three children, one ill-behaved dog, and an unruly vegetable garden.

@KeaneKira

Michela Marini, Chief of Staff

MichelaMariniheadshot1Michela Marini is Chief of Staff at The Learning Accelerator. With a background in the field of human-centered design for product and service offerings, she has worked in academia, nonprofits, and corporate businesses. In her current role, Michela supports the CEO on several different projects, including organizational management and processes efficiency.

Having joined TLA in its early days, Michela was initially a Program Manager of the organization, providing support to the founding CEO and partners on projects mostly focusing on resource design, marketing, and communications. Prior to joining TLA,  Michela was a Project Manager at design firms and startups, as well as at universities and private educational institutes –Politecnico di Milano, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, and Domus Academy. Born and raised in Italy, she holds a B.S. in Industrial Design from Brunel University (UK) and a Master of Science in Design from Politecnico di Milano (Italy).

Michela, her husband, and two sons are based in Oakland, CA. When not there, they are likely in Italy making honey and eating good food.

Saro Mohammed, Partner

Saro Mohammed 150Saro Mohammed is a Partner at The Learning Accelerator where her work focuses on understanding if, how, and when blended learning is effective in K-12 settings nationally. She has a decade of experience in education research and external evaluations of programs implemented in public, private, and non-profit settings. Prior to joining TLA, Saro was the inaugural assistant director of two research units in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Since 2008, she has worked directly with more than 20 school districts, either in a research or program evaluation context; and one-on-one with more than 10 states in a technical assistance/capacity building role. In addition, Saro serves as a reviewer for and advisor to federally-funded research centers, including the Institute of Education Sciences, the Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities, and the Rapid-Cycle Technology Evaluation initiative.

Saro holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from The University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Science in brain and cognitive sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She volunteers at the United Way for Greater Austin, serving on their Target Graduation Strategic Advisory Council and their research working group.

Saro spends most of her time with her husband and her son in Austin, Texas where they spend way too much time fishing. The rest of the time they're in Trinidad or Tobago spending way too much time enjoying Carnival and tropical beaches.

@EdResearchWorks

Daniel Owens, Partner

DanielOwensDaniel Owens is a Partner at The Learning Accelerator. He has a wealth of experience in education, philanthropy, and business strategy. His work at TLA focuses on identifying, capturing, and sharing promising Blended and Personalized Learning practices from across the country. Daniel previously spent most of his time focusing how helping districts purchase EdTech devices better, faster, and cheaper, and currently sits on the board of the Technology for Education Consortium.

Daniel participated in Teach for America, where he taught underprivileged sixth graders math and science in south central Los Angeles. He joined TLA from J.P. Morgan, where he was an analyst in the Private Bank and focused on strategy and resource allocation. Daniel has served on young leadership boards for both his alma mater (William & Mary) and an education non-profit organization (Summer Search). He has an undergraduate degree in finance from William & Mary, a M.Ed. from Loyola Marymount University, and has studied economics and romance languages at the University of Buenos Aires as a Rotary Scholar.

In his spare time, Daniel can be found doing just about anything outdoors, including: hiking, biking, skiing, and triathlons.

Jennifer Wolfe, Partner

Jennifer WolfeJennifer Wolfe is a Partner at The Learning Accelerator. Jennifer is a former CEO and experienced strategic advisor who has worked as a consultant for the last several years in the education industry, bringing more than 20 years of experience to help education reform organizations strengthen their strategic planning, program design, partnerships, marketing and communications. Jennifer’s work at TLA  focuses on social engagement, partnerships and Open Education Resources.

Formerly Jennifer was the co-founder and CEO of Sun Busters, a leading children’s sun protection apparel company. She was a nonprofit executive with Do Something Inc., leading initiatives that inspired young people to make a difference in their communities. Jennifer began her career as an attorney with Latham & Watkins. She graduated cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis and received her law degree with Honors from New York University School of Law.

Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. They love to travel, try new restaurants and enjoy all types of outdoor activities, especially hiking with their dog.

@JenniferAWolfe