Who We Are

Behind the Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative is a group of teacher leaders, organizations, and supporting staff who believe in the ideals of the movement and lead the initiative's work.

Teacher Ambassadors

At the heart of teacher-powered schools are dedicated teacher leaders. Our initiative is proud to have a set of teacher ambassadors representing a diverse range of these teacher-powered schools who bring their counsel, voices, resources, and influence to the initiative.

Meet the Teacher Ambassadors


The day-to-day operations of the Teacher-Powered School Initiative are handled by Education Evolving, a Minnesota-based nonprofit that works to advance student-centered learning for all students, by supporting teachers designing and leading schools, and by advocating for policy that is open to innovation. Read more about Education Evolving.

While not currently involved in day-to-day operations, the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ)—a North Carolina-based national nonprofit dedicated to bringing educators and school system leaders together to improve public education for every student—was a critical partner in the initiative from 2014 through 2018, and the Initiative is grateful for their partnership and leadership in its early phases. Read more about CTQ.

Support Team

Several people at these two organizations are involved in the Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative work, including:

Amy Junge
Education Evolving

Amy Junge is a former California public elementary and middle school teacher and assistant principal. She started working with teacher-powered schools in 2009 and was a contributing author for Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots. Today, Amy works with Education Evolving supporting teacher-powered schools through the Teacher Powered Schools Initiative.

Contact Amy Junge at
Follow Amy on Twitter: @amysjunge

Alex Vitrella
Education Evolving

Alex spent the first part of her career working as a teacher in Minneapolis and abroad in Costa Rica and Italy. She grew frustrated with the system and left teaching to advocate for education reforms. Today, Alex handles outreach and engagement for EE in Minnesota—spending her days talking to teachers and learning what matters to them. She also supports teachers in Minnesota who are interested in or actively working in teacher-powered schools. Witnessing teachers make the changes they know are needed, without having to leave their classrooms is what inspires Alex.

Contact Alex Vitrella at

Lars Esdal
Education Evolving &
Labrador Foundation

Lars was first exposed to teacher-powered schools as a student. He graduated from the Minnesota New Country School, a teacher-powered high school in Henderson, MN. In his time there, he saw first-hand how collective autonomy allowed his teachers to connect with him as an individual, and to shape a personalized learning trajectory that motivated and inspired him. Lars is deeply grateful for the idea of teacher-powered schools, and is excited to advocate for them now as an adult!

Contact Lars Esdal at
Follow Lars on Twitter: @LarsEsdal

Lori Nazareno
Center for Teaching Quality

Lori is a dually certified National Board Certified Teacher and has taught for 25 years. She designed and took the lead in forming the Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy—a teacher-powered school in Denver. She served on the NEA Commission for Effective Teachers and Teaching, the Board of Directors for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the Teacher Advisory Committee for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the CTQ Teacher Advisory Board. She is deeply committed to teacher leadership and growing the number of teacher-powered schools. Lori believes that the bold ideas of accomplished teachers can and will transform schools, schooling, and the teaching profession.

Contact Lori Nazareno at
Follow Lori on Twitter: @lnazareno



More than 120 schools in 19 states and counting.


of Americans agree teacher-powered schools are a good idea.


of teachers agree that teacher-powered schools are a good idea.