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 council, voices, resources, and influence to the initiative.

Meet the Teacher Ambassadors


Education Evolving (E|E) is a Minnesota-based education policy design and advocacy shop, with expertise in K-12 architecture. Their focus is building the capacity for innovation and school redesign into the K-12 system. Read more about Education Evolving.

In late 2013 and early 2014, E|E commissioned a national research study to better understand the growing momentum, awareness, and appetite for the concept of teacher-powered schools in schools and districts across the country. The findings of this research inspired E|E to launch this initiative.

The Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) is a North Carolina-based national nonprofit dedicated to creating a high-quality education system for all students, driven by the bold ideas and expert practices of teachers.

CTQ has released a free step-by-step guide to starting a teacher-powered school and offers opportunities for forward-thinking educators to connect in the CTQ Collaboratory Teacher-Powered Schools Lab. In collaboration with Education Evolving, CTQ is currently creating resources that will support teachers to develop and improve teacher-powered schools.

Support Team

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

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

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



More than 120 schools in 18 states and counting.


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


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