I am writing to share the news that December 30th marked my final day at Envision Learning Partners. It is impossible to put into words the depth of gratitude and appreciation I have for Envision as an organization, and for all of the amazing humans whom I have met over the past fifteen years(!!!!) – inside and outside of the org. Having spent the last decade and a half learning how to be an educator committed to deeper learning, and learning how to engage in transformative systems change work, there is no way that I can capture the role that Envision has played in my professional and personal evolution.
What did you most enjoy about being a coach with ELP?
I had no idea the profound impact that ELP would have on my life when I said yes to the opportunity to help found the organization and dream up what we wanted to do and be back in 2010. As I look back now, over a decade later, it is… of course… the people who have taught me the most, and whom I hold in my heart as I make my way through the world. Courageous and visionary school leaders from Hawaii to Maine who have invited me in to their most sacred place – their schools. Boundlessly passionate educators who have pushed their own practice with open hearts and open minds in order better support their most sacred people – their students. Brilliant partners who are doing the work in organizations across the country, confronting a complex and entrenched system that we all know can and needs to be better. And the ELP team… oh, the humans who are ELP… I have been held, challenged, taught, supported, encouraged, questioned, and loved by these humans in the most foundational of ways. So it feels quite impossible to describe what I have enjoyed the most about being a coach with ELP because it has been my identity for so long. The enjoyment is just one dimension of all that ELP has added to my life. Mostly, it has been all of you… so, thank you.
It has been a deeply moving decision to say goodbye to these people and this place, and say yes to the unknown. But I feel called to set out on a new challenge, and to see where it takes me. As 2020 unfolded and the world was newly turned upside down because of covid, the persistent and inexcusable murders of unarmed Black men and women, forest fires raging around us, and clear threats to our democracy, I found myself heavy with so many questions of what am I doing? and what can I do? While I don’t feel that I have any definitive answers to those questions at this point, the process has led me to some new lenses of purpose and focus.
I am excited to announce that I have started my own consulting business called Core Shifts (website coming soon). I believe deeply in the power of performance assessment, and will continue to partner with schools and districts to support the work of building systems organized around the skills that young people need in order to go out into the world and create the lives in which they will thrive. I am excited to continue to partner with ELP in this work so that all students can experience the power of owning their own story of learning and growth. Simultaneously, I feel compelled to continue to confront and grapple with the ways in which my identity as a white woman within education has contributed, and still contributes to the oppression of marginalized students and adults. I am committed to doing the ongoing mirror work myself so that I can better explicitly name, analyze, and be an effective co-conspirator in working to reduce and ultimately dismantle the hold that white supremacy culture has on public education. (One way I have been practicing this internal work is through the co-design and co-facilitation of an anti-racist learning experience for white folks in affinity space with another former Envisioner. It is called What is at Your Core and you can learn more about that on the website. Our next course starts this month, if you know of anyone who might be interested).
It is at the explicit intersection of system redesign and anti-racist work that I hope to build Core Shifts. I have a lot to learn, and I am ready to lean into the challenge.
There are no words to capture how much of who I am now is because of my time at Envision Education, and Envision Learning Partners. I continue to be deeply inspired by the passion, the commitment, the vulnerability, and the care with which this organization and all of the incredible clients and partners with whom we work take on the unthinkably complex job of holding our young people at the center of all that we do… especially this year. Please know how grateful I am to have learned with you.
You can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.