TransformEd’s team brings a broad range of complementary perspectives, skills, and experience to our work. We are all passionate about one thing: using what we know to improve outcomes for children.

Sara Bartolino Krachman | Founder and Executive Director

Sara is the Founder & Executive Director at Transforming Education, where she is responsible for setting the organization’s strategy, building internal capacity, fundraising, building new partnerships, and nurturing collaborative relationships with leading researchers and practitioners. Previously, Sara was a Senior Associate within The Parthenon Group’s education practice and the Vice President of Operations at INeedAPencil. Sara holds an A.B. in Government from Harvard University where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Katie Buckley | Managing Director of Research

Katie is the Managing Director of Research at Transforming Education, where she ensures educators and policymakers have access to actionable, research-informed guidance for implementing, integrating, and sustaining approaches to embed a focus on social-emotional competencies and the learning environments that foster them. Previously, Katie was a Senior Analyst at Abt Associates, a Consultant at the Center for Assessment, and a Research Associate at the Northeast and Islands Regional Education Laboratory (REL-NEI) at Education Development Center. Katie holds an Ed.D. in Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education from Harvard University, an M.P.P in Education, Family, and Social Policy from Georgetown University, and a B.A. in Political Science from Providence College.

DJ Cervantes | Director of Partnerships

DJ Cervantes is the Director of Partnerships at Transforming Education, where he coaches leaders through their schools’ social-emotional learning and culture / climate data, drives the strategic vision of our partnership with the NewSchools Venture Fund (NSVF), and manages survey administration. Previously, DJ was the Director of Teacher Leadership Development at Teach for America Massachusetts and Teach for America Buffalo, a secondary science teacher in Oakland, and a Leader in Residence with Phoenix Charter Academy in Lawrence, MA. DJ holds a B.S. in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University.

Richard Fournier | Managing Director of Partnerships

Richard is the Managing Director of Partnerships at Transforming Education, where he provides technical assistance to schools, LEAs, and SEAs across the country to support the implementation, integration, and sustainability of evidenced-based practices focused on the development of students’ social-emotional competencies and the learning environments needed to foster them. Previously, Richard was a Research and Technical Assistance Associate at the Education Development Center, a Project Scholar for the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, a high school history teacher, and is currently a teaching fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and an adjunct faculty member at Lasell College. Richard is currently a doctoral candidate at Boston University, working to finish his dissertation on principal leadership, and has co-authored several articles and book chapters on school culture and character education. Richard holds an M.Ed. in Policy and Planning from Boston University and a B.A. in American History from University of Maine.

Akira Gutierrez | Manager of Research-Practice Integration

Akira is the Manager of Research-Practice Integration at Transforming Education, where she leads TransformEd’s work in leveraging current research to develop actionable and equitable guidance and supports for partner schools, LEAs, and SEAs seeking to integrate social-emotional competencies into their practice and learning environments. Previously, Akira was a senior research coordinator at Tufts University’s Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development and research analyst for the Massachusetts Healthy Families Evaluation Project. Akira holds a M.A. and B.A. in Child Development from Tufts University with concentrations in early childhood education and applied developmental research.

Stephanie Hurley | Director of Partnerships

Stephanie Hurley is the Senior Manager of Partnerships at Transforming Education, where she facilitates the integration of social-emotional learning into practice in schools and districts by designing and leading professional learning series, helping educators use data to inform their practice and policies, and working as thought partner with school leaders on SEL strategy, vision, and implementation. Previously, Stephanie was a Content Specialist at Achievement Network, a strategy consultant with the Boston Schools Fund, and a middle school literacy teacher and Humanities Data Leader at the Academy of the Pacific Rim charter public school in Boston. Stephanie holds a B.A. in Secondary Education and English from Boston College and an M.B.A. in Nonprofit Management from Brandeis University.

Joanne Jan | Senior Associate of Strategy and Operations

Joanne is the Senior Associate of Strategy and Operations at Transforming Education, where she works to sustain operational excellence by streamlining procedures and processes, overseeing day-to-day operations, and acting as the financial controller. Previously, Joanne was Manager of Academic Programs and Academic Program Specialist at UP Education Network and an AmeriCorps member at City Year Boston. Joanne holds a B.A. in Classics and Psychology from Colgate University. Joanne holds a B.A. in Classics and Psychology from Colgate University and a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University.

Bob LaRocca | Director of Policy and Communications

Bob is the Director of Policy and Communications at Transforming Education where he works to craft policy recommendations for education leaders seeking to integrate social-emotional learning throughout the school day, share our resources and publications with wide audiences, and present at national conferences. Previously, Bob was Director of Strategic Collaborations at Primary Source, a teacher at multiple Boston-area schools, and an attorney. Bob holds a J.D. from Boston College Law School, an M.Sc. in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. in Government from Georgetown University.

Ji Won Paek | Senior Research Associate

Ji Won Paek is the Senior Research Associate at Transforming Education, where sheworks closely with our partnerships and research teams to analyze SEL-related research projects and translate the findings into digestible material for practitioners. Previously, Ji Won was the Research Associate and Manager of the Teachers College Survey Research Initiative, part of the external evaluator team at Teachers College, and a Match Corps member at Match Next in Boston. Ji Won holds a B.A. in Psychology from Duke University and a M.A. in Education Policy and Social Analysis from Teachers College of Columbia University.

Cori Stott | Managing Director of Strategy and Operations

Cori is the Managing Director of Strategy and Operations at Transforming Education, where she is responsible for strategic planning and tracking, organizational and project management, and operational oversight. Previously, Cori was Director of Research and Accountability at Brookline Public Schools, Director of Organizational Effectiveness at The Achievement Network, Manager of Strategy at Denver Public Schools, and an educational consultant at Denver’s McREL International. Cori holds a B.A. in Psychology from Wellesley College, an Ed.M. in Risk & Resilience from Harvard University, and an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado.

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