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 serves as the Co-Founder & Executive Director of Transforming Education (TransformEd), where she is responsible for setting the organization’s strategy, building internal capacity, fundraising, and building new partnerships. Prior to founding TransformEd, Sara was a Senior Associate within The Parthenon Group’s Education Practice, where she worked with leading national foundations, large urban school districts, and state departments of education on strategic planning and implementation of systems change efforts. Before joining Parthenon, Sara served as Vice President of Operations for INeedAPencil, a provider of free online SAT preparation to low-income students. Sara earned her A.B. in Government from Harvard University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 2015, she was named a Finalist for the Young Professional Excellence Award, which honors an emerging nonprofit professional who has made a significant contribution to their organization through their effectiveness, dedication, perseverance, innovative thinking, and interpersonal skills.
Katie Buckley is the Director of Research and Assessment at TransformEd, where she is responsible for developing the organization’s research agenda, managing evaluation studies, and leading TransformEd’s work in identifying and validating existing and new assessments of MESH skills. Prior to joining Transforming Education, Katie was a Senior Analyst at Abt Associates and served as a consultant for the Center for Assessment. Katie holds an Ed.D. in Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), where her research focused on the use of assessments in teacher evaluation systems. While at HGSE, Katie was a teaching fellow for several statistical and policy courses, and served as a graduate fellow at the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR). Katie received a Master’s degree in Public Policy (M.P.P.) from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, and a B.A. in Political Science from Providence College.
Richard Fournier is Director of District Partnerships and leads TransformEd’s work in facilitating the integration of Mindsets, Essential Skills, and Habits into practice in schools and districts. Prior to joining TransformEd, Richard started in education as a high school history teacher and coach. He worked as a research associate and technical assistance associate for eight years at Education Development Center (EDC), and later as a project scholar for the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. He has consulted and conducted research for K12 and higher education institutes, and worked in policy and practice on several education topics, including leadership studies, teacher evaluation, STEM, character and citizenship education, and English Language Learners. Richard is currently an adjunct faculty member at Lasell College, and is working on his dissertation on principal leadership to complete his doctorate at Boston University where he has been a Dean’s fellow the last four years. He holds a Massachusetts superintendent license, a certification in program evaluation, an Ed.M from Boston University and a BA in History from the University of Maine.
Bob LaRocca is Director of Policy and Communications at TransformEd, where he is responsible for collaborating with policymakers and crafting the organization’s policy and communications plan. Prior to joining TransformEd, Bob was Director of Strategic Collaborations at Primary Source, where he worked with education leaders to advance global education in K-12 schools. Bob has also been a teacher at multiple Boston-area schools, including Nativity Prep, a middle school dedicated to serving low-income students of Boston. As an attorney, Bob helped run the Community Business Clinic at Northeastern School of Law, where he provided legal services to urban entrepreneurs and small business owners. And, he has served as a campaign manager and senior adviser on many Massachusetts political campaigns, developing policy positions and providing strategic communications advice to candidates. Bob holds an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and a law degree from Boston College Law School, where he received a pro bono excellence award for his service to nonprofit and government organizations.
Cori Stott is the Chief of Staff at TransformEd, where she is responsible for strategic planning and tracking, project management, and operational oversight. Prior to joining Transforming Education, Cori was the Director of Research and Accountability at Brookline Public Schools where she managed strategic system-wide projects and led the district’s efforts in utilizing data to drive continuous improvement in instruction, programming, and operations. Cori has also worked as the Director of Organizational Effectiveness at The Achievement Network and as an education consultant with McREL ternational. Cori holds a B.A. in psychology from Wellesley College, an M.Ed. from Harvard University, and an MBA from the University of Colorado.
Julia Travers Rickert is the Director of Innovative School Partnerships at TransformEd. As a consultant, first at IBM and later independently, Julia has provided education and management strategy support to a range of organizations from a fast growing nonprofit working to close the skills gap to a private wealth management firm developing its next generation strategy. At Building Excellent Schools she served as the Chief of the Excellent Schools Network, a leadership development network for high performing, college preparatory urban charter school leaders. Before BES, Julia served as the Director of CITYterm, a residential semester program in New York City at the forefront of expeditionary learning, critical thinking and character education. Julia has a BA and MBA from Yale University, and in between taught English literature at Deerfield Academy and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
DJ Cervantes is the School Supports Manager at TransformEd. Prior to joining TransformEd, DJ was the Director of Teacher Leadership Development with Teach For America in Massachusetts and in Buffalo, NY, where he managed a team of teacher coaches and co-led the efforts in improving access to opportunity and outcomes for students in under-resourced schools. He started his career as a secondary science teacher in Oakland, CA and also spent a year as Leader In Residence with Phoenix Charter Academy in Lawrence, MA. He holds a B.S. in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University in Athens, OH.
Sushmita Subedi is the Senior Research Associate at TransformEd, where she is responsible for supporting TransformEd’s work in identifying student success measures, and collecting, managing, and analyzing longitudinal MESH data. She is a Ph.D. Candidate of Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where her research focuses on analyzing the implementation and perceived effectiveness of a national education reform in Nepal. Prior to joining TransformEd, Sushmita worked with the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy to design multiple surveys aimed at understanding the effectiveness of the Massachusetts Education Partnership (MEP)’s Interest-Based Bargaining (IBB) training. She started her career in education and youth development as a Research Associate in a large-scale project funded by Save the Children, where she supported data collection, management and analysis of a 30-district survey aimed at documenting the socio-economic status of children in Nepal. Sushmita holds an M.A. in Economic Development from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and an M.S. in Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Akira Gutierrez is the Manager of Research-Practice Integration at Transforming Education. Prior to joining TransformEd, Akira was a part of various research projects at Tufts University. At the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Akira was involved in research design and analyses of multi-site, longitudinal school-based studies, as well as program development and implementation, in the areas of social, emotional, and character development. During her time with the Massachusetts Healthy Families Evaluation project, she worked on study design, implementation, and qualitative analyses, as part of an evaluation of home visiting services, their uses, and participant outcomes among diverse young mothers and children. Akira has also taught young children using emergent curriculum in inclusive classrooms, as well as adolescent students as a Teaching Fellow of Breakthrough Collaborative in Miami, FL. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in Child Development from Tufts University with concentrations in early childhood education and applied developmental research.
Ji Won Paek is the Research Associate at TransformEd. Prior to joining TransformEd, Ji Won was the Research Associate and Manager of the Teachers College Survey Research Initiative, where she managed a team of research associates in providing schools across the country with school climate surveys and reports. She was also part of the external evaluator team at Teachers College, where she helped to assess the California Charter School Association’s accountability framework. Ji Won started her career in education as a Match Corps member at Match Next in Boston, a then-piloting charter school focusing on technology blended-learning curriculum. Ji Won holds a B.A. in Psychology from Duke University and a Master’s Degree in Education Policy and Social Analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University.