June is Chief Operating Officer of iLearn Collaborative. She has more than 15 years of experience, spanning nearly every functional business management role. She most recently worked as an independent consultant in Denver focused on K-12 change management. Her experience includes serving as COO for EducationSuperHighway, which aimed to bring high speed broadband access to K-12 public schools. Here June successfully led efforts to free up $2.5 billion annually in federal funding and obtain the commitment of 39 governors to make this work a priority. Prior to this, she held a variety of leadership roles at Moody’s Analytics, successfully leading change management initiatives ranging from re-branding to post-merger integration. LinkedIn
Describe the work you’re focused on and how you see the future of education?
iLearn Collaborative aims to create equity in by building the capacity of educators to implement student centered learning. We provide professional development and consulting and it’s important to me because my previous tech background gave me an incomplete look on equity. It’s important to engage students from all backgrounds to gain the value of diversity and get all of the talented people to contribute to solving the world’s problems.
Can you share an event along your educational journey that has shaped your outlook on education today?
It’s been through most of my schooling. I had a full time job as a Vet Tech in high school, there was always a lot going on. I always struggled with the lack of relevancy in the various schools I went too. It really hit me when I was graphing imaginary numbers, I hit a wall and it made me realize I was wasting my time doing something that had no impact. It changed my life in how we can support educators in learning more relevant information.
What about being a thought leader and being so involved along with the day to day gives you the most fulfillment? Do you see a connection between student centric learning environments to the types of things you were needed with our current talent?
Keeping in mind the context, I used to spend my career between finance and technology and now I actually feel like I’m doing meaningful work. I feel like day to day I’m devoting my personal energy to changing the world. I never realized how much teaching I was doing in corporate America, I partnered with HR to create learning programs to onboard staff. We implemented a project based learning approach where I saw people didn’t have the skills coming out of college. We need to train people to think and dig deeper.
GETTING TO KNOW ANTHONY
As a thought leader what is the most frustrating thing you see in transforming education?
There is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to policy and practice. Accountability in education is met with opposition because the data is not empowering the teachers. We need to go back to the common principles so accountability can be positive for educators. Educator’s are driving education, iLearn collaborative is trying to capture what teachers know and turn that into useful information for professional development in other teachers.
Who is a person from your journey that has a strong impact on you and how you view education?
My 5th grade biology teacher, biology was always interesting because it was the science of how people work. He saw that I was passionate about it and gave me so opportunity to take ownership of my learning by sitting in on other classes, giving me extra resources, and helping other students. He was a teacher that loved inspiring kids and that’s what really inspired me.
PERSONALIZED LEARNING JOURNEY
What is it about personalized learning that you believe will transform teaching and learning?
The concept of agency is very important. To make a change you have to incorporate the beliefs of teachers and make sure they don’t feel left out in the process. Get every group on the same page and following the same team mission.
What are your thoughts on measuring social and emotional feedback from students?
It’s important and there is a huge need for more resources in that area, where iLearn Collaborative will be working to fill. There is an effort to create transparency in education but, the notion that we can create transparency around human emotion is so complex. There is a role for social emotional data but in formative assessments and giving pointers of where to go next. Focus on building the capacity of the people closest to the student and those supporting the teacher, then you will create transparency in education.
SECRETS TO SUCCESS
What one strategy would you suggest district leaders and educators focus on every day that will have the greatest impact?
Being part of the community and building on each others knowledge and work is very important. It not only increases awareness but it saves time in the big picture as well.
What are two or three pieces of advice you would give to those just starting on to ensure their success?
- Always think of yourself as a leader! Give yourself the time and space to be inspired!
- Understand your strengths!
- Don’t be a perfectionist! Put yourself out there and fail forward!