Vision: A Powerful Learning Community of Innovative NC Educators

Dear Educators and Allies:

We would like to share a vision for strengthening the community of innovative educators across North Carolina through a new nonprofit project.  This project stems from two core beliefs: First, everyone has the capacity to learn in powerful ways, and, second, powerful learning happens at the intersection of powerful community and powerful design.  As an equation, it reads: Powerful Community + Powerful Design = Powerful Learning.

My partner, Mia Pumo, and I are both former classroom teachers and instructional coaches at North Carolina New Schools. In the wake of that organization’s closing last year, we found ourselves wondering what was next for our partner schools and educators, and for our futures.  We started Constructive Learning Design, supported by the talents of Elaine Atherton, Katie Bolick, Lance Bledsoe, Dr. Gina Childers, and others, because we, along with our partner schools and districts, saw tremendous value in high quality coaching and professional learning.

With this new project, which will be a separate entity from Constructive Learning Design, we have formulated a simple theory of action: If we create powerful learning experiences for educators, then they will create powerful learning experiences for their students.  We believe strengthening an open and focused statewide community of teachers, principals, Department of Public Instruction professionals, coaches, nonprofits, businesses, and other allies of innovative and equitable education is the place to begin.

In addition to this letter, we’d like to share two items with you. The first is the list of our steering committee members. To say we are proud to be working with these people, would be an understatement.  If learning does indeed follow from community, then consider this Powerful Learning Community #1, and an indication of our commitment to meaningful collaboration.  The second is an overview of the services that this new nonprofit project will provide.

We invite you to reach out to us personally to ask questions or provide input.  We have scheduled our first statewide Powerful Learning Event for June 7 – 8, 2017 in Greensboro, NC, immediately following, and in the same location as DPI’s Cooperative and Innovative High Schools’ Leadership Institute.  More information about that event is included at the link below.  We hope to see you there, and we look forward to learning from each of you.


Jay Korreck
Constructive Learning Design
Chief Design Officer

Kari Thierer, Executive Director, School Reform Initiative

Dr. Gina Childers, Assistant Professor, Middle Grades/Secondary Ed., University of North Georgia

Jeff Fleckenstein, Assistant Principal, Madison High School

Todd Callaway, Teacher, Buncombe County Early College

Dr. Donna Lanahan, Principal, Buncombe County Early College

Will Leach, Principal, Charlotte Engineering Early College

Denise Absher, Principal, Davie County Early College High School

Dr. Kim Morrison, Superintendent, Mt. Airy City Schools

Amanda Pratt, Curriculum Facilitator, Middle College at GTCC – High Point

Mia Pumo, President, Constructive Learning Design

Dr. Barbara Zwadyk, Associate Professor, School of Education, High Point University

Dr. Jen Benkovitz, Director of School Leadership, New Tech Network

Brett Brenton, Senior Director of Programs, Research Triangle Park

Catherine Hart, Application Trainer, JAGGAER

Elaine Atherton, Director of New Teacher Development, Constructive Learning Design

Tom Benton, Independent Education Management Professional

Suzanne Gibbons, Teacher, Wake STEM Early College High School

Darrell Kain, Vice President of Partnerships, Project Lead The Way

Jay Korreck, Chief Design Officer, Constructive Learning Design

Isaac Lake, State Consultant, Advanced Learning Division, NC Department of Public Instruction

Melany Paden, Education Program Director, NC Department of Public Instruction

George Ward, Independent Education Consultant

Blake Wiggs, Educator, Craven County Schools

Andrew Harris, CEO, Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies