I write today to share some exciting news: Gwen Baker, Jennifer O’Neal Schiess, and Juliet Squire were promoted this summer, joining the partner team here at Bellwether. We are thrilled about the strong contributions these individuals have made to Bellwether and the field — and for the contributions they will make as part of the partner team.
Bellwether partners lead high-impact projects seeking to improve education outcomes for underserved students. They conduct research, produce publications and other work to share ideas, support clients’ business and strategy needs, and develop our team by investing in the growth of other staff. When we founded Bellwether almost 10 years ago, we always said we wanted this to be a place where people could build meaningful careers and hone skills that would enable them to serve in other leadership roles throughout the field. This news affirms that we are cultivating strong talent who see Bellwether as a valuable place to grow and lead, even as many of you have had the opportunity to work alongside our former teammates in different roles outside of Bellwether.
Learn more about our newest partners below, and please join me in congratulating Gwen, Jennifer, and Juliet on their new roles!
Gwen founded CoreSpring, a nonprofit technology company working on developing a suite of authoring tools and a bank of high quality items for use in formative assessment, soon after we founded Bellwether. She originally joined us as an entrepreneur-in-residence, but about two-and-a-half years ago, she became a senior adviser on the Strategic Advising team. For the past year, she has also played the invaluable role of Bellwether’s chief operating officer and has lead the Core team, helping us to become a more effective organization. Gwen brings deep expertise to our work, including her experience as a founder/entrepreneur, her understanding of technology and the role that it can play in school improvement, and her knowledge of learning science — to name just a few. Her clients and team members appreciate her pragmatic advice, thoughtful pushes, and no-nonsense style, which result in real changes for organizations and students.
Jennifer originally joined Bellwether as an associate partner in 2014. Her depth of content knowledge, grace under pressure, sense of humor, and professionalism have been apparent since day one, and are just some of the characteristics that her colleagues and clients appreciate about her. During her time at Bellwether, she’s led a wide variety of projects — she’s covered school transportation, launched The Learning Landscape, and researched school governance and early childhood education — and consistently generates high-impact for her clients and the field. Jenn’s deep expertise in state policy and school finance are a huge asset to the Bellwether team. We are excited to see her work grow in these areas, while continuing to invest deeply in developing the skills and knowledge of her colleagues.
Juliet joined Bellwether in 2013, and since then, she’s taken on increasing leadership roles both internally on the Policy & Evaluation team, as a trusted thought partner and expert to several long-running clients, and as an author on several high-impact publications. Her content expertise, candor, level-headedness, and kindness are deeply respected by both clients and colleagues. Julie has been instrumental in growing our established client relationships, sustaining areas of core expertise (including much of Bellwether’s work on charter schools and private school choice) and developing new bodies of work (such as Bellwether’s work on rural education). We’re particularly excited to see Julie continue to grow her leadership in the field and contribute to key organizational and business questions.