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NHli Announces New Executive Director

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The New Hampshire Learning Initiative Announces New Executive Director

The New Hampshire Learning Initiative (NHLI) announced today that effective August 7, 2017, Ellen Hume-Howard will join the organization to assume Executive Director functions and continue to lead curriculum development in PACE (Performance Assessment of Competency Education).  Jonathan G. Vander Els, the first and current executive director, will move into directing innovative projects, including the work study practices effort, No Grades, No Grades (NG2), and supporting leadership professional development related to implementing a competency-based and personalized system of learning.  This is a role he is currently overseeing in addition to his executive director duties.

Bill Duncan, NHLI Board President, stated that “Jonathan has spent the past year getting NHLI off the ground, and undertook a number of roles to make that happen successfully.  Due to our growth, we are now able to expand.  We are pleased Jonathan will be able to devote more time to supporting innovative practices in our New Hampshire schools, and are excited that Ellen will be able to join our team as our Executive Director.”

Ms. Hume-Howard stated, “The New Hampshire Learning Initiative and the New Hampshire Department of Education have been engaged in important and impactful work all focused on assisting students in developing the knowledge, skills, and work study practices that will prepare them to be successful in their future careers.  I look forward to working in partnership with the many stakeholders within our state to build on these efforts.” Mr. Vander Els added, “I am very excited about being able to allocate more of my time to supporting teachers and schools directly, and am very much looking forward to working in collaboration with Ms. Hume Howard to advance and scale personalized and competency-based learning.”

New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner of Education Paul Leather said, “Ellen’s role within PACE and many of the other efforts in our state and nationally has been significant.  We are fortunate that she will be able to devote even more time and effort to ensure these innovative practices continue to be successful here in our state.”  NHLI board member Mark Joyce added, “Ellen’s impact on education in New Hampshire has been profound.  The fact that we are able to have her working in concert with Jonathan will only help our efforts move forward.” 

Ellen, who has been an educator for the past thirty-two years, holds a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Administration, Master’s Degree in Education, and Bachelor’s Degree in English.  Ellen has most recently served as the Director of Curriculum in the Sanborn Regional School District, and has been actively engaged in a number of the innovative education efforts in the state, including PACE, where she has served as the PACE Director of Curriculum for the past year.

The New Hampshire Learning Initiative was formed to serve as a catalyst for innovation in education in the State of New Hampshire.  NHLI oversees the efforts to seed and support the personalized and competency-based work in New Hampshire toward a fully integrated, PreK-20 system that supports all students, families, and educators.