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About Us

Get to Know us

As a leader in the education field, you are undoubtedly aware of the challenges and complexities facing schools, teachers, and learners today. We want to help you optimize your team and create dynamic learning environments where both children and adults thrive


At Thrive, we believe just-in-time coaching, strategic planning, and program evaluation are essential in supporting leaders to accelerate learning and create lasting change in schools and education systems. Our team specializes in:  

Co-Designing Solutions: We co-develop clear visions and strategies for innovative change. We bring new perspectives and leverage our clients’ internal wisdom to develop strategic plans, mapping paths to new opportunities and greater impact. 

Gathering Insights: We help leaders go from insight to impact. We bring a fresh perspective and expertise to leaders, providing clear strategies, practices, and evidence-based interventions.  

Building Capacity: We stand shoulder to shoulder with leaders to help you run your strategy. We provide training, coaching, and workshops to ensure your team is ready for the work. Together, we build momentum and avoid stagnation. 

Developing Tools: We build tools so your educators can do the important work of supporting students. Whether updating rubrics, creating new courses, or designing statewide playbooks, our team of experts is ready to roll up their sleeves and get the job done.

We are an educational nonprofit comprised of celebrated innovators, trusted partners, and thoughtful solution designers who are dedicated to improving teaching, learning, and leading in K-12 schools and beyond. Our team has supported a diverse range of organizations, from large universities like Arizona State University and districts like Los Angeles Unified, to single-site charter organizations. So you may better get to know us, we reference some of our clients in this document. They all have one thing in common: they know investing in their people is the smartest thing they can do to shift outcomes for students. When your staff and students are thoughtfully and intentionally supported to be their best, good things happen: student achievement rises, staff retention increases, and capabilities grow.  And your organization shines.   


"We are so grateful for your support of DPS! We all left inspired to take the next steps towards personalizing the learning for our students!"
Megan K. Hennessy
Denver Public Schools


1. Nurture the curious impulse: We are generous listeners, and we foster environments where you and your staff feel safe and brave enough to learn. 


2. Collaborate like the work depends on it: We focus on a sustainable pace that comes from pairing and engaging with each other.  


3. Build relationships to be the best they can be:  Sustainable change is a human centered process, rooted in relationships. We make time to know and support you.  


4. Obsess (a little) on capacity and impact: We have an unwavering focus on the outcomes for the students, staff, and families you serve. We build skills and empower others.


5. Embody an innovator’s mindset:  Learning, researching, and iterating keeps us on the cutting edge of research and possibilities in education


6. Challenge the system: We recognize many systems are inequitable and racist. We take responsibility to change the systems and drive toward better outcomes for students and adults.

Our Story

Thrive was established as an educational nonprofit to reimagine education by seasoned educators and community advocates to create a future where all students can thrive in public schools.  Our team of staff and advisors include award-winning superintendents and educators with decades of experience, trained coaches with expertise in the neuroscience of change, community leaders who support statewide and national education and community innovation. 

Throughout our decade of existence, we have remained steadfast to our mission to create vibrant learning communities that students, parents, and teachers love. This mission has led us to run laboratory schools, reimagine distance learning for statewide agencies during the pandemic and supporting schools to meet the new demand of education. Read on to learn about how it started, how it shifted and how it is going now. 

How it started: Thanks to the generous support from donors like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and State and Federal Grants from the Department of Education (to name a few), we began our work running four lab schools in San Diego. Our work running schools received both local and national accolades: a California Senate commendation for innovative education, recognition as a model for inclusion in special education by the Center for Reinventing Public Education, repeat recognition from educational leaders as 50 model programs for social-emotional education, and a place on the national list of top 100 most innovative educational programs, earning us the trust of thousands of families. 

How it shifted: In 2019, our work shifted from leading and running lab schools to improving teaching, learning, and leading in K-12 schools across the state of California and beyond.  Based on a variety of factors, our schools closed in 2019.  Using our learning and expertise, we committed to supporting students, schools, and leaders in creating similarly successful learning environments and outcomes for all students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff collaborated with statewide educational organizations to co-develop the state’s distance and hybrid learning playbooks. We were also invited by the University of California to create a statewide educational program aimed at supporting families, and an accompanying parent playbook for distance learning and homeschooling.  

How it is going: Today, we work with school districts, county offices, nonprofit education organizations, universities,  as well as anyone willing to lean in to make education better for all students. Our clients include Oroville Union School District, Arizona State University, New Tech Network, and the Small School Districts Association. We are proud to partner with these and other life changing organizations to increase capacity, support staff development, and create critical tools to improve their work.  

Just like the educators we support, we know that improving education for teachers, students and parents takes ongoing analysis of what works and what is needed. Thrive is committed to continuing to evolve based on the needs of educators and those they serve.  

"Thrive is fulfilling the highest ideals in public education. They embrace a mission to help schools and districts."
Andrew Calkins

“It's no exaggeration to say that not only as a collection was Thrive likely the best in the world at all this, but also on several of these individual dimensions.”
Michael Horn
Clayton Christensen Institute

“Dynamic crusaders of equity and inclusion in education.”
Dr. Carlos Cortez
San Diego Community College District

our team Is
here for you



We are seasoned leaders and superintendents who grasp your key challenges and have led through them.

In addition to the clients featured below, we’ve aided numerous leaders worldwide in achieving a learning revolution, including

  • San Diego Unified School District 
  • Cambridge University 
  • Uniting Parents for Education
  • Da Vinci Schools
  • American School Foundation of Guadalajara
  • and many more …


We are certified coaches and educators with expertise in facilitating positive change, drawing on both the art and science of the field. Our team has received extensive training in areas such as the neuroscience of change, leadership development, change management, team dynamics, and behavioral sciences, with some of our members even teaching courses on these subjects. With this knowledge, we equip leaders with effective tools to promote lasting and positive transformation.


We received numerous accolades for innovation and excellence in education including  

  • California State Senate Proclamation for our innovative approach to education, 
  • Telly Award in partnership with UCTV & UCSD for supporting families during the pandemic, 
  • Acknowledgment as one of the top 100 most innovative programs by Getting Smart, 
  • Recognition as one of 50 model programs for social-emotional education.