Paul is a passionate educator determined to improve the quality of teaching and leadership in schools across the United States. Paul’s passion was first ignited while he was an undergrad at Yale. He served as a volunteer tutor in low-income schools throughout New Haven and witnesses the deeply troubling consequences of the achievement gap. After graduating, Paul decided to become a Teach for America corps member in New Orleans where he successfully led his students to make remarkable achievement gains. Paul continued to teach, but also took on leadership roles that gave him the opportunity to manage teams of teacher and serve as an instructional coach.
Paul learned early in his career that the most important school-based driver of student learning is teacher quality – and that teacher quality is not fixed. He saw first-hand that active, frequent, and live coaching from school leaders helps teachers improve their instructional skills quickly. After moving to Philadelphia, Paul decided to leverage what he had learned in order to help some of his new city’s public schools improve their students’ outcomes. In collaboration with friend and former colleague Bobby Erzen, Paul founded Jounce Partners which trains current and future school leaders to become excellent instructional coaches. Jounce is a physics term that means the acceleration of acceleration, and Jounce Partners is doing just that. Their school leaders are accelerating teacher skill development through coaching, which in turn, rapidly accelerates student achievement.
Paul took on the role of Executive Director of Jounce Partners, and under his leadership, the organization has successfully formalized its instructional coaching model, expanded its portfolio of training programs, and broadened its reach to four states and Washington, D.C.
MSNF began its partnership with Paul and the Jounce team in 2016. Our first grant helped Jounce address a critical challenge in on-boarding the leaders of new partner schools. Some school leaders lack vision for classroom excellence in their building and therefore struggle to begin the process of improving teacher practice. We provided Jounce with the resources needed to design and implement a new on-boarding module for school leaders targeted at building their vision for classroom excellence and setting them up for success in implementing the coaching model.