Jeni began working with ESG in 2019 to lead work focused on postsecondary attainment and education pipeline issues in North Carolina. Jeni has extensive experience conducting research in school settings and providing technical assistance to school, district, and state-level education staff focused on research, evaluation, and policy in the southeast – most extensively in North Carolina. As the Director of Evaluation Programs at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation (North Carolina State University) for more than ten years, Jeni served as PI of several large, statewide evaluation and research studies of innovations in K-12 schools and districts, including leading the evaluation of initiatives funded under North Carolina’s Race to the Top grant and development of the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan.
Jeni completed a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in instructional technology at NC State University, Raleigh, NC in May 2008. Her areas of expertise include project management, innovation in schools, systems change, research design, quantitative and qualitative methodologies, instrument development and validation, and effective collaboration with education leaders, researchers, and policymakers, having published over 40 research and technical reports concerning these and other topics.
Why are you in this work?
Having spent my entire academic and professional career studying and working in the state-supported schools and universities in North Carolina, I have a deep understanding and appreciation of the unique assets of our individual counties and communities and how the state ecosystem operates as a whole. My role as a researcher of large-scale initiatives has deepened my knowledge of state and local economic development issues, policymaking, and implementation of innovations in public sector settings. My experiences have taught me about the power of strategic leadership to facilitate change in statewide and local systems and the realities faced when trying to implement innovations at scale in complex or under-resourced settings. I want to help build the capacity of those leaders to use data to make the best decisions possible for students, teachers, and administrators.
Since 2003, I have worked to improve the lives of all North Carolina citizens through a deep and lasting commitment to strengthening the education system in my state. ESG provides a unique opportunity to learn from the best of the best from across the country – to partner with leading states and dynamic, innovative state leaders through authentic collaboration and technical assistance experiences designed and facilitated by the ESG team.
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