Overview

Michelle Heard is the operations coordinator for Deans for Impact. Prior to joining Deans for Impact, she worked in project management at an Australian microfinance nonprofit. She received a BBA and Master’s degree in accounting from Texas A&M University. She also received an Executive Master of Arts with a focus in social enterprise from the University of Melbourne.

I believe that responsibly driving change requires being able to answer the “why” and “how” questions underpinning progress.

When/why did you start working in education?

After years of working at nonprofits that were doing amazing work to encourage financial and social inclusion, I came to realize that lack of access to quality education was at the heart of so many of the systemic challenges we were working to overcome. It was this realization that motivated me to seek out an opportunity in the field of education.


Why were you excited to join Deans for Impact?

From the outset I was impressed by, and believed in, Deans for Impact’s approach to change–an approach based on data and informed collaboration between educator-preparation programs in order to support leaders in the field to drive progress. After meeting my colleagues, I was particularly excited to join a team that seemed to genuinely care for each other and were passionately committed to the work they were doing.


Why do Deans for Impact’s guiding principles ring true for you?

I believe that responsibly driving change requires being able to answer the “why” and “how” questions underpinning progress. Our commitment to transparency, research, and the collection and analysis of meaningful data ensures we are constantly exploring these questions.


Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Mr. Rowland, my high school Earth science teacher. His enthusiasm for the subject, and for teaching, was contagious, sparking interest and engagement from the entire class. He also took a genuine interest in trying to know his students. He was the first teacher I considered to be a mentor.


What’s your favorite food truck and why?

I’m new to Austin and still exploring the food scene here, but my all-time non-Austin favorite is Ekim in New Zealand. Arguably the best burger in the world.


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