Karen Drezner, Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Karen Drezner has over two decades of rich experiences as an organizational leader. As a lifelong educator, she has scaled a number of organizations and developed several dynamic, diverse teams and designed, launched and facilitated significant improvement efforts in traditional public, charter and independent schools as a founder, leader and board member and consultant. Karen has prepared over 50 initial and renewal charter school applications and performed evaluative site visits for over 75 charter schools across the country.
Karen particularly loves the adaptive work of facilitative coaching. She is purposeful and goal-oriented, placing a high value on building trusting relationships and a culture of collaboration. Karen is curious observer and listener, a thoughtful questioner and a direct and sensitive provider of feedback.
Karen previously served as the Chief Strategy Officer at Amber Charter Schools, Executive Director of the Lynch Leadership Academy at the Carroll School of Management/Lynch School of Education at Boston College and the Director of Leadership Development at Achievement First. She was the Founder and Executive Director of the Bronx Charter School for Children and the Board Chair of Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School.
Karen earned an executive MBA from Columbia Business School’s Institute for Nonprofit Management, her M.Ed degree from Boston College as a Donovan Urban Education Fellow and her BA from Clark University. She is currently engaged in doctoral studies at University of Pennsylvania. She resides in New York City with her super sweet rescue dog named Stanley. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I truly appreciate and am grateful for the time we worked together. Karen's guidance and wisdom helped me immensely - our work was enlightening and pushed me as a school leader. Her focus on the kids constantly reminded me as to why I took the steps to be a school leader."
- School Director
"Karen is very direct and uses questioning to make sure that there is a continual dialogue between us. She listens and observes so you feel that when she offers her perspectives, suggestions, etc., they are grounded in evidence that she was able to gather. She has a good sense of humor and is very approachable."
- Head of Middle School
"Under Karen's supervision, I learned how to be a thoughtful, strategic leader. I truly appreciate all of the time she took to both model and coach me in this role, as I was new to supervision. I never had a supervisor that took such time and consideration to grow my skills, and for that, I’m forever grateful."
- Chief of Schools
"The greatest strength of our retreat was really shifting our mindset to focus on the future."
"It was helpful to have her facilitate an open discussion about the organization's needs and provide concrete, specific guidance on best practices."
- Chair, Board of Trustees
"Karen provided me with very effective and targeted support. She listened to my needs and the needs of my manager, gathered as much evidence as possible, and provided targeted feedback and actionable next steps to facilitate my development. Using both warmth and tough love, Karen did whatever it took to ensure that I was held accountable and growing."
- Leadership Fellow
"Karen's work experience makes her very valuable. She offers the perspective of whole school development. But she also listens carefully enough to help me think big picture, down to my personal professional development, and back up to whole school. She's friendly and encouraging, with adding the right amount of pressure and offering support and ideas throughout the decision-making process."
- Leadership Fellow