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Audience in Lecture






Executive Director


Highlander Institute


Shawn Rubin is the Executive Director of the Highlander Institute in Providence, RI. Highlander Institute partners with communities to imagine and create more equitable, relevant, and effective schools. Its work addresses the ways in which systemic educational inequity, by design, undermines the cognitive development of young people from historically marginalized communities. Shawn is an internationally recognized thought leader and speaker with deep expertise in classroom coaching and change management strategies for building and district leaders. In 2018 Shawn co-authored the book Pathways to Personalization: A Framework for School Change, which details Highlander Institute’s community driven, school improvement approach. Shawn started his career in 2000 as founding faculty of the Highlander Charter School, a K-8 school designed around student interest, personalization and mentorship. His 10 years of classroom teaching, including four years teaching kindergarten, informed his understanding of the challenges that leaders and teachers face when aspiring to implement student centered pedagogy. As Executive Director, Shawn prioritizes coaching at least one of Highlander’s portfolio schools every year to stay connected to the classroom and build connectivity between the organization’s on the ground implementations and its national field building efforts. Over the years Shawn has founded and managed multiple nonprofit and for profit organizations. In 2006, he founded a nonprofit, volunteer organization called Longitude, which supported grassroots human rights and education efforts in Abeka, Ghana & Hyderabad, India. In 2011, Shawn co-founded an edtech startup called Metryx, which built mobile formative assessment applications for schools and universities. Shawn currently serves as league president for his local Little League, which supports 450 Providence students annually. He has won several innovation awards for his work in the nonprofit sector, including the Aurora Institute’s annual award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to Personalized Learning in 2017.

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