Joe has worked in education for over 20 years as a teacher, principal, and district administrator, and is the founder and CEO of Crescendo Education Group (Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms (Corwin) was published in 2018. Crescendo Education Group has partnered with the National Education Association as well as the American Federation of Teachers, National Association of Independent Schools, and Stanford University’s Challenge Success. His online course for Grading for Equity launched this year.), which since 2013 has supported K-12 schools, districts, and colleges/universities nationwide to improve grading and assessment practices. He has presented at many education conferences, and his writings have been published in Education Week, Kappan, Education Leadership, District Administrator, and Black Press USA. His book,
Joe earned his B.A. from Stanford University and a Master’s degree in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard School of Education, and is also the author of Teaching Without Bells: What We Can Learn from Powerful Practice in Small Schools (Paradigm, 2010). He lives in Oakland with his wife and two children.
Shantha Smith leads equitable grading practices curriculum, leads workshops, and supports talent development of our team, including our coaches. Dr. Smith was born and raised in Washington, D.C. She attended Virginia State University, where she received her BA in Special Education. Next, she obtained her Master’s of Education from Trinity College in Curriculum and Instruction, with a minor as a Reading Specialist. In 2015, She earned her PhD, in Special Education/Special Education Leadership from George Mason University.
Dr. Smith most recently was an instructional leader and Equity and Excellence Coordinator in Northern Virginia and the 2020 recipient of Virginia’s Mary Peake Award for Excellence in Education Equity. For over 20 years, she has served as an advocate for students of color to reimagine schools that support all learners. Her teaching and coaching experiences range from Pk-12. In addition to changing the world one educator at a time, she also enjoys traveling the world and is a Peloton enthusiast!
Mark Boswell facilitates equitable grading workshops and leads the work of Crescendo Education Group’s 35 coaches. He is a career educator who has worked in education for almost 20 years. He began his career in afterschool programs for underserved students in Atlanta, GA and throughout his career he has taught World History, helped to develop curriculum focused on weaving social emotional learning into all subjects, and co-founded a professional development opportunity for educators of color seeking administrative opportunities within independent schools (The BOLD Summit: Atlanta, GA).
Mark holds an MA in Private School Leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University and B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Emory University. He currently serves as the Assistant Head of Upper School at the Marin Country Day School in Corte Madera, CA.
Chris Love supports our online and remote coaches in their work improving teachers’ equitable grading practices. Chris moved from the Science laboratories to the classroom to encourage and support students from his local community, and is a “people-first” educator, having served the Bay Area community as a Science educator and Department lead for nearly a decade in addition to working with a breadth of students from 6th to 12th grade in the general classroom, credit recovery and afterschool clubs. He is a dedicated equitable grading practitioner, first as a classroom teacher in a Crescendo Education Group workshop series, then graduated to coaching other teachers and, after a number of years of research into his own practice, now enjoys supporting teachers and coaches alike in the grading for equity movement. Chris strikes a unique balance of calm enthusiasm that engenders unity and growth in our organization.
Josh Kunnath, EdD has served as an English teacher for the last 13 years at Highland High School in Bakersfield, California. During the past five years, he has also served as the school’s English department chair. Josh has taught a broad range of students during his tenure, including grades 9 through 12, levels from foundational and remedial to Advanced Placement, and courses in English language development (for English learners) and biology. His decade of focus and experience in the areas of grading, reporting, and equity includes research, publications, conference presentations, practice in his classroom, and coaching of other teachers. Josh also serves as editor of the Journal of School Administration Research and Development, an open-access peer-reviewed academic journal that covers educational leadership in K-12 schools.
Josh earned a BS in applied ecology from Michigan Technological University in 2004, an MA in teaching from Oakland University in 2009, an MA in educational administration from California State University, Bakersfield in 2011, and a doctorate in educational leadership from California State University, Fresno in 2016. He lives in Bakersfield, CA, with his wife and two young kids.
Kaitlin Jenkins has been teaching high school English for the past 10 years in East Side San Jose, California, and most recently, in Colfax, California. Kaitlin has served on the Professional Development Committee, as Small Learning Community Coordinator, and as Instructional Support Team Coordinator. She loves being in the classroom working with students in levels 9 through 12, and she is passionate about implementing the tenets of Social-Emotional Learning.
Kaitlin earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and Comparative Literature, her Teaching Credential, and her MA in Education and Administration from San Jose State University.
Kaitlin enjoys traveling internationally, hiking, cooking, and chasing her toddler.
Sarah has been teaching high school English for the past 8 years, has fully integrated equitable grading practices into her work. For the past 6 years she has also served as her school’s Curriculum & Instruction Coordinator. She is passionate about equity, social emotional wellness, and relevancy in my teaching practices. She attended Sonoma State University to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in English Education, and attended Sacramento State University to earn her teaching credential.
Carwai has been teaching middle school mathematics for the last eight years in Berkeley, California at the Black Pine Circle School. During her 20+ year career in education, she has taught a combination of math and science in Massachusetts, Maryland, Northern and Southern California. Carwai is committed and impassioned about creating equitable learning environments for all students and equitable grading practices are a cornerstone of that work.
Carwai earned her BA in Chemistry from Princeton University and a Masters in Education from Lesley University. The balance of her time is spent with family and friends, hiking, and exploring the natural environments through photography.
Nikole Richardson is a Research and Clinical Associate at the Stanford School of Education. She conducts research related to increasing the number of teachers of color, as well as teaches graduate level courses to teacher / Ed.M. candidates–courses that include Adolescent Development and Learning and Curriculum and Instruction for the Humanities. Prior to joining Stanford School of Education, Nikole was a Visiting Professor at the School of Education at Mills College, as Director of Humanities in the Teachers for Tomorrow’s Schools. She earned her PhD in Curriculum and Teacher Education from Stanford University, where she focused on culturally-responsive pedagogy within school contexts. Before earning her doctorate, Nikole taught high school social studies and humanities for 10 years, primarily on the East Coast.