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Dr. Lora Hodges

President & Chief Executive Officer

Lora Hodges has been Center for Responsive Schools’ President and CEO since July 2012. Lora holds a doctorate in educational leadership and brings a wealth of knowledge, teaching experience, and expertise in organizational leadership and strategy to this position.

A lifetime educator, Lora has served in variety of roles in public education at the school, district, and university levels. From 2008 to 2012, she served as the Deputy Executive Director of the SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. There, Lora was responsible for overseeing PK-12 research, evaluation, and technical assistance programs funded through the US Department of Education’s Regional Educational Laboratory Program and the National Center for Homeless Education Program.

The third of four generations of educators, Lora has also served as a classroom teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent, as well as a District Senior Advisor for the Collaborative for Academic and Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Over the course of her career, Lora has worked with a wide range of educators on improving schools and student learning outcomes and has received a number of recognitions for her school and district level leadership.

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Karen Poplawski

Chief Program Officer, Responsive Classroom

Prior to becoming a Chief at Center for Responsive Schools, Karen was a Responsive Classroom Curriculum & Instructional Designer, and Consulting Teacher, working with educators worldwide to transform their school communities. Before joining the staff at CRS, she spent ten years as a classroom teacher, and seven years as a principal—utilizing Responsive Classroom techniques and practices in the classroom and in the two schools for which she was the founding principal.

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Jazmine Franklin

Chief Program Officer, Fly Five

Jazmine brings an extensive knowledge of program development, as well as classroom experience, to the role of Chief Program Officer for Fly Five Programs. She first joined the Center for Responsive Schools as a consultant and program developer—playing a vital role in the development of Responsive Classroom programs. Prior to her time at CRS she spent six years as a second-grade teacher in Chicago Public Schools, and two years in Guilford County Schools, North Carolina. Jazmine is currently enrolled as a doctoral candidate in educational psychology at Walden University.

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Michelle Benson

Chief Professional Learning Officer

Michelle Benson has a wide range of experience as a facilitator and developer of professional development for K-8 educators. Prior to becoming a Chief at the Center for Responsive Schools, she served as a Responsive Classroom professional development designer and full-time consultant working with educators and school districts throughout the United States and the international school community. She began her education career as a middle school English/language arts teacher and served as a secondary curriculum specialist for eight years in a rural school district in North Carolina. Her passion for education has been ensuring all students receive a high-quality education through excellent teaching and learning. Michelle aims to inspire, empower, and transform teachers to understand students’ power and balance of academic, social, and emotional learning.

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Dr. Amy Hildenbrand

Chief Educational Partnerships Officer

Amy Hildenbrand joined Center for Responsive Schools in August 2022. Dr. Hildenbrand holds a doctorate in educational leadership and brings her knowledge, experience, and dedication to this position. Over her 28-year career, Dr. Hildenbrand served in a variety of roles in both public education and independent school arenas. Dr. Hildenbrand has been a teacher, curriculum specialist, and building administrator, as well as a district administrator. Her focus and goals have always been to influence and inspire a world-class education for every student, in every school, every day. Dr. Hildenbrand looks forward to partnering with educators from around the country and around the world to transform schools into optimal learning environments for all students.