We are Educators, Designers, and Impact Entrepreneurs
The Construct team is dedicated to understanding the needs of teachers and principals as they embrace the challenges of keeping pace with a rapidly changing world.
President & Co-Founder
Gina brings more than 20 years of child development and entrepreneurial experience to her leadership of Construct Foundation.
As President, Gina focuses on shaping and guiding a unique strategy for Construct that complements other, dynamic efforts intended to radically shift teaching and learning in Oregon public schools. She identifies programs for incubation, listens to teachers, to principals, and works with funders to find new ways to align education stakeholders for collective impact. Gina manages the day-to-day operations of Construct.
Working through the Social Innovation Incubator at Portland State University’s School of Business Administration--where she received a Certificate in Business of Social Innovation in 2014--Gina founded Construct in 2013. Previously, she spent 10 years working in youth programs across the country, and in Silicon Valley for five years, building design teams for high-tech companies.
Currently, Gina is a trustee at Concordia University and co-chair of the 3toPhD subcommittee. She serves on the board of Tinker Camp; is a member of the STEAM Coalition of Northeast Portland; and is a five-time co-chair of the Governor Victor Atiyeh Leadership in Education Award Ceremony which has raised more than $3.5 million to date, benefitting Concordia student scholarships and the 3 to PhD initiative. As a mother of three and the oldest of four siblings, Gina considers education, health, and the well being of children the driving issues in her life.
Gina received an MEd from Harvard's Graduate School of Education and a BA in Psychology from University of California at Irvine.
Contact Gina: email@example.com
Teacher Delight Specialist and Lead coach for Student INNOVATION teams
Erin joined the Construct Foundation in 2017 after 10 years as a public high school language arts teacher. She leads all of our teacher and student facing workshops.
In 2018, Erin launched Construct’s “Teachers are Designers” campaign as a way to build community among educators who use design methods to support a culture of innovation in Oregon schools. Erin believes that teachers are our most important asset in the education eco-system. With the design process, teachers can grow their practice to include student-led learning experiences that prepare every young person for success in a rapidly changing world. Erin uses her strength as a curriculum and experience designer to apply the tools of design toward improving equitable outcomes for all students. She seeks opportunities to partner with students and teachers to elevate voices that represent a multitude of intersectional identities across the education landscape.
Erin trained with the original Breaker NYC team in 2015 and spent two years experimenting with design in her english classroom at David Douglas High School. She joined Construct in 2017 as the lead facilitator of the Breakaway: Intro to Design Thinking workshop series. She continue to train with our partners at the K12 Lab Stanford d.school and takes advantage of a wide array of Portland design firms to continue her learning. She weaves, into her practice, techniques learned from local product designers, community based designers, and architects.
Erin co-creates and facilitates all of our student led design challenges. Including immersive summer design challenges and classroom based design challenge with local school partners. The list of students challenges and partners includes: the Future of Learning and the Future of Stuff with partners College Possible and Oregon Business Council; EnvisionPDX, Concordia Univ; 3rd and 4th graders at KairosPDX; 4th graders at Prescott Elementary in the Parkrose school district; 6th graders at Cedarwood Waldorf school; and 8th graders at Catlin Gabel School. Currently, Erin is developing our 2019 spring and summer design challenges with the following partners: the David Douglas HS Black Student Union, the Portland Innovation Quadrant and College Possible, Concordia University, the Dallas School district, and the High Dessert Education Service District.
Erin received her undergrad and teaching certificate from Whitman College and has a Masters in curriculum & instruction from PSU.
Contact Erin firstname.lastname@example.org;
Gaby has more than 20 years of educational program design working in organizations around the world. These organizations include, the United States Air Force and Army, Waianae Comprehensive Community Health Center, Sierra Joint Consortium for Adult Education and Mt Hood Community College. Gaby completed her B.A. in Social Science with a concentration in Ethnic Studies and earned her M.A. in Adult Education and Training. Military life afforded the opportunity to complete graduate work in Organizational Change and Development, Management and Educational Psychology. As the daughter of a lifelong SPED educator and advocate, she was aware from an early age, how educational opportunities, advocacy and support can change outcomes for students. Gaby’s educational and professional experience with diverse communities, organizational levels, and industry, demonstrated to her that the current educational model is not consistently meeting the needs of so many students and the industries they will enter. Gaby is excited to join Construct to support the mission of shifting school culture, teaching and learning to better align those needs.
Contact Gaby email@example.com
Contract Designers and Facilitators
Design and Entrepreneurship Curriculum Adviser
An educator for over fifteen years, Lisa Yokana leads Innovation Education, Design Thinking, and Maker workshops, to encourage and inspire educators to shift their practice. Lisa currently teaches art, architecture, social-entrepreneurship, and STEAM courses at Scarsdale High School, where she works with teachers across the disciplines to integrate Design Thinking and Making into their curriculum. Lisa received a grant from Scarsdale Schools’ Center for Innovation to research innovation education program and spaces. In 2014, Lisa received another grant from the CFI to integrate Maker projects across levels. Agency by Design (Harvard’s Project Zero) selected Lisa as one of thirty Maker Teachers across the country to participate in their learning community. She is currently teaching an online course for Harvard Graduate School of Education called, Thinking and Learning in a Maker Centered Classroom Lisa earned her BA in Studio Art and French Literature from Williams College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and her Master's Degree in Art History from Columbia University. She also has a degree in building and district level administration from Stony Brook University.
Contact Lisa firstname.lastname@example.org
Contract Designer and School Retool Facilitator
Katie is an educational strategist and a national thought leader leveraging the power of design to drive change in the K12 system. Katie is an educator by training, a maker by trial and error, a learning experience designer, and a steadfast believer in the power of empathy to bring compassionate solutions to the messiest of human problems. She deems creative confidence to be the key to success in this era and she sees “making” as an excellent way to build those mindsets. This self-motivated desire to learn helps students overcome challenges, solve problems, and persevere in the face of ambiguity and confusion.
School Retool and Breakaway Facilitator
Kari has a diverse portfolio of projects ranging from large scale education evaluation to facilitating dynamic professional learning experiences. Kari uses tools from improvement science and design thinking to help organizations transform their approach to problem solving. She coaches school districts, across Oregon, on issues of educator effectiveness and advises organizations on issues related to strategi planning, measurement, and program implementation.
Susie wise, phd
Freelance learning experience designer, equity designer, and innovation coach. Currently, working as a design entrepreneur-in-residence at Playworks National HQ. Susie is a faculty member at the National EquityProject. A frequent teacher and coach at Stanford University's d.school on a wide range of topics including design research, equity design, innovation practices, and storytelling. The co-founder of the K12 Lab at Stanford University’s d.school and co-creator or School Retool.
juliette lamontagNe, ed.d.
Chief Learning Architect at Bionic Solutions. Designing human systems that enable new business growth. Founder of Breaker, dedicated to closing the gap between education and employment. Juliette spent fifteen years piloting innovation initiatives with the New York City Department of Education – as a classroom teacher, professional developer, and teacher trainer. Her work is recognized by TED, where she is a Senior Fellow, and by the Institute of Design at Stanford University where I was a d.fellow in 2013.
Board of Directors
Boad Chair: Madeline Turnock, Strategic Communications Office of the President, Concordia University Portland
Board Secretary: Heidi Rahn, Board Secretary, Program Manager, METRO
Board Treasurer: Matt Bryant, Board Treasurer, Sr Program Analyst, Arnerish Massena, Inc
Vanessa Wilkins, Founder and Lead Innovator, Future School Lab
Chris Tebben, Principal, Sapient Solutions
Susie Wise, Strategic Advisor and Coach, School Retool
Eric Park, Innovator and Creative Director, Cambia Health Solutions
Kate Martinez-Fitzgerald, Co-Founder of Construct and Grant Writer
Wilson Smith, Design Director, Nike Footware
Carr Biggerstaff, Executive Director, Chehalem Valley Innovation Accelerator
Keith Brown, Chief Information Security Officer, IBM Systems.
Advisory Board Members
Arbor Center Teaching Coordinator and adjunct professor at Marylhurst University
President, Urban Development + Partners
Director Business Innovation / Strategy and Program Management Office, Daimler Trucks of North America
Chief Learning Architect, Bionic Solutions