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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Education Experience Designer
Katie is an educational designer and a national thought leader in leveraging the power of design to drive change in the K12 system. Katie draws from her experiences in a wide array of settings to develop and scale educational programming that matches her belief in the power of hands-on, real world learning to inspire students to solve complex problems and feel empowered to make the world a better place. Katie has lead design teams to tackle diverse projects such as reimagining a PreK-12 school schedule and the use of time as an instructional tool and redesigning the accreditation process to yield deeper insights into the state of schools in relation to their strategic plan and mission. Katie has also coached school leaders, educators, non-profit leaders, and corporate executives to develop their design mindsets and the capacity to leverage design to drive innovation.
Before coming to Construct, Katie founded the Maker Education Project at the Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University, an initiative dedicated to catalyzing transformational maker-based learning experiences for students in K–12 schools.
Before SMU, Katie worked to bring design thinking to K12 Educators at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University. During her time at the K12 Lab Network at the d.school, Katie contributed to a diverse array of projects, including a mobile maker education initiative called SparkTruck, a series of introductory and intermediary design thinking workshops for educators, school-based design projects and School Retool a principal professional development program designed in collaboration with IDEO and the Hewlett Foundation.
Katie began her career as a secondary teacher and co-founder of a small, experimental independent school, where students collaborated across age groups to engage in project-based, interdisciplinary learning.
Contact Katie: email@example.com
Teacher Delight Specialist and Lead coach for Student INNOVATION teams
Erin is trained as a lead Breaker facilitator, runs design challenges for students, professional development workshops for teachers, and provides coaching and co-facilitation support for educators learning how to build design challenges for their students.
A veteran high school language arts teacher, Erin has always sought innovative ways to build empathy in students, empower critical thinkers, and inspire creativity. Incorporating Breaker’s design thinking methodology and growing maker mindsets in the language arts classroom transformed her perspective and her students' experiences. She is excited to support other teachers exploring the intersection between the design process and how we teach young people. 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
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