Co-Founder and Principal
Nonie K. Lesaux is Academic Dean and the Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She leads a research program that focuses on promoting the language and literacy skills of today’s children and youth from diverse linguistic, cultural and economic backgrounds. Lesaux is the lead author of a widely circulated state literacy report, Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success, that forms the basis for state legislation.
Lesaux is Chair of the Board of Early Education and Care in Massachusetts and has served on a number of federal committees focused on child health and well-being, including the U.S. Department of Education’s Reading First Advisory Committee and the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council’s Committee on the Science of Children Birth to Age 8. She is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the U.S. government to young independent researchers. A native of Canada, Lesaux earned her doctorate in educational psychology and special education from the University of British Columbia.
Co-Founder and Executive Director
As the former director of reading proficiency at Strategies for Children (SFC), Kelly Kulsrud guided SFC’s statewide campaign to ensure Massachusetts’ children read proficiently by the end of third grade. She led the nation’s first Third Grade Reading Proficiency Learning Network, comprised of five communities totaling more than 100,000 children, birth to age 9, and striving for greater impact. Kulsrud also served on the nine-member Massachusetts Early Literacy Expert Panel, established by state legislation.
Kulsrud earned her Ed.M. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, with a concentration in language, literacy and literacy coaching. At HGSE, she was awarded the graduate school’s Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award. Kulsrud taught second grade in Washington, D.C. and middle school math in Los Angeles, where she led district-wide professional development programs to support educators improve children’s early literacy and adolescent’s literacy development across the disciplines. Kelly graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.