EdPrepLab Team

The EdPrepLab team is comprised of dedicated staff from both the Learning Policy Institute and Bank Street Graduate School of Education.

Photo of Linda Darling-Hammond

Linda Darling-Hammond is a leading education researcher and policy expert, and a former teacher and teacher educator. For more than 30 years, she has worked to strengthen the education system and teaching profession by conducting extensive research on issues related to education equity, educator quality, and deeper learning. Read more >

Linda Darling-Hammond
President, Learning Policy Institute
Photo of Shael Polakow-Suransky

Shael Polakow-Suransky is the president of Bank Street College of Education, and a former teacher and principal. Before joining Bank Street, he served as Chief Academic Officer and Senior Deputy Chancellor at the New York City Department of Education, where he was an advocate for educator autonomy and reforms to improve learning experiences for the city’s most vulnerable students. Read more >

Shael Polakow-Suransky
President, Bank Street College
Photo of Maria E. Hyler

Maria Hyler leads research on educator quality issues at LPI. She is a former teacher and Assistant Professor of Teacher Preparation and Professional Development at University of Maryland, College Park. She has authored several publications on educator preparation and professional development. Read more >

Maria E. Hyler
Director, EdPrepLab
Deputy Director, Washington DC Office and Senior Researcher, Learning Policy Institute
Photo of Jessica Charles

Jessica Charles’s work focuses on the practice of teaching and the development of teachers. As a former classroom teacher and now as a teacher educator, she researches educator preparation practices and disseminates findings to practitioners, researchers, and policymakers. Read more > 

Jessica Charles
Director, Educator Preparation Network, EdPrepLab
Director of Scholarship on Educator Practice, Bank Street Graduate School of Education
Photo of Beatrice Benavides

Beatrice Benavides is a Research Assistant and Project Associate for EdPrepLab, and has been at Bank Street since 2017. Previously, she was an early childhood teacher; she has taught in California, Mexico, and New York.

Beatrice Benavides
Project Associate, EdPrepLab
Project Associate, Bank Street College
Photo of Tara Kini

Tara Kini has more than 20 years of experience working in public education as a research and policy advisor, civil rights attorney, teacher, and teacher educator. At LPI, she brings high-quality research to policymakers and other stakeholders to advance evidence-based policies that support learning for every student. Read more >

Tara Kini
Chief of Staff and Director of State Policy, Learning Policy Institute
Photo of Ryan Saunders

Ryan Saunders works with policymakers to advance evidence-based education policies at the state level. A former teacher, he also worked at CCSSO to support state-level educator preparation reform, focusing on teacher preparation data systems, preparation program approval, clinical partnerships, and recruitment and retention. Read more >

Ryan Saunders
Policy Advisor, Learning Policy Institute
Photo of Darion Wallace

Darion Wallace’s work at LPI focuses on supporting the EdPrepLab to transform educator preparation. Previously, he worked at a local chapter of the Service Employees International Union to support members’ transitions into educational programs and managed an internship program for students in East Oakland. Read more >

Darion Wallace
Research and Policy Associate, Learning Policy Institute
Photo of Steve Wojcikiewicz

Steve Wojcikiewicz’s work focuses on initiatives related to educator preparation research, practice, and policy. He has 2 decades of experience in varied roles across the field of education, including as a teacher, experiential educator, and teacher educator. He has also held positions at the AFT and Deans for Impact. Read more >

Steve Wojcikiewicz
Senior Researcher and Policy Advisor, Learning Policy Institute