It's Been a Year....

Updated: Apr 7

by David Irwin

On the one-year anniversary of our founding (October 20, 2020), finally

a proper introduction.

On a hot, sweaty summer day in June 2009, Terry Denoyer and I got off at a subway stop near Coney Island in search of IS 228. We had been invited to check out a new school model, School of One (now known as Teach to One), that used technology to personalize math for middle school students and was starting to get a lot of national attention. Not knowing much about the model—really not much about K-12 education other than we both went to school—my biggest hope at the time was that the school was air conditioned.

In a hot moment (literally), the trajectory of my career was changed. Terry and I saw that education does not need to be rows of desks, boring rinse and repeat curriculum and one leader with a vision for doing great things for kids can make a difference. We saw middle school students working in small groups, one-on-one with a teacher, working independently, each at their own pace, based on their current proficiency, based on their interests, and in a space where the walls between 3 classrooms had been torn down. It looked part airport lounge, part classroom and part corporate office. But most importantly, you could feel learning happening. The kids were engaged and happy.

Fast forward one year, we were making some great progress supporting a few K-12 school district leaders across the US and had just been awarded a new project that we needed to staff. Serendipitously, a new colleague hired to support health care clients had just started and was awaiting her first project. We made a plea to Simma Reingold that education was just like healthcare, just swap teachers for doctors and students for patients.

Just as quickly, Simma had the same experiences as Terry and me. She had a chance to accompany a district team in Texas whose superintendent had a vision for what school could be to go and see another district in North Carolina with another district leader with his own vision for transforming teaching and learning.

In the years since we have had some pretty amazing opportunities to support school systems and education providers across the world (seriously, like Japan). Though we started our work with districts and education providers opportunistically, over time we started to focus on leaders that had an idea, or a spark of an idea, who needed help thinking through the idea, planning for the idea, bringing clarity for an idea, motivating and organizing their teams to implement or execute the idea.

When we stepped back and reflected on our work, a clear pattern of who we helped and what we did emerged.

We help education leaders with a vision, articulate a clear idea for what they want and help them through it all, moving from idea to reality.

And so Thru was born.

Our Difference

We are not for everyone. The leaders we serve have a clear idea of what they want. They just need help getting through it. We choose the leaders we serve carefully and then pour our hearts and souls into supporting and inspiring their teams.

Our Passion

Despite all the obstacles to change, we believe there are endless possibilities to transform our educational systems to provide meaningful learning opportunities to help prepare kids for college, career and life success.

Our Goal

To support education leaders Thru uncharted territory as they shift the trajectory of our education system.