Co-founder of Innovageous

Meet Shira
Woolf Cohen

Shira Woolf Cohen is an educator, community organizer and leader who has been recognized on a local and national level for her work as a school leader and in service-learning. She collaborates with school faculty and leaders, and non-profit organizations to implement programming and instructional systems that promote a whole child approach to student success. Shira spent 19 years at New Foundations Charter School in Philadelphia where she co-lead the growth of the school from a K-8 with 500 students to a K-12 school with 1500 students in her role as teacher, dean, vice principal, and principal. She served as an Adjunct Instructor at Temple University, Drexel University, and Johns Hopkins University, and has served as a non-profit board member for several local organizations. She currently supervises aspiring leaders during their principal practicum and teaches pre-service teachers in their graduate program at Holy Family University, and serves as the Board Secretary for the National Youth Leadership Council. Shira knows how to work with schools and organizations to develop, implement, and evaluate programs and initiatives that support change, innovation, and positive outcomes for schools and communities. Shira’s focus within Innovageous will be programs and instruction.

"Shira met us where we were as educators and tailored our learning experience so that it was relevant and meaningful to each person in the room, ensuring an experience that continues to serve us long after the PD formally concluded.”

Co-founder of Innovageous

Meet Joanna Hightower

Joanna Hightower is an experienced Education Executive who was recognized by the School District of Philadelphia as a Peer Leader in K-8 Schools. She partners with School CEOs/Superintendents, Principals and School Leaders to enhance their business acumen without compromising academia, to strategically plan for new facilities/school growth, to define school operations (and IT) processes to ensure compliance with all regulations and partner to coach school leader actions that ensure buildings are positive, organized and purposeful. After spending the last 16 years working in Philadelphia private and public charter schools as a teacher and leader, Joanna knows what truly drives schools forward, yields positive student outcomes and supportive and happy families. Joanna holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Temple University. Joanna’s specialty at Innovageous is DEI, school operations, technical infrastructure, finance and compliance.

“Mrs. Hightower’s dedication and leadership skills are two of many characteristics that stand out everyday.  There is no task too big or too small that she cannot handle with confidence."

Co-founder of Innovageous

Meet Alicia

Alicia is an education leader and Board Certified Behavior Analyst who works with school professionals and families to ensure children with disabilities have equitable access to education and their community. Spending over a decade in public school and nonprofit leadership roles, Alicia’s mission is to empower and advocate for children. Alicia was selected for the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education Fellowship at Kennedy Krieger Institute in 2014, and has presented original works at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities Conference, Baltimore County Public Schools, Prince George’s County Public Schools, and Baltimore City Public Schools. She is currently a Special Education Instructional Specialist for a large school district in Maryland and a BCBA Supervisor. In addition to her extensive education and leadership experience, Alicia is certified in special education, secondary mathematics, elementary education, and school administration. Alicia holds a B.S. and M.Ed. in Special Education from the University of Maryland College Park, and earned her post-graduate degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Alicia will be focusing on specialized populations in her work with Innovageous.

“Alicia’s support provided me with the ability to balance the need for strong instructional practices, fair and equitable behavior management, and connections with learners through meaningful student relationships."

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