Shira Woolf Cohen
Shira Woolf Cohen is an educator, community organizer and leader who has been recognized locally and nationally for her work. Shira spent 19 years at a 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 multiple universities and a board member and chair for several local and national nonprofit organizations. She currently supervises aspiring leaders during their principal practicum and teaches pre-service teachers in their graduate program at Holy Family University and University of Phoenix, and is the facilitator for the National Youth Leadership Council’s Instructional Leadership in Service-Learning Certificate Program. She was a recipient of the G. Bernard Gill Award in Service-Learning Urban Leadership and is a Cohort 3 Senior Neubauer Fellow in Educational Leadership.
Shira holds a Bachelors of Science in Middle School Education and Mathematics from Lesley University, and a Masters of Education in Urban Education and Principal Certification from Temple University. She also completed the National Institute for School Leaders preparation program.
Shira’s focus as founder at Innovageous is partnerships, programs and instruction, both in both school-based and out-of-school time settings. Opening opportunities is one of Shira’s core values that provides daily focus in her work with partners to plan and implement innovative and courageous solutions for their schools and communities.
"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.”
Joanna Hightower is an experienced bilingual Educator and Executive Leader who spent 20 years serving black and brown students in North Philadelphia. Joanna was recognized by the School District of Philadelphia as a Peer Leader in K-8 Schools, and during her tenure as a school leader, her school ranked in the top 10 for K-8 schools in the city. She was one of the few leaders that received a charter renewal without conditions, and was granted an expansion of additional seats. Joanna met the needs of a growing school by leading the acquisition of $20M+, design, approvals and construction of a 48,000 sq. ft school building, which currently serves a Beacon of Hope for 600+ children on Cecil B. Moore Ave.
As a founder at Innovageous, she partners with School Boards, CEOs/Superintendents, Principals and Organizational Leaders to enhance their capacity to lead their organizations with sustainable operational systems/infrastructures, quality culturally responsive academic programming, impactful MTSS system design and implementation, meaningful professional learning and coaching, and strong partnerships with families. She provides supportive thought-partnership to leaders looking to be Innovageous and make a difference.
Joanna is a true champion for historically underserved children. Her experience grounds her beliefs in what truly drives schools forward, yields positive student outcomes and supportive, happy families. Joanna holds a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Temple University, and she currently supervises aspiring teachers in their undergraduate program at Holy Family University.
“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."
Alicia is a Special Education Leader and Board Certified Behavior Analyst who works with schools and organizations to ensure learning and workplace experiences are welcoming and accessible to all. Alicia has spent over a decade in district and nonprofit leadership roles focused on professional learning, coaching, and performance management.
In addition to being certified in special education, secondary mathematics, and elementary education, Alicia was selected to earn her certificate in school administration through the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education Fellowship at Kennedy Krieger Institute in 2014. She is currently an adjunct lecturer at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, 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.
Alicia's professional and personal vision is grounded in her core values of inclusion and authenticity. She aims to build spaces in which every child (and adult, too) feels like they belong, can be their authentic selves, and can be vulnerable, creative, and courageous. Her focus at Innovageous is in special education programming and compliance, compassionate behavior support and supervision, Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT), special education teacher and leader coaching, and employee performance management.
“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."
Tiffany is an AmeriCorps alumnus who has worked with schools and nonprofits for over 15 years. Her areas of focus include building school & community partnerships, program development & evaluation, high quality service-learning, career & postsecondary readiness, alumni engagement, strategic planning, board service & leadership, school communications, grant writing, project & volunteer management and event planning. She earned her Bachelor's in Sociology from Lehigh University and her Master's in Urban Education from Temple University. In her down time, Tiffany likes to experience new cultures, places and people through travel and slowing down through yoga, as she is also a RYT-200 certified Yoga Instructor.
Brittany Johnson is the Founder and CEO of SoLoveSoul, LLC., which fosters community to empower black and brown women across the country. Her business has expanded to SOULpreneur Business Consulting, which provides entrepreneurs a variety of services so that they thrive in their passions and manifest their goals. Brittany was a proud educator in the city of Philadelphia for over a decade, both teaching and leading middle and high schools. Her consulting partnership with Innovageous continues to drive her passion for education and students. When she is not busy running her business and supporting schools, Brittany enjoys time with her puppy and writing poetry. She is a published poet of Loving Eve, which is a collection focused on healing and self-love.
VISUAL & GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Cary Porter is a creative based in Philadelphia. Her areas of focus include graphic design, branding, UI/UX design, illustration, photography, and videography. In 2020, she started her own freelance business, Cary Elizabeth Designs, providing quality materials to both individuals and businesses to help them reach their own goals, whether that be a set of wireframes to enhance website engagement or a brand guideline to create identity. She earned her Bachelor's of Art in Advertising degree at Klien College of Media and Communications, art minor from Tyler School of Art, and Certificate in Entrepreneurship from the Fox School of Business. Outside of work, she enjoys creating music, going for hikes, discovering new food, and traveling.