Board of Advisors
CEO – Xperiential Learning Systems
Vishnu has over 15 years of experience in leadership development, school leadership and school administration. An alumnus of Harvard University, he is responsible for new school initiatives and strategic projects for the group including curriculum development, instructional leadership, continuous school improvement, technology integration and leadership development. In his prior roles, he has been the head of the Senior School, grade IX economics teacher and a trekking instructor. A proponent of experiential learning, he has visited over 50 experiential and deeper learning schools worldwide. Among his other administrative responsibilities, he is keenly interested in building instructional leadership capabilities, cognitive neuroscience, education technology, college readiness and placements, student leadership development, adolescent coaching, authentic assessments and deeper learning curriculum. He has also been a management consultant and worked with organisations like Accenture and Right Management in the areas of leadership development, organisation change management and learning design. He has delivered projects in India, USA, South East Asia and Europe. In 2009, he co-authored (along with Swami Mitrananda) Se(a)king – a travelogue on a 14-day sojourn across the Arabian sea on a cargo ship. He is a practitioner of Yoga and Vedanta and believes that his work is a medium to reach his deeper self. He is also a proud father of a daughter who has Down syndrome. You can read Vishnu’s blog on https://medium.com/@vishnukarthik
Dennis is the co-founder and co-director of The Met School, co-founder of Big Picture Learning and founder and President of College Unbound. He is known in the US for his extensive work in secondary education in urban, suburban, and rural settings, spanning over 40 years. As an educator, Dennis has a reputation for working up against the edge of convention and out of the box, turning tradition on its head and delivering concrete results.
He holds a double Ph.D. in psychology and education from the University of Michigan. In 2003, Dennis was recognised as a leader in education and awarded the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education. Fast Company ranked Littky #4 among the top 50 Innovators of 2004, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation recently selected Dennis as part of their Daring Dozen. Most recently, Dennis was awarded the New England Higher Education Excellence Award in 2011.
E.K. Shaji, co-founder member of Jodo Gyan, has conducted several workshops on Math, EVS curriculum design as well as on school mathematics policy for principals, parents, teachers, and teacher-educators across the country. Shaji has been working relentlessly towards reform in math learning and teaching in diverse classrooms. Jodo Gyan is an organisation working to find workable solutions to the problems in classroom practices. Since 1998, the team led by Shaji and Dr. Usha Menon have been working to introduce innovative methods through which children will understand and enjoy what they are being taught. At HXLS, Jodo Gyan is helping develop and re-structure the math programme in the primary school, based on Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) which was originally developed at the Freudenthal Institute in the Netherlands.
Jon, EL Education’s Mountain Region Director, has worked for over 25 years in education in Colorado. He was a founding teacher, and eventual Executive Director, of the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning. Jon’s career experiences also include working as the Director of Welby New Technology High School, Program Director for College Summit Colorado, Principal Leadership Facilitator with the Public Education and Business Coalition, Director of Education for Colorado Ocean Journey, teaching science, math and technology at various schools, and establishing a local chain of restaurants in the Denver area.
Linda, Ed.D., is the first Executive Director of the Center for Artistry and Scholarship in the US, an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and serves on numerous non-profit boards both locally and nationally. As an experienced leader in education, she actively mentors teachers and principals, and consults nationally and internationally on issues of educational reform, leadership and teaching with a commitment to equity, and the critical role of arts and creativity in schools. She also facilitates workshops and conversations about issues of race, equity, and culturally relevant pedagogy for school leaders, teachers, parents, and students across the nation.
Rayna has been a teacher, school founder, principal and school consultant for over 30 years. Since 2013, she has been working with EL Education, one of the leading K-12 education organisations in the US, supporting teachers and school leaders across the US and in India.
She is a contributor to the EL Primary Literacy curriculum, in addition to two EL Education books, Management in the Active Classroom and Learning That Lasts. Rayna also created and currently directs an award-winning community service literacy programme with middle and high school student tutors.
Rayna works closely with the HXLS Middle Programme teachers on strengthening the already existing strong groundwork of the expeditionary pedagogy.
HXLS works closely with Dr. Ravindran, a renowned counselling psychologist and trainer, on behavioural and discipline related issues.
He has been involved in counselling, counsellor training and teacher education for over two decades with many reputed educational institutions in India and abroad. He is the Director of Institute of Counsellor Training Research and Consultancy (ICTRC). He is also the chief mentor of Eduexel India and chief consultant of The Helping Hand.
Smriti is the co-founder of I am a Teacher (IAAT), a not-for-profit organisation which aims to prepare a critical mass of teachers that can lead change in and through classroom. She headed the Middle School at HXLS, leading a team of 50 teachers. She stepped into this role at a critical stage where the Middle School was being transformed from a conventional programme to a more experiential, progressive, relevant and child-centred programme. In the last few years, she has worked extensively with teachers and facilitated several workshops for teachers. Smriti is an alumnus of Harvard University.
Based out of Boston, USA, Steven has been HXLS’ inspiration in experiential learning. His association with the school began in 2010 when he conducted training for 40 Heritage educators. He works with Expeditionary Learning Schools Outward Bound (ELS) which is a national, non-profit organisation that specialises in Project Based Learning (PBL). With almost 200 schools in the US and 25 years of experience in PBL, ELS is probably the most experienced organisation in this field. Steven is helping HXLS implement PBL as a part of its curriculum.
DR. TAPASWINI SAHU
Tapaswini has been involved with several school reform projects focusing on curriculum planning and implementation, professional development of teachers, assessment and evaluation of children and led the project for developing the “National Education Framework” for Bhutan. Tapaswini has a Doctorate in Educational Psychology from Jawaharlal Nehru University and an M.Phil in Education from Cambridge University.