Van Schoales Joins Keystone Policy Center as Senior Policy Director

Van Schoales, the former president of A+ Colorado and a founding partner of Education Civil Rights Now, has joined the Keystone Policy Center as a senior policy director. Schoales will support and advise Keystone’s Center for Education Policy (CFEP) clients and projects in Colorado and nationally. He will also direct a portfolio of research, data analysis and the publication of data-driven reports on public education.

“Van is a highly-regarded expert on education policy due to his experience as an educator; a successful leader of independent, public district, and public charter schools; and a groundbreaking analyst of education data,” said Christine Scanlan, president of the Keystone Policy Center.

Schoales has directed the publication of more than fifty reports on public education improvement that have guided numerous successful initiatives to enhance public schools and school systems. He will continue to oversee the research and publication of education data as part of his role at Keystone. Schoales is also an award-winning public high school science teacher, having been recognized by both the National Association of Geoscience Teachers and Stanford University. He was also the founding principal of the Odyssey School, which is the first Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound charter school in the nation.

“I am thrilled to join such a remarkable team of thought leaders,” said Schoales. “Keystone gives parents, teachers, students, and local leaders an active voice in policy discussions around education. That is an approach that produces long lasting results and I look forward to contributing to it as we work together to develop solutions to some of our most intractable challenges in education.”

Schoales joins a growing national education practice at Keystone. The Center for Education Policy (CFEP) at Keystone Policy Center has added senior staff with diverse backgrounds in education, public policy and authentic community engagement. Former educator, superintendent and legislator, Millie Hamner, joined in 2019 after retiring from the legislature to help grow the practice and lead several high-impact projects. Earlier this year, Climb Higher Colorado, a leader in cultivating partnerships between institutions and the communities they serve, formally became part of Keystone’s education practice, bringing capacity building and community engagement expertise to the team. The CFEP is led by Berrick Abramson, a national leader on P-20 education and the future of the American workforce.

“I’ve long regarded Van as one of the smartest people in education policy. Van always comes to the table driven by data, ensuring all perspectives are heard, that equity is the focus, and better outcomes for all kids is the north star,” said Abramson, director of Keystone’s Center for Education Policy. “His expertise and perspectives will be a tremendous asset to our team and work as we engage with education leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders to ensure students are prepared for tomorrow’s opportunities with equitable access to a high-quality education that prepares them for the college or career path of their choice.”

CFEP partners with educators, policymakers, communities, and industry leaders as they increasingly focus on the challenge of ensuring all students are prepared for tomorrow’s opportunities, with equitable access to a high-quality education that prepares them for the college or career path of their choice. CFEP’s projects address a range of objectives including preparing and supporting the educator workforce, increasing access to high-quality courses and instruction that prepare students for success, supporting development of innovative learning experiences that meet the varied needs of students, and facilitating effective engagement of families and other stakeholders in the education system.