Dr. Joseph Wise Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder Joseph Wise has a longstanding record of helping school districts, school boards, and school leaders make rapid improvements to support student achievement. His passion for all students, particularly those who are underserved and disadvantaged, drives a sense of urgency about the reforms needed to help the United States regain its competitive edge regarding the academic preparation of our nation’s children. His focus on great governance, great leadership, and great student and parent engagement have been the cornerstones of his accomplishments. Dr. Wise formerly served as Superintendent of Schools for the nation’s 19th largest public school district (Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville, FL) and the State of Delaware’s largest public school district (Christina School District, Wilmington, DE), earning a reputation as a visionary leader who brought about measurable improvements in both student achievement and operational management.
David Sundstrom Chairman, Chief Administration Officer, & Co-Founder David Sundstrom is an attorney specializing in contract and education law, David Sundstrom has been counsel to school district leaders and school district boards on matters ranging from superintendent-board contract negotiations to labor/employment and human resources management, special education compliance, risk management and civil rights policies and compliance. David Sundstrom began his career in education in 1977 at Michigan’s Hawthorn Center, then a state hospital for severely disturbed children and adolescents in Northville, Michigan. For a period of years he additionally served as an elementary school teacher in rural Parker Corners Michigan, and acknowledges that his years in both special education and general education settings have had a profound effect on his subsequent work as an attorney. Between 1990 and 1999, he taught senior-level courses in Business Law at Michigan State University, and courses in Trial Advocacy and Law Practice at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Sundstrom began his practice of law at Gandelot, Stoepker and Dickson in Detroit in 1985, focusing on contract negotiation and litigation. Over years his practice grew to encompass employment and civil rights issues, employment protocol design and implementation, and contractual and labor dispute-resolution. He subsequently assumed the duties of Chief Corporate Officer for one of North America’s largest provider of administrative software and services in the PreK-12 educational market. In addition to his work for private organizations, he has served in school leadership roles that included the role of Chief of Staff and Interim Superintendent in Wilmington DE, and Chief of Staff for the nation’s 20th largest urban school district: Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville FL. David Sundstrom is co-author of two textbooks: Power of Teaching—The Science of the Art (1st Edition 2002; 2nd Edition, 2007) and Power of Coaching—Teachers and Teaching (2009)
Scott Frauenheim President, Chief Operating Officer Scott Frauenheim has dedicated his career to building positive learning environments for students and educators, and is a recognized leader of transformational work in charter schools. His passion for strong leadership, coupled with his drive to promote quality education, allowed him to build strong relationships throughout Distinctive Schools. Through this work, Scott created shared vision, enabled leadership, and empowered teachers. These attributes supported schools through transformative change in implementing a nationally recognized personalized learning model over the past three years; a model that has helped close the achievement gap through exceptional student growth and achievement. His experiences with instructional and academic leadership, school operations, finance, technology, fundraising, and development efforts enhanced his ability to oversee a variety of important components within the Distinctive Schools model.
Jennifer Ferrari Vice-President, Chief Schools Officer Jennifer Ferrari is a passionate educational leader with over two decades of public education experience. She has served as a middle school English teacher, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent for teaching & learning. Through her many roles, Jennifer has developed strong professional expertise in the areas of curriculum & instruction, personalized learning, dual language, strategic planning, and leadership coaching. She has shared her expertise by presenting and facilitating workshops at the local, state, and national levels. Committed to closing the opportunity gap, Jennifer prioritizes the work of equity and access by leading strategic planning and improvement efforts that cultivate deep, meaningful learning for students. In her current role, Jennifer strives to strengthen network-wide operationalization and scaling capacity so that Distinctive Schools can have a wider, more profound positive impact on public education and policy.
Distinctive Schools: 910 W. Van Buren Street, Suite 315, Chicago, IL 60607