Ellen Roche

Executive Director, Trust for Learning

Ellen joined Trust for Learning in 2018 after graduating from a Montessori preschool and with many years of experience working in and with schools, nonprofits, and foundations.

Prior to recent leadership roles at two strategy firms, Ellen taught music, English, and humanities and earned an M.Ed. from Harvard, where she focused on progressive, antiracist, and civic education and spent many afternoons in the archives exploring progressive school history. She’s been lucky enough to teach and develop curricula across age ranges (from toddlers to adults), settings (public, private, and charter) and approaches (from high-stakes to experiential), and is fascinated by the dynamic relationship between American schools, democracy, and culture. Outside of schools and classrooms, she has led workshops and talks around the country on racial equity, storytelling for social change, democratic communications, and the hidden histories of American progressive teachers. Most recently, over eight years as a strategist and researcher for progressive causes ranging from climate change to human rights, she became more and more oriented toward root-cause problems and structural solutions, focusing for the last three years as much as possible on racial equity efforts. Ellen is honored to continue learning from the Ideal Learning community and deeply committed to equity in early education as a critical investment both in children and are more just, democratic future.

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