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Aurora Institute

Laurie Gagnon

Program Director, CompetencyWorks

Laurie Gagnon joined the Aurora Institute in 2022 as the organization’s CompetencyWorks Program Director. In this position, Laurie leads the CompetencyWorks initiative–sharing promising practices shaping the future of K-12 personalized, competency-based education; identifying trends; conducting and facilitating research that answers critical questions facing the field; and disseminating those findings widely.

Prior to joining Aurora, Laurie led education design and partnerships at reDesign, an education design lab focused on learner-centered design, change, leadership and adult development. Before reDesign, Laurie was the Director of the Quality Performance Assessment Program (QPA) at the Center for Collaborative Education in Boston, MA. She was a key designer of the QPA model and led the program’s expansion from a research and development pilot to a program that is now being used in schools and districts across the country to take educators through the process of creating valid and reliable performance assessments. Laurie began her professional life teaching English in Japan on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, and soon after returning to the U.S. she became a high school history teacher. Laurie earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology-anthropology at Middlebury College, her master’s degree in law and diplomacy from Tufts University, and holds a nonprofit management and leadership certificate from Boston University. She lives in Somerville, MA with her husband and young son.