Testimonials

Working with Shane was invaluable! She coached me through my first year as an elementary school principal, and I truly don’t think I could have made it without her.  Her professionalism, extensive educational experience, reflective stance, calm demeanor, and commitment to equity were extremely beneficial in the work we did together.  Shane coached me on various aspects of effective leadership, such as empowering staff, spearheading change projects, and developing school culture.  I really enjoyed the time I worked with Shane and would jump at the chance to work with her again. She made me a better leader!

Audrey Amos, Principal, John Muir Elementary School

Shane Safir is an exceptional facilitator, who understands the complexities of school environments.  She came to my school to coach and support me during a difficult year as principal.  Shane surfaced underlying issues and helped a divided community identify common goals and vision for our school.  She helped me grow as an educational leader. She was respected by staff members who held diverse points of view.

Shane provided structure in a year-long process to build a unified school community.  We met early in the year to identify issues and goals.  She provided excellent coaching to me, and helped me see multiple perspectives.    I learned better communication skills and effective strategies for hashing out conflict in productive ways.  An outcome for our school was a shared arts vision for our school.  We discovered that our staff had common values about the arts that brought us together, despite differences and hurt feelings.

We still value the norms we developed with her – including allowing time and space to process the affective impact of issues on staff as we move through the school year.

There may be other people who can facilitate and coach; however, Shane brings a clear understanding of education and the stresses inherent in the institution.  She is remarkably calm, positive and insightful.  I could not have supported our school to achieve the positive and lasting outcomes that we achieved without Shane’s guidance and expertise.

Kristin Collins, Elementary School Principal

Shane has been an incredible asset to United Way of New York City as one of the primary designers and facilitators of the campaign for grade-level reading initiative that we launched in Fall 2013.  As the chief architect of our work with elementary school administrators, teachers, early childhood educators, and community service providers in the South Bronx, Shane has brought her interdisciplinary expertise and a wide-range of exemplary skills to the work.

With warmth, humor, vision, and an ability to design and deliver high-quality adult learning experiences, Shane has helped United Way senior staff kick-off a very complex, large-scale community change agenda that places educators at the center and that will scale up to 9 additional high-need communities in New York City during the next 3 years. The scope of the work is ambitious: New York City’s grade-level reading initiative is predicated upon the pillars of collective impact and grounded in a birth-to-eight framework that seeks to simultaneously transform the will and skill of early learning educators and mobilize a cross-section of community partners, philanthropists, and business leaders who are invested in the success of our schools and neighborhoods.

Shane is intensively coaching the instructional leaders to work together across school sites to design a theory of action that includes a robust vision for community engagement and partnership that is a new way of working for them.  Shane competed for this contract against a formidable, experienced group of local and national experts in urban education, equity-frameworks, professional development, leadership coaching, and school change, and she was without a doubt the right choice for the work.  She brings a rare combination of knowledge, skill, and experience when it comes to deeply understanding the cultural and structural opportunities and barriers that urban educators face in their schools and communities. I highly recommend her without reservation.

Jacqueline Jenkins, Ph.D., Vice President of Learning, Research & Intelligence, United Way of New York City

Shane is a principled consultant, with an abiding commitment to equity, excellence and closing the educational opportunity gap. I have had the joy of co-facilitating, along with Shane, many equity centered professional development sessions of her vision and design. She is adept as surfacing the unique needs of each client and creates customized, experiential sessions that link their goals and existing systems with research based frameworks that push their thinking and practice. Shane is skilled at responding to the dynamics of a group and facilitating inclusive processes and strategies to get participants to strategic action.

The brilliance of creation, innovation and historical knowledge Shane shows in PD creation comes through in her coaching as well. In our last year working together, Shane was MY coach and manager! She coached me from a place of care and respect, getting to the heart what was standing in my way, while helping me surface my strengths on which to build greater success. Shane is a hard-working critical thinker who is dedicated to improved outcomes for young people and their families.

Jessica Gammell, District Partnership Director, Partners in School Innovation

Shane is one of the best facilitators and coaches I’ve seen in the 20 years I’ve been working in education. Whether leading a group or coaching an individual, Shane brings a warm, supportive, reflective and responsive presence to her work. She gives clients room to identify and express what they most value and need, explore new possibilities, and feel ownership of the direction of the work they are engaged in. Shane carries deep knowledge of and experience with transformational instruction and leadership, which supports her clients to envision and implement new actions. In the time that she served as my supervisor, I experienced the positive impact of her style and skill as she supported me to refine my work in both coaching and facilitation.

Colm Davis, Senior Coach, National Equity Project

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Shane in my role of Principal at Rosa Parks Elementary in Berkeley and Principal of Emerson Elementary in Oakland. Shane truly understands how to provide coaching and support in order to enact meaningful change in schools. During my time with her in Berkeley, she provided individual coaching for me which assisted me in crafting my school vision and gave me the tools I needed to work with my community to set the foundation for changes to better serve all of our students. As a result of that work, we were able to set the foundation which successfully helped Rosa Parks move from a PI Year 5+ school to the highest achieving elementary school in Berkeley.

Shane worked with my Instructional Leadership Team at Emerson in Oakland and helped give them some practical and concrete tools that they could implement as teacher leaders for equity. As a result of the work that we did with Shane, we were able to revise our professional development plan and start to dig deeply into some of the issues which were holding us back from being able to work as a cohesive unit for the betterment of our students.

Shane is a master at really getting down to the issues that are getting in the way of enacting meaningful change in a manner that is supportive and helpful. She is professional and knows how to walk that fine line between pushing one to look at ones own practices more deeply in a way that is supportive and helpful.

Kathy Hatzke, Principal, Oakland Unified School District

Shane is a masterful coach and a brilliant educator. She is deeply committed to supporting the growth, well-being, and success of every leader and institution she coaches, within a framework solidly grounded in educational equity. She is an attentive listener and an expert facilitator who effectively identifies and synthesizes critical issues and helps leaders focus on what really matters. She has a deep knowledge of powerful pedagogy and is skilled in helping others develop their instructional leadership. Shane builds strong rapport and relationships across difference, and supports leaders to develop highly effective teams and productive school culture.

Ken Yale, Coach & Facilitator For Schools, Non-Profits & Social Justice Organizations

Shane is an exceptional coach and facilitator. She guided me in deep reflection around my teaching practice and around my role as a teacher leader. Her positivity and problem solving proved contagious. She is incredibly knowledgeable. Her commitment to teaching, learning, and leadership is inspiring.

Laureen Adams, Instructional Coach, The School of Arts and Enterprise

Shane is a highly skilled coach whose close and careful attention to people, systems and children makes her a powerful leader. She has a wealth of experience and resources to bring to any educational group working to transform their school.

Elena Aguilar, Transformational Leadership Coach, School Improvement Grant Director, Writer

Skilled coach. Innovative thinker. Highly-effective facilitator. Shane has a gift for designing unique, engaging, and highly effective learning experiences that take educators well beyond the traditional “sit and get” form of professional development. She brings to every project a deep knowledge of leadership development based on her experience and a passion for equity and social justice in schools.

Zaretta Hammond, Instructional Designer, Professional Developer & Literacy Consultant