EmpowerK12’s vision is for all students, regardless of race, gender, disability level or socioeconomic status to have equal access to a high-quality education.
Our mission is to empower education leaders, including principals, support organizations, and policymakers, with the right information, relevant skills, and proper systems needed to continuously improve educational institutions.
EmpowerK12 is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) and has served the DC educational community since 2014. Our clients include charter schools and local educational nonprofits, and we specialize in data analytics, building school data infrastructure, and supporting the improvement of organizational data capacity and usage to drive improvement.
Josh Boots, Founder and Executive Director
Josh is the Founder and Executive Director of EmpowerK12. Prior to starting EmpowerK12, Josh served in a variety of education roles in DC over the last 16 years, including teaching 7th grade math in a DC Public School, leading the KIPP DC data team as their first Data Director, and contributing as a member of OSSE’s Assessment & Accountability team.
Josh is recognized as a leader in DC assessment and data analytics. He serves on multiple school accountability system task forces, leads the EdFuel Data Professional Learning Community, and is appointed to the DC State Board of Education ESSA Taskforce. He consults for multiple charter LEAs on their integrated data systems, strategic data-driven plans, and coaches school and data leaders. Josh has also consulted with MySchoolDC, the District’s common lottery system, during it’s first implementation year, running and auditing the lottery matching algorithm.
In his free-time, Josh nerds out over astrophysics, is frequently found at Nationals Park and Audi Field, and planning his trip into low-Earth orbit.
Kenli Okada, Partner
Kenli Okada joined EmpowerK12 as a Partner. Before becoming a member of our team, Kenli led the data team at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, an award-winning school serving just under 1,200 students in Washington, DC. Through his tenure at E.L. Haynes, he worked in a range of functions, including operations, enrollment, strategy, performance management, and accountability, and he utilizes his broad understanding of school dynamics to focus on the key data needed to improve both instructional and operational practice.
Kenli’s main interest is in helping schools develop systems to fully understand how they are progressing against their goals - not just their assessment goals, but also their more nuanced goals such as culture, family engagement, and equity. He believes that developing an objective, complete picture of a school’s performance is the first step to helping leaders take the highest impact actions.
Outside of the data world, Kenli manages a running club for Kenyan high school students and enjoys watching American Ninja Warrior with his two daughters.
Noah Katzman, Data Analyst
Noah is a Data Analyst at EmpowerK12 on the school support services team. He is a recent graduate of American University where he studied Business Administration and Psychology. Before joining EmpowerK12, Noah worked as a data intern with FOCUS DC where he was placed at Lee Montessori Public Charter School. Additionally, he worked as a teaching assistant in the American University Department of Information Technology.
Noah is a Philadelphia sports fan who enjoys electronic music, lighting design and video games in his free time.
Kristen Wolfe, Data Analyst
Kristen joined EmpowerK12 as a Data Analyst. Kristen did her undergraduate work in mechanical engineering at MIT, but her passion for improving the lives of young people led her into education. She has 12 years of experience teaching science, math, and engineering courses at the middle and high school level. Kristen has taught multi-variable calculus, 7th grade earth science, and everything in between in both public and private settings. She was the founding physics teacher and drama director for a successful private school in Cleveland, Ohio that serves only low-income students. She also spent several years growing the pre-engineering program at a large public high school in Kansas.
Kristen’s passion for the benefits that good data can offer K12 education spurred her to get a master’s degree in educational research and she is excited to combine that knowledge with her many years of teaching experience in her new role with EmpowerK12.
Beyond education and analysis, Kristen enjoys DIYing home renovations, musical theatre, and hiking in the woods with her family.
Rachel Wandell, Board President
Samantha Steverman, Vice President and Secretary
Academy of Hope PCS (DC, since 2018)
Capital City PCS (DC, since 2017)
Center City PCS (DC, since 2014)
DC Scholars PCS (DC, since 2018)
Democrats for Education Reform (DC, since 2016)
Eagle Academy PCS (DC, since 2014)
EdFuel (DC and Detroit, since 2015)
E.L. Haynes PCS (DC, since 2018)
Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (DC, since 2014)
IDEA High PCS (DC, since 2018)
LEARN Charter Schools (Chicago/DC, since 2018)
LAYC Career Academy PCS (DC, since 2018)
Maya Angelou PCS (DC, since 2016)
Monument Academy (DC, since 2018)
Mundo Verde PCS (DC, since 2018)
Schools That Can (Milwaukee, since 2016)
Somerset Prep PCS (DC, since 2017)
Washington Yu Ying PCS (DC, since 2016)