March 3-6, 2014 • Austin, Texas
Learn more about the LAUNCHedu education startup competition and the 2014 emcees now!
Heather Hiles is the founder and CEO of Pathbrite, the leading Portfolio Learning Platform in the world. Launched in 2012, the company currently supports more than 500 schools, colleges, universities, and organizations in the U.S. Headquartered in San Francisco, Pathbrite's portfolio platform is poised to revolutionized learning, teaching and assessment internationally as well as domestically.
Before founding Pathbrite, Heather built a career in education, workforce development, and finance spanning over 20 years. She has committed her life optimizing the academic and employment outcomes for youth and adults.
Her leadership experience includes having founded and led several private and public sector organizations, including: Commissioner for the San Francisco Unified School District; Executive Director of Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2); co-founder of EARN; CEO of SFWorks (an NGO to place women from welfare into career); and COO of Break the Cycle (tutorial program for K-3 graders); Board of Directors of Leadership Public Schools.
Heather received her B.A. from UC Berkeley in Economic Development and Ethnic Studies and holds an MBA from Yale University, with a concentration in Finance and Strategic Planning. She was also a CORO Fellow.
Peter NilssonAssistant Dean of Faculty, English Teacher
Peter Nilsson teaches English and is Assistant Dean of Faculty at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. He began teaching in 2000 and spent his summers leading student groups on bicycle tours in Vermont; across Europe, from London to Rome; and across the United States, from Georgia to California.
In 2005, however, Peter began a four year stretch living in New York City as a musician, writer, tutor, political organizer, and graduate student. As a musician, he performed in jazz, soul, blues, folk, funk, hip-hop, rock, Americana, and West African music ensembles. He composed music for theater and musicals, and he played in New York City venues such as B. B. King’s, the Bitter End, the Rockwood Music Hall, and the Living Room. He also performed at the Newport Folk Festival.
Missing education, however, he completed a masters degree at Columbia University/Teachers College, and he returned to Deerfield Academy in 2009, both to the English department and as Assistant Academic Dean. Now the Assistant Dean of Faculty, Peter guides the new faculty each year and supports institutional projects.
Outside of school, Peter has recently written and presented on the topics of cognitive science in education and teaching creativity. Recent venues have included the College Board, the OECD, the National Association of Independent Schools, here at SXSWedu, and more. He is a member of the advisory board for SXSWedu, and he keeps a blog on education, cognitive science, and creativity at www.senseandsensation.com.
He also enjoys trail running, music composition, piano, reading, ultimate frisbee, squash, writing, history of maps, cognitive science, emerging media and technology, social entrepreneurship, John Milton’s Paradise Lost.