Learning Innovations at WestEd
300 Unicorn Park Drive, 5th floor
Director, Learning Innovations
Phlegar is responsible for LI's overall portfolio of work across a wide range of areas throughout seven northeastern states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. LI provides professional development, research, and evaluation that bolster teacher quality and leadership, address needs of English learners and students with disabilities, and improve learning in science, math, and other subjects.
Phlegar leads LI's Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northeast & Islands work and serves as its Director of State Relations. She works with regional leaders to develop opportunities to conduct conversations connecting research with policymakers on various topics including teacher quality, high-risk populations, and assessment and accountability. She also oversees a series of REL fast response studies, such as Impact of Benchmark Assessments Aligned to State Standards on Student Achievement, produced by LI's research team.
She co-directs the WestEd School Turnaround Center, which partners with districts nationwide to provide comprehensive school turnaround and transformation services leading to rapid improvement in low-performing schools.
Phlegar also serves as managing partner with the New York Comprehensive Center and works with the New England Comprehensive Center on issues of teacher quality. In addition, through LI's Northeast Regional Resource Center, Phlegar helps bridge general and special education in a variety of cross-cutting initiatives including connecting with the Comprehensive Centers and the RELs on issues of mutual regional interest.
She is coauthor of several books and publications on teacher leadership and the use of educational technology to support learning, including Dynamic Teachers: Leaders of Change. She is one of the developers of the Authentic Task Approach (ATA), a scientific-based professional development design that allows participants to deepen their learning as they work to identify and solve real education problems. The ATA has been used as the framework for national forums, as well as in individual schools, as a job-embedded professional development strategy that promotes team leadership, action planning, and decision-making.
She serves on the national Board of Directors of Educators for Social Responsibility, the Nellie Mae Educational Foundation, and locally for her town's educational foundation. Prior to joining WestEd, Phlegar served as Deputy Director at the Regional Laboratory for Educational Improvement of the Northeast & Islands, Program Director for the Close Up Foundation, and researcher on the Booker T. Washington papers project at the University of Maryland and Library of Congress. She also served as a high school teacher.
Phlegar, who was presented with the 2001 Annual Award for Exceptional Contribution to the WestEd Community, received a BA in sociology from the University of Michigan and an MA in teaching and history from Emory University.