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Jenny Sarna

Jenny Sarna is the Director of the NextGenScience project and on the Science and Engineering content area team at WestEd.

Sarna leads the project’s advancement of science teaching, learning, and achievement by building new partnerships and designing strategies to scale the project’s tools and resources for science leaders, curriculum developers, and educators. She supports district and agency leaders with planning, implementing, and evaluating science education programs with a focus on equity and access.

Prior to joining WestEd, Sarna served as the Director of District Support at Achieve, where she directed strategic planning initiatives that brought district-level leaders together to implement college and career-ready STEM policies. Her work also included supporting the adoption of new science curriculum and designing STEM career-related pathways.

Sarna has served as both a high school Science Specialist and preK–12 Science Manager for Chicago Public Schools. She led Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) implementation across the district by leading professional learning and external partnerships, strengthening graduation requirements, and overseeing the development and adoption of new K–8 science instructional manuals. Prior to this work, Sarna taught high school science, including Bilingual Chemistry, Physics, and AP and IB Biology. Her longstanding commitment to science education, particularly in urban contexts, was recognized by the Illinois Science Teachers Association, who named her the 2013/14 ISTA/ExxonMobil Outstanding Teacher of Science.

Sarna graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science. She earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from University of Chicago and a Master of Educational Studies from University of Illinois at Chicago.