Margaret is married to her favorite running partner, and still loves to be called mama by her five and seven-year-old daughters (who are starting to roll their eyes).
Margaret Angell | Principal
Margaret supports 2Rev in the intersection between systems and schools where she believes the discipline and joy of human-centered design can have the deepest impact. She brings her varied experiences in district leadership, program development, and cohort-based design facilitation to clients that want to work in their communities to create the future of learning. A student once told Margaret: “School will make you hate school.” That quote and the questions that come with it, most importantly: Why? And how do we change that? have been the driving force in her career. Her work at 2Rev gives educators the time, resources, and community necessary to design a future of learning that would fundamentally change that student's experience.
Prior to joining 2Rev, Margaret created and ran CityBridge Foundation’s Education Innovation Portfolio, which included the foundation's signature programs, the Education Innovation Fellowship and Breakthrough Schools: D.C. Until January 2011, Margaret held the role of Director of Secondary School Transformation for DC Public Schools. In 2008–2009, Margaret served as a White House Fellow, working as a special assistant to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. From 2005-2008, she worked at Boston Public Schools, where she managed the operational and financial responsibilities of rolling out universal preschool programs for four-year-olds.
Margaret holds a B.A. cum laude in economics from Harvard University, an M.B.A from Columbia Business School, and an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is a graduate of the Broad Residency in Urban Education.
Why do you believe so deeply in ecosystem-level work when it comes to transforming education?
Ecosystem work really matters. It’s the level that is often the real scale of the institutions that are doing education for kids. Schools function within a district that’s usually a regionally-based organization. Most organizations that are touch points for kids and families interact at the regional level, whether it’s museums, after-school programs, businesses, community partners, social services, healthcare — it’s all happening at the regional or local level. And so if you’re going to fundamentally change the culture of learning, and how you design learning, it has to be at an ecosystem level. The other component is this truth, which I have seen time and again: inside every struggling school there are great classrooms, and inside every troubled district are great schools, but the nut that has not been cracked is sustained excellence at a level that is broad and deep enough to impact all kids. I think the ecosystem work is the key to us getting there.
What draws you to design as a process?
Designing to learn has been a powerful part of my journey in education, so it’s become a natural way of approaching change and challenges. When we were launching the fellowship program at Citybridge, someone once said to me that if I focus our attention on redesigning 12 classrooms alone our impact would be limited. But if we design something that truly changes schools, then that impact, of course, becomes deeper, and if we designed the fellowship program to change the conversation across the city, then we would truly accomplish our mission. Design was the vehicle for implementing prototype after prototype that helped us achieve this mission. I believe that every teacher is a designer, every classroom prototype adds up, and that the collective impact of that network is remarkable. Design let us get into the water — to help teachers, principals, future school leaders, think about and consider what they were doing and why they were doing it and what was possible. You have to prototype at the right scale when it comes to the future of learning, but you’re prototyping to learn in order to build something bigger.