Jeff Petty, Founder/Director
Jeff Petty leads the Puget Sound Consortium for School Innovation, an initiative of Big Picture Learning. He believes our current educational system is not just ineffective but dis-equitable and societally harmful on many levels. The Consortium’s work aims to dismantle that system by replacing it with something better, specifically school and system designs that honor the joy of learning and the uniqueness of each person. On a week to week basis this looks like helping districts or others start new public schools, connecting like-minded schools into a collaborative regional network, and developing new leadership pathways. Notwithstanding his calm demeanor and how much he loves this work, Jeff is fundamentally motivated by anger at systemic inequities, especially those perpetuated by schools.
Jeff has worked for the last 20+ years in various capacities to understand and improve the experience of urban secondary students. He has worked as a public high school teacher and administrator and as a consultant to schools and school districts on how to reorient schools in order to know students better and make their learning more engaging. He has also worked in charter and non-charter contexts on structuring autonomy and accountability relationships between districts and schools. In 2005 he founded Highline Big Picture High School, now a 7-12, and served as its principal and co-principal for eight years. His current work involves working with various regional partners to scale highly personalized secondary schools and improve the regional climate for public school innovation. Jeff holds a BA in Biology from Princeton University, an MEd from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a principal credential from the University of Washington. His work with schools is informed by the reflection that, for the most part, his most powerful learning experiences occurred outside the classrooms of those institutions.