We at Microschool Revolution believe that the microschool is the education model that will carry humanity into a brighter future. In our research, we discovered that there are a lot of people wanting to give our kids a better education through microschools–but lack the funding and the organizational requirements to found one of their own. Microschool Revolution bridges that gap, connecting passionate founders with funders who believe in their vision.
Tory is the founder of Microschool Revolution and absolutely passionate about revolutionizing our education system for the 21st century, winning the “shark tank” pitch competition at EDventure 2017. He is also Co-Founder and Finance Director of Talent Unbound with two successful microschools in the Houston area following the Acton Academy model. He co-founded the previous iteration of Microschool Revolution, Coached Schooling, which was backed by the Rice University Owlspark accelerator program and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to create a high-tech network of affordable private schools (<$10/day) combining the best elements of eLearning, home and traditional schooling to reinvent the one-room schoolhouse for the 21st century. Tory is a McKinsey consulting alum, TEDx speaker, and holds both an MBA and BSEE from Rice University. In his spare time, he writes his long-running Houston Strategies and Opportunity Urbanist blogs for the Houston Chronicle, and writes and speaks as a Founding Senior Fellow with the Center for Opportunity Urbanism.
Melanie is President of Marketing Interface, which she founded in 2014 to help growth-stage companies achieve their business goals by reaching their target market, converting potential customers into paying customers, maintaining these relationships, and measuring the results of their marketing initiatives through the use of technology.
Prior to pursuing her entrepreneurial vision, Melanie was Director of Marketing at the SURGE Accelerator SURGE Ventures), managing everything from marketing and PR to communications and events.
Earlier in her career, Melanie held marketing positions at Waste Management and Ecom Access, a marketing software startup based in Montreal, Canada.
Melanie holds a BA in International Development from McGill University, Montreal, and an MBA from Rice University, Houston. She is a member of numerous industry associations and an active mentor at Rice University’s OwlSpark program and the University of Houston’s RED Labs.
Amy Ewbank is a project manager for small, growth-stage companies. She began her entrepreneurial career in 2015 working with an early-stage company in the Texas Medical Center Accelerator, which gave her exposure to companies in many fields working through various obstacles that all companies face.
After successfully bringing that company’s product to market, she moved on to help other companies do the same. In that time, she has worked with multiple founders in the Houston area and the San Francisco Bay area to define and test their early business models, create product roadmaps, and leverage the limited resources of small teams to bring their first products or services to market.
Amy is also passionate about education. As a former tutor and traditional classroom teacher for both high- and low-income families, she has seen many different aspects of education from multiple viewpoints. The struggles she experienced on behalf of her students as well as her own challenges in her capacity as a teacher motivated her to change our teaching methods and our view of education. She has been working with Tory and the Microschool Revolution team since the fall of 2016.
Amy holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Rice University.
As a father of seven, Ted is intensely interested in the future of education. His belief in Microschool Revolution stems from his conviction that the status quo is almost never as good as it should be, and his contributions to the project are a product of his career in the creative space. He directs design, and executes messaging for Microschool Revolution.
As founder of Melaroo, a Houston-based creative design company, Ted’s other duties consist of conceptualizing branding, marketing, and software projects for a number of corporate clients. Highly adept at streamlining and automating workflow, he’s also an accomplished graphic artist and writer.
Ted immensely enjoys the outdoors and getting muddy. He likes dogs, guitars, motorcycles, and pizza, and cuts up the dance floor like nobody’s business.
Danielle M. Allen
Managing Partner at Impact for Education
Danielle M. Allen is Managing Partner at Impact for Education. Previously, she was Director of Partnership Development at Mass Insight Education. Danielle performed a wide range of organizational duties to support business development, and strategic and operational goals at Mass Insight. Prior to Mass Insight, Danielle was an Education Pioneers Fellow at NewSchools Venture Fund where she led an exploration of alternative investment strategies and the selection of their fourth geographically based fund. She has also worked in the Office of School Innovation at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) supporting the district’s portfolio of turnaround schools and autonomous schools. Danielle received her Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Economics with highest honors from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain Scholar. She also holds an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and is a Harry S. Truman Scholar.
Director of The Character Initiative at The Philanthropy Roundtable
Anne Snyder is the Director of The Character Initiative at The Philanthropy Roundtable, a pilot program that seeks to help foundations and business leaders strengthen “the middle ring” of morally formative institutions in the United States. She is also a Fellow at the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, a Houston-based think tank that explores how cities can drive opportunity for the bulk of their citizens. From 2014 to 2017 Anne worked for Laity Lodge and the H.E. Butt Family Foundation in Texas, and before that she worked at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, World Affairs Journal and The New York Times. She holds a Master’s degree in journalism from Georgetown University and a B.A. in philosophy and international relations from Wheaton College (IL). Anne is a Contributing Editor to Comment Magazine, an advisor to Sea Dog Theater and serves as a trustee for the Center for Public Justice as well as the Hyde Park Institute at the University of Chicago. She has published in The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, National Journal, City Journal, Philanthropy Magazine, Orange County Register, Houston Business Journal, The Institute for Family Studies, FaithStreet, Comment Magazine, Verily, Humane Pursuits and FareForward, and is currently working on a book about the most effective character forming institutions alive today.
Philanthropist and Angel Investor, Houston, TX
Christopher Winkler graduated with highest distinction from Indiana University in 1993 with a B.S. in finance and real estate from the School of Business. Upon graduation, Mr.Winkler moved to Wall Street and joined the corporate finance department of Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. where he worked as a financial analyst in the investment banking group. During his two years at Dean Witter, Mr. Winkler focused on the public underwriting of primarily equity securities for real estate corporations and trusts. In 1995, Mr. Winkler joined CM Advisors, Inc., a startup long/short hedge fund utilizing a fundamental value approach. While at CM Advisors, he performed rigorous company and securities analyses of primarily equity positions and monitored numerous investments. Mr. Winkler next joined Siegler, Collery & Co., an established fundamental value-based long/short hedge fund, in February 1996 as a senior stock picker. He then left in 1998 to co-found Ivory Investment Management, LLC, a de novo long/short value-based hedge fund with a novel and proprietary risk management approach. Mr. Winkler remained with Ivory until he recently retired from the hedge fund industry in January 2017. He now resides in Houston, TX and focuses on angel investing, real estate investments, and philanthropic efforts, and is active in the Houston chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organization (“EO”). Mr. Winkler is a former President and Chairman of the Houston Angel Network.
Vice President, Morgridge Family Foundation
Carrie Morgridge currently serves as the Morgridge Family Foundation’s vice president and Chief Disruptor. Together, Carrie and John Morgridge founded mindSpark Learning and mindSpark Learning Labs. Carrie currently serves as chairman of the board for mindSpark Learning. They also created Student Support Foundation, a youth philanthropy club, designed to cultivate high school and college philanthropists to understand the importance of giving, through hands on learning. Carrie is the award winning author of: Every Gift Matters – How Your Passion Can Change The World.
Carrie and John Morgridge exemplify compassion through their philanthropy. The recently received National Jewish Health’s highest honor, the Arthur B. Lorber Award for Distinguished Service. This award has only been bestowed 23 times in the 118 year history of the institution. They are the current recipients of the University of Denver, Josef Korbel School Humanitarian Award. This award recognizes a couple for distinction in giving concrete expression to the values underlying the universal declaration of human rights through philanthropy. Similarly, they received the “Every Gift Matters” award from the Colorado Distant Learning Association, for their work ensuring access to technology in rural Colorado. Carrie has received the distinguished Francis Wisebart-Jacobs Women of the Year award from the Mile High United Way. Carrie and John are members of the National Council for Ford’s Theater in Washington DC, and Carrie serves on the Impact 100 Global Advisory Council.
Carrie speaks nationally to education advocacy and technology-focused forums, programs supporting women, at poverty alleviation conferences, and many convenings, globally, that are philanthropically focused.
Carried graduated Summa Cum Laude from the International Academy of Design and Technology. She and John divide their time between Colorado and Florida. They are avid outdoorsman and accomplished athletes. Carrie has competed in 9 Ironman competitions, several marathons, and in 2016 Carrie and John mountain biked across the country on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. In her spare time Carrie enjoys a great game of competitive tennis.
Executive Director, J.A and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation
Roger Quarles is the Executive Director of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, an initiative-driven, private family foundation that invests time, energy, and resources into making Idaho a place to learn, thrive, and prosper. Through its work, the Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and expanding ways to learn; and to enhancing sense of place and community for all Idahoans.
Roger’s entrepreneurial spirit started at the age of 22, and nine years in the private business sector helped pave his way to serving a greater purpose in the field of education. Having served as teacher, principal, superintendent, and ultimately Idaho’s chief deputy state superintendent, he has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing rural education and appreciates the fierce independence of Idaho and Idahoans alike.
Roger has never been concerned about what has been, but rather about what can be. He proved this to be true during his tenure as the superintendent of the Caldwell school district, by taking the largest and most diverse district in Idaho from being one of the lowest performing to one of the highest performing districts within six years.
Prior to joining the Foundation in 2013, Roger was co-director of the Idaho Leads Project in Boise State University’s Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies, and served as an Associate Professor in the Executive Educational Leadership Program, designed for equipping superintendents to lead in the 21st century.
Roger remains active in the business community through his service on a variety of boards, including his recent appointment as Chairman of the Teach for America Regional Board.
Founder & CEO, Peak EDGE
Internationally renowned business leader, multi-faceted serial entrepreneur, option trading pioneer, and shareholder, operator, and investor in nearly 100 companies.
Master trader at CBOE where he also served on Board of Directors. The only options trader to be featured in the seminal work “Market Wizards” showcasing the world’s best pro traders.
Founder of International Trading Institute; pioneered trading pro traders and and market makers worldwide for 25 years.
Sole founder and former CEO of LiquidPoint, a trading platform, broker and solution provider; sold to ConvergEx for over $200 million.
Currently is CEO of Matrix Holdings, a US holding company for financial technology firm Matrix Technologies and Matrix Executive Services, a US Broker Dealer.
Founder and CEO of Peak Edge, a Learning 5.0 entity, formed to create 5 million new, robotics-proof jobs.
Founding member of prominent companies in the trading industry such as Efficient Capital Management – the premier managed futures firm, as well as key non-trading-specific technology firms such as Fortify Technologies.
Holds a Board membership on the Chicago Stock Exchange, is a Trustee of the Heritage Foundation, an Advisory Committee Member of the Gary Sinise Foundation and the Advisory Board Chairman of the Reagan Legacy Foundation.
Maintains global team of staffers, 24×7 ops center in CA and offices around US, UK, India, and China. Helps companies achieve high rates of growth and unlocks initiatives to unlock exponential value.