Tatiana Epanchin, Co-Founder
Prior to launching Catalyst Tatiana was the Head of Program at School Leader Lab, a school leadership development program, Tatiana was a Principal Manager for Aspire Public Schools. As principal, her school increased its academic performance index by 150 points, more than three times the state average increase. She was awarded the National Title I Distinguished School Award for closing the achievement gap, an honor bestowed upon only 1 out of over 9,600 schools in the state. She began her teaching career with Teach for America in New Orleans and has also served as a social worker in Contra Costa County working on intensive family preservation cases. She is driven by her passion for justice in our country and how we can make individual contributions to change in our local context. She believes we each have a critical role to play, and that anything is possible in Washington––a state full of innovation and creativity. In her free time, she loves exploring the Puget Sound region with her family.
Amanda Gardner, Co-Founder
Prior to launching Catalyst Amanda was the VP, Schools at Innovate Public Schools. In this role Amanda founded Innovate's World-Class Schools Fellowship, a year-long school design program helping to redesign and launch new, equity driven schools. Amanda also designed and launched Innovate's Charter School Entrepreneur-in-Residence program. Before coming to Innovate, Amanda was the founding Principal of UP Academy Charter School of Boston, a highly successful turnaround school committed to improving educational outcomes for all students. In the school’s founding year, students at UP had the highest student growth percentiles in middle school math in the entire state of Massachusetts and, in 2014, was named a Commendation School by the Massachusetts Department of Education, an accolade reserved for schools that are beating the odds with students.
Amanda was also the Founding Principal of Boston Preparatory Charter Public School (BPCPS) in Hyde Park, Massachusetts. 100% of the school’s founding class earned proficient or advanced on all state required high school tests and students in the middle school have consistently outperformed students across the state in virtually all grade levels and content areas. In 2009, BPCPS was named as an EPIC Gold Gain school, a honor bestowed to 5 schools across the country.