Chris Hazleton has been an educator, innovator, entrepreneur and school leader for more than 25 years. He has dedicated his professional career to improving the school experience for young people. Chris began his career working with teens in the outdoors where he developed a strong belief in the power of experiential learning, community, failing forward and the role of educators in the learning process. He designed and opened Harbor City International School, an accredited, student centered and inquiry-based public charter school recognized for quality and innovation. As Executive Director, Chris led Harbor City High through its first 9 years by creating learning, teaching and administrative programs that married the best practices of a student centered, inquiry-based learning program with effective traditional methodologies and programs. Chris brings both a teacher’s and administrator’s perspective to the school design and transformation process.
Chris strongly believes that the fundamental underpinning of effective education is dependent ownership of the learning process and experience. He knows that students thrive when they are challenged to develop knowledge, thinking and learning skills in relevant and real-world contexts. Chris understands how the right environment can improve learning and expand teaching practices. He knows that the best results occur in the classroom when teachers work together in cohesion toward a shared vision.
For 9 years in his role as Lead Learning Designer with FNI, Chris has worked as a fully integrated member of the facilities design and master planning project team from visioning through furnishings selection. Often this work begins with helping schools and school systems reimagine what learning looks like and defining a set of shared, guiding principles. This process involves envisioning new approaches to education and environments that support visionary and transformative learning. Chris also helps schools develop a customized Readiness Roadmap to prepare teachers and leaders for new environments and pedagogies through: on-going school leader coaching; system-wide coherence and culture building around effective collaborative practices; educator learning; democratic leadership models; and new environment optimization and planning support during the first years of building occupancy.
Chris understands that the transformation and innovation process in schools and systems is complex, takes time and requires out-of-the-box thinking rooted in successful practices. He cross-pollinates the best ideas from his experience of supporting more than 40 independent and public schools in 13 countries, 12 states and 4 Canadian provinces.