thinkLaw is pleased to announce that Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca is joining our team as Chief Relationship Officer!

Holly Maria is passionate about affording equitable access to education to all students and has been involved in the fight towards closing the achievement gap for the past twelve years in various capacities in the field of education. The daughter of an immigrant mother and blue-collar laborer growing up in a small, rural Ohio town where opportunities were limited, she was the first in her family to go to college.

As a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, she was enrolled in two different colleges and obtained two undergraduate degrees in five years: Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Sports Management and Communications. Holly Maria’s personality and life story coupled with her liberal arts background enabled her to think critically about the status quo, power structures, equitable access to resources and education and the importance of servant leadership.

Although she thought she would venture into a career in diplomacy or using sport as a means for peace on an international scale, she came across Teach For America, a national non-profit organization rooted in closing the achievement gap in schools. She immediately identified with the mission of the organization, applied and was accepted and placed in Houston, Texas where she taught bilingual and dual language PreK and Kindergarten for 6 years in traditional public and public charter schools.

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After Holly Maria left the classroom, she joined the Teach For America staff as a Program Director. Her life path led her to an opportunity at Battelle for Kids as a Client Engagement Manager of the Southwest and National Portfolios. While at Battelle, she decided to go back to graduate school for Social-Organizational Psychology at Columbia University in the City of New York and, upon graduation, joined the corporate world at K12, Inc. as a Senior Implementation Researcher. While at K12, she led evaluation work seeking to find and understand the most effective programs and behaviors conducive to positive student outcomes in virtual and blended learning environments.

Holly Maria is thrilled to help thinkLaw expand its impact because, as she explains,

As an early childhood educator, I helped students develop their moral compass through scenarios and role play as we explored values. This helped students explore critical thinking and work through responding to a situation by analyzing what was going on instead of quickly reacting and jumping to conclusions. As a result, the classroom environment was welcoming, safe, rigorous, and students were highly engaged in their learning. But it took years of training and hours of planning time to get me to the point where I could deliver this type of instruction. I’m excited about thinkLaw because it makes it so easy for teachers to tackle the challenging task of teaching critical thinking.

We are confident that Holly Maria will be an excellent match for this position and a strong asset to the thinkLaw team. Holly Maria is based out of Houston, Texas and can be reached at hollymaria@thinklaw.us

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