design consulting & facilitation
Design thinking, a recognized approach to creating thoughtful experiences and systems, is a core practice of some of the most innovative companies and institutions in the world. Design thinking has been utilized to create consumer products, healthcare systems, retail spaces, fundraising events, curricula and much more.
Design thinking methodologies have gained increasing traction in the K-12 education space in recent years. From educators using the process as a pedagogical framework for real world, project-based learning to school leaders leveraging the process as a driver of innovation, progressive leaders of education reform have taken up design thinking as a mechanism for positive change. As we build awareness that school systems are complex, human-centered environments that are actively designed, we continue to see the desire to equip school leaders with tools that are more frequently leveraged by designers in the corporate and social sectors.
The foundation of design thinking is a first-hand understanding of the human needs and behaviors in the system being redesigned, followed by decision-making that is based in that understanding. It relies heavily on collaboration from a team, participation from potential end users and stakeholders, a willingness to learn the way to the right solution, and a bias toward action over planning. These are all skills and mindsets I believe educators and innovators need in order to create positive change in the world.
As an educational designer and a seasoned facilitator, I have worked with a diverse group of professionals, including educators and school leaders from both public and independent schools, nonprofit leaders and corporate executives. I have facilitated introductory design experiences with the following organizations:
Stanford Executive Education
Stanford d.school’s K12 Lab’s Discover Design Thinking Workshop
Doctorate of Education Program, Simmons School of Education, SMU
Dallas Start-Up Week
National Arts Strategies
Solar Prep School for Girls
The Hockaday School
The Lamplighter School
The Kessler School
St. Philip’s School
The Delta School
I lead teams to develop their creative capacity as a group and their creative confidence as individuals. I also work with organizations as a designer, rendering design-based strategic planning and innovation projects.
See below for examples of more in-depth projects where I served as a facilitator and/or a designer.
Facilitator, Principal Impact Collaborative
PIC is a unique professional growth and learning opportunity for principals from North Texas public school districts to work together in small teams to develop and execute a transformative improvement project for their school. Over the two year program, principals in the cohort have dedicated time each month away from their campus to refine their leadership skills and hone their project idea in order to drive impact at their school.
I serve as the lead facilitator for the principals’ design thinking trainings. In this program, I lead a five day summer institute as well as monthly sessions for the first two quarters of the school year.
“Through these sessions, Katie has designed and implemented thought-provoking, inspiring, and engaging learning opportunities so that through our program, our principals can design small-scale innovative ideas to improve their schools. In this time, I have been more than impressed with Katie’s ability to teach, inspire, and challenge in her role as a facilitator. I believe any organization would be lucky to engage with her.”
- Alejandra Barbosa, Program Director, Principal Impact Collaborative
Facilitator & Designer, Parish Episcopal School
I have led a small team of external designers and a committee of Parish teachers and school leaders through a multi-year process to use design thinking to reimagine the use of time as an instructional resource at Parish.
“It is my privilege to communicate how pleasurable and powerful it has been to know and work with Katie Krummeck over the last three years. Her impact both on me as a school leader and on our school community has been significant.”
- Dave Monaco, Head of School, Parish Episcopal School
“Parish understood the need for a different approach to initiating change. Katie and her team have been instrumental in gifting us with their knowledge, expertise and time. Our faculty have embraced this design model, understand, and appreciate that they have been involved in the design process from the beginning.”
- Michelle Lyon, Assistant Head of School, Parish Episcopal School
Facilitator, School Retool Principal Fellowship, Stanford University
School Retool is a professional development fellowship that helps school leaders redesign their school culture using small, scrappy experiments called “hacks.” Hacks may start small, but they're built on research-based practices that lead to Deeper Learning, and can create the kind of big change you aspire to—namely, preparing your students for life in the real world.
Coach, d.school Executive Education Program, Stanford University
At the d.school we believe that creativity exists in all people, including senior executives. We want to cultivate that potential, and fundamentally change the way people tackle challenges in their work and lives.
The d.school currently offers four programs for executives: Design Thinking Bootcamp, Customer-Focused Innovation (in partnership with the Stanford Graduate School of Business), private 3-hour Innovation Workshops, and Innovation at Work online. All four programs are designed specifically for executives and taught by Stanford d.school faculty and coaches.
Facilitator, Teach for America & Texas Education Agency Workshop on Design Thinking, School System Leaders Summit
I co-facilitated a group of 60+ school and nonprofit leaders in a weekend-long design thinking sprint. Participants learned the design thinking process and then generated ideas around the challenge of supporting principals of turnaround schools in Texas.
“It is rare to find a facilitator who I can put in front of teachers and superintendents and trust that the session will be a success, but Katie is that person. She has an authenticity and joy that she brings to her work that makes others curious and excited to engage. Katie’s leadership and facilitation style is casual and approachable, while leaving no doubt for her audience that she is absolutely an expert in her field. She understands, like few experts do, that most people don’t want to listen to someone talk all day. They want to do, practice, and try what you are teaching them. Katie leans into this participant desire and rarely has a stretch of more than 10 minutes where she is the main focus. Her sessions were interactive and genuinely fun for participants without sacrificing the learning. After attending Katie’s all-day session, a summit participant said to me, ‘This is hands down the best development I have had as a leader, and I’ve been in education for 16 years! She’s amazing!’ Katie has been wonderful to work with throughout the projects we’ve collaborated on and I look forward to working together in the future!”
- Kaleigh Finn, Manager of Alumni Educational Development, Teach for America DFW
Facilitator & Designer, Independent Schools Association of the Southwest
I led a small team of external designers and a committee of ISAS staff and school leaders through a multi-year process to use design thinking to reimagine options for the accreditation process for their association. The project launched with a sprint focused on design research that our team facilitated for more than one hundred Heads of School. This sprint included unconventional methods for gathering feedback and input into the redesign of the process. From there, our team synthesized the data gathered, made strategic recommendations and facilitated the leadership team through a process of making decisions about what to implement.
“Katie finds ways to contribute to education at the edges of innovation. She has most recently facilitated an ISAS group of Heads of School to design a new iteration of Self Study for the ISAS accreditation program, the members of which were selected especially for their talents and interests in developing a fresh approach to ensuring foundational excellence for independent schools coupled with aspirational improvement. Her work at the ideation session was excellent. She led an experienced and diverse group of school leaders through a variety of activities. She challenged and prompted the group to free its thinking so as to capture the most aspirational ideas. She asked each person to question assumptions and probed organizational blind spots. She diligently recorded all thoughts and synthesized the data for future scrutiny and consideration. At the same time, the session went by so quickly; everyone was engaged fully, never a dull moment. That is a testament to her personality and process.”
- Rhonda Durham, Executive Director, Independent Schools Association of the Southwest
Facilitator & Designer, Good Shepherd Episcopal School
I led a committee of GSES teachers and school leaders through an intensive design-based process to gather qualitative data regarding the state of their school. This data was synthesized to develop materials for the school’s accreditation process and also informed the school’s strategic planning process moving forward.
“Katie is a trusted, experienced, and powerful thought partner for our school. She doesn't try to offer a one-size-fits-all solution, but rather understands your organization from the inside and is able to identify meaningful opportunities. She then knows how to make those opportunities into their own design questions that help you move forward.”
- Julie McLeod, Head of School, Good Shepherd Episcopal School
Facilitator & Designer, Highland Park High School
Our team led a committee of stakeholders (teachers, administrators, parents, students) to explore how to implement a Bring Your Own Device policy at a local public high school. The committee gathered qualitative design research and our team synthesized that data into recommendations for programmatic elements to implement.