Jennifer D. Pierce is a senior technical assistant consultant for AIR with thirteen years of experience working in public and private school settings as a teacher, coach, building leader, and district-level leader and four years of experience working in higher education as a research assistant and instructor. Dr. Pierce's areas of interest center on supporting the implementation of evidence-based interventions by teachers and schools, including professional development and coaching models to reduce the research-to-practice gap; Implementation Science, including frameworks across fields and factors associated with sustained use of evidence-based interventions; and the application of MTSS across general and special education, including Response-to-Intervention and School-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention Supports. She also has a background in literacy instruction for struggling learners.
Dr. Pierce’s prior experience in schools serves as evidence of her commitment to helping educators effectively implement interventions. As a practitioner, she focused on working in highly diverse, impoverished communities and taught students who struggled academically and/or socially in a wide range of grades. Her work in the field also included several leadership roles in which she consistently demonstrated a high level of competence at leading innovative school reform efforts to improve student outcomes. Grant writing, aligning policy to implementation efforts, developing system-level action plans to implement MTSS, evaluating progress of implementation, providing high-quality professional development, and maintaining collaborative relationships were integral to this work. Serving in a variety of roles and across both general and education settings helped her to be particularly attuned to the unique perspectives of different stakeholders as they underwent the challenging process of change.
At AIR, Dr. Pierce is the project director for the New York State Education Department Personnel Professional Development project, and leads several small teams on the National Center for Intensive Intervention and the National Center for Systemic Improvement.
Ph.D., Special Education and B.A., English and Psychology, University of Washington; M.A.E., Teaching Certification, Pacific Lutheran University