Margo Roen
Principal

Margo Roen is Education First’s Principal of Innovative Systems and Schools, where she works with school districts, state education agencies, foundations, researchers, and nonprofits across the country to create conditions where innovations to solve systemic issues of inequity can flourish. Her current portfolio of work includes supporting SEAs and LEAs across the country, including supporting the Texas Education Agency’s System of Great Schools Network and multiple districts within that network through a Chief Innovation Officer Bootcamp;  coaching SEAs/CMOs through an Equity by Design approach to innovate in state assessment; and developing a district Chief Innovation Officer Toolkit in partnership with The Broad Foundation and NewSchools Venture Fund. Prior to this role, Margo was a founding member of Tennessee’s Achievement School District, where she started the organization’s new schools work and grew to oversee the strategy, policy, and portfolio management functions as the Deputy Superintendent. She has sixteen years of experience in public education, with an eye on equity and impact for kids and families. Her background includes working as an educator at the school (charter and traditional), city, and state level; as a teacher, administrator, and policy maker; and in Memphis, where she lives, and across the country. Margo holds a masters of public policy from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University and undergraduate degrees from Tulane University. She serves on boards of multiple nonprofit boards, including as Vice Chair of The Memphis Lift.

Margo has nearly fifteen years of experience thoughtfully and comprehensively supporting and advancing public education with an eye on equity and impact for kids and families. Her background includes working as an educator at the school (charter and traditional), city, and state level; as a teacher, administrator, strategic planner, and policy maker; and in Memphis, where she lives, and across the country. Margo taught in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina, and returned to the city within a month of the storm to help in the rebuilding efforts before returning to teach and lead in a school. This experience gave her indelible insights into how systems – and in particular government systems – can protect or leave behind its citizens, especially those that are most vulnerable. Margo cares deeply about work focused to decrease systemic inequities, and has spent her career working to ensure students and families of all races and income levels have the opportunities available to them to let them thrive.

Margo holds a masters of public policy from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University and undergraduate degrees from Tulane University in business, dance, and arts administration. She also is an alum of Leadership Memphis’ Executive Program and Teach For America, and serves on boards for multiple education-focused organizations.

Margo's expertise

  • Quality School Options & Governance
  • Capacity Building & Sustainability
  • Strategy Development and Implementation Support
  • Communities of Practice & Working Groups
  • Results - Driven Meetings & Facilitations

Recent clients

  • Texas Education Agency
  • The Memphis Lift
  • Center on Reinventing Public Education

Margo likes


  • Hiking with my family in the Smokies

  • Catching up with a former student at Mardi Gras