thinkSchools, Podcast with Alex Hernandez!


thinkSchools, Podcast with Alex Hernandez!

Please listen to the podcast on Soundcloud or iTunes and leave a review!

thinkSchools is a new podcast with Alex Hernandez. It features amazing things happening in public education. Our co-founders were lucky to be featured in the first episode, "The HadaNou Collective and Passion-Fueled, Authentic Learning" (Ep. 1).

Here's a short description: "Meet Nathan Pai Schmitt and Wisdom Amouzou, co-founders of The HadaNõu Collective. They help kids find their passions, tackle big problems and impact their communities. Authentic, passion-driven learning at its best."


1:59 Helping kids discover their passions; Alondra's story.

3:58 Tackling big, real-world problems; Gabby's story.

7:07 Students taking their power; lessons in walking out of class.

12:41 On the new Street Knowledge center at Manual High School in Denver.

15:08 On overcoming failure; story about Carlos and his long 3 months.

20:13 The data HNC uses to support authentic learning.

22:25 Looking back 10 years from now.

Please help us launch Alex's podcast. Have a listen and leave a review!





WE'RE HIRING!! - Culture Guru, Founding Principal


WE'RE HIRING!! - Culture Guru, Founding Principal

Title: Culture Guru (a.k.a. Founding High School Principal)

Apply By: Rolling basis

Location: Denver Metro Area, CO

Your Mission: 100 years from now, schools might not exist. We don’t know what that future will look but we are certain our approach to Authentic Education is a pathway there. Your task is to bridge the gap between 2019 and 2119 by sustainably creating and leading a world-class school culture with a team of students, educators, community partners, and families. Imagine a school that partners with organizations and their industry experts to share a space and work with students to solve real communities' problems on a daily basis.

Who We Are: We are poets, foodies, barbershop singers, writers, consciousness junkies, activists, climbers, snowboarders, and pianists. We are also educators with a daring vision for systemic change. We have freedom, resources, and a workplace grounded in our wellness. In the last 12 months, we’ve secured funding, built a world-class team, deepened relationships with community stakeholders and were just named winner of a national Social Innovation Prize.

 Join us if the following questions scare but also excite you!

  • How do we spend 1.5 (PAID) years to refine our center-based school model grounded in Authentic Education prior to a Fall 2019 school opening with community stakeholders?

  • How do we create a sense of belonging for students, educators, families, and community partners?

  • How do we inspire, retain, and empower students, staff, and families to invest in school vision and to iterate our systems until we get it right?

  • How do we enforce discipline practices and policies that respect cultural differences and are grounded in the dignity of every student?

  • How do we create a “no-blame highly productive culture of data where teams own data and are grounded in searching for root causes and testing hypotheses”?

  • How do we courageously engage in difficult conversations with students, families educators and community partners to deepen quality of student learning and instructional experiences?

  • How do we create a culture of culturally-sensitive communication that leverages the strengths of linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity?

Skills & Mindsets:

  • Managerial experience in a school setting
  • Deep understanding of what it means to live as part of a marginalized group of people
  • Great relationship skills and high emotional intelligence
  • Thrives with an abundance of freedom

How to apply? Email a cover letter and resume to

Want to know more about us? - Head to our website or read through this one-pager.

Note: Our first priority in hiring is to create a diverse team of people (in life experience, age, race, gender, identity, etc.)


Mardale Jay, The Strength of Street Knowledge


Mardale Jay, The Strength of Street Knowledge

"You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge..."

This was the opening lyric smoothly delivered by Dr. Dre on N.W.A.'s hit track "Straight Outta Compton". The lyric was a promise realized by the group's authenticity and commitment to let their music bear witness to the truth of the streets they came from. 

Mardale Jay, a student founder of the Manual Writing Center, was a talented poet, rapper, artist, writer, coach, and leader with a revolutionary soul who let his words bear witness to our truths. Over this past weekend, he tragically passed away and left us with a priceless gift: a call to action. Transformation happens when we center our movements on the strength of street knowledge, the voices of those who are too often unheard. The voices of our educators, our families and our students. 

This year, we had the honor to hear the power of Mardale's voice. Watch this video to hear his vision for education and help us remember him for the leader he was.

A single person can make an impact. If you would like to help, Mardale's family needs financial support with the funeral arrangements, and support for this can be sent to Manual High School, Attn: Principal Dawkins, in care of Mardale Jay. Food baskets and food support is welcome and can be sent to 1612 Paris St. Apt. 308., Aurora, CO 80010.

We are working hard to figure out how our Collective can help ensure Mardale's legacy is crystallized and never forgotten. If you would like to help his legacy continue or have any ideas, please email us at

Mardale, Rest in Peace!