The Stepwell team values the hard work of teachers; long hours, paperwork, and managing active classrooms don’t make for an easy day. Three members of the Stepwell team previously taught in public schools, and draw from their experiences as they contribute to the software’s creation.
Andrew Henry, the founder of the company behind Stepwell, worked as a high school English teacher and district technology coordinator for ten years. He participated in IEP meetings, but found that he didn’t have an overall understanding of special education requirements or how the district was or was not meeting them. As a user of educational applications designed for teachers and administrators, he understands that software needs to be clear and easy to use; an educator’s time is limited and valuable. In creating Stepwell, Andrew has made sure that actionable items take the place of notifications, and tasks are backed up by to-the-point instruction and explanations of how they contribute to IDEA parts B and C compliance.
Before working as a state administrator, our design director, Dr. Meg Ropp, was a K-12 art teacher for three years. During this time she had special education students in her classroom, and participated in many IEP meetings. She was also an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico teaching technology in education courses and conducting research on data visualization in education. She later taught professional development courses in educational technology for superintendents and principals.
Meg understands what busy classroom teachers need to be successful. She knows that teachers need to look at the bigger picture and plan for the future, and believes that mistakes are an opportunity for improvement. When she designs data visualization, she aims for the reports and graphs generated in Stepwell to quickly provide teachers with the information they need to know in order to move forward. After experiencing the stimulating teaching environment, Meg has designed the Stepwell interface to be an uncluttered, inviting, and straightforward place to complete work without distractions.
Finally, Eric Isham, who has performed project management work for Stepwell, taught high school math for three years. During this time, he participated in many IEP meetings as the students’ general education teacher. He knew that all students can learn, if given the opportunity. If teachers, parents, and the community work closely and hard enough with students, they will achieve success. However, he also found that in order to give so many students the attention they need within the limited time constraints of parents, teachers, and administrators, the process of managing paperwork, deadlines, records, and data needs to be streamlined. As a project manager, Eric is integral to maintaining Stepwell as a dependable software that focuses on efficiency and security. Now as a member of a local school board, he is driven to think creatively about how schools can fulfill educational demands, from policy to execution.
The entire Stepwell team learns from the varied experiences of our former teachers each day. We respect teachers’ valuable time and skills, and consider them during every decision. With built-in organization, plan-building, and comprehensive reports, Stepwell makes IDEA Parts B and C compliance easier for teachers.