About Us

About Center X Northeast

Philosophy & Vision

Years of extensive, nationwide research into the best practices of education have led Center X Northeast to develop a set of fundamental beliefs about educational reform and leadership development around a critical question: How can we surface the beliefs and practices that result in high achievement for all students and build on these beliefs and practices to create a school culture and educational system which ensures high achievement for every child?

Our team of professionals include school/district experienced faculty members and University staff with proven skills and established track records in facilitating and managing large-scale, multi-year, multi-layer school transformations.


Strategic Advantages

Center X Northeast has identified the following strategic advantages to its efforts in supporting the sustainable transformation of public schools into learner-centered organizations where all students can achieve at high levels:

Center X Northeast is affiliated with the graduate school of education.
  • UCLA combines the expertise of education and researchers in the development and delivery of its programs.
Center X Northeast addresses school- and district-level change.
  • Center X Northeast develops effective programs that address the needs of individuals, schools, district offices, and the broader community.  This systemic scope increases the likelihood that improvements will be sustained over time.
Center X Northeast has a highly experienced team of school coaches and facilitators.
  • Members of Center X Northeast’s faculty have significant, first-hand experience in education as teachers and administrators.  Center X Northeast faculty are not hired as consultants, but as partners in order to provide optimal support to Center X Northeast’s client schools and districts.
Center X Northeast conducts ongoing research on school effectiveness.
  • Center X Northeast is unique in attaching ongoing academic research to its programs, the results of which allow Center X Northeast to help schools increase student achievement.
Center X Northeast works with all school stakeholders to build a broad leadership base.
  • Center X Northeast recognizes that a school community includes parents, classified staff, and community members, in addition to teachers, principals, and district staff. All of these stakeholders have a significant impact on the school environment, and Center X NER’s attention to them gives its programs a distinct advantage.


Laureen Avery, Director NER Office

Ms. Avery is the Director of the Northeast Regional Office of Center X. She provides technical assistance, training, research, evaluation and contractual services to public school districts in New England, with a focus on providing support for low-performing, high-poverty schools. In addition, Avery oversees administration and new business development opportunities. Ms. Avery was formerly the Assistant Director, Educational Leadership, at The Education Alliance Brown University. Avery has co-authored “Breaking Through to Effective Teaching” as well as numerous articles and short publications. She holds an M.A. from Rhode Island College and a B.S. from Cornell University.

Jason Cervone, Evaluation Specialist

Dr. Jason Cervone is the Project Director for UCLA Center X’s Project ExcEL Leadership Academy. He has over a decade of experience in public education as a researcher, advisor, and evaluator, focusing on improving instruction for English Learners.  Jason received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth.  Additional educational credits include an M.Ed. in Learning and Instruction with a specialization in English Language Learning at Northeastern University in Boston, MA,  Certification in Evaluation Practice with the Evaluator’s Institute at George Washington University and a B.S. from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Juan López, Program Specialist

Dr. López, Ed.D., former Director, Educational Leadership, at The Education Alliance at Brown University, provides consultation, coaching and support for states, districts and schools related to leadership. He specializes in urban schools, particularly those facing the challenges of reforming and restructuring under NCLB. Dr. López most recently lead a multi-state research project, resulting in the publication of “Leadership Capacities for a Changing Environment: State and District Responses to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.” Prior to his tenure at Brown University, Dr. López served as the State Superintendent for Career and Technical Education in Connecticut, and has held the positions of teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent in his career of more than 40 years. Dr. López received his doctorate from the University of Bridgeport, and also holds both an M.S. and C.A.G.S. from Fairfield University.

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