School’s out! Get caught up on our year so far and stay connected.

School’s out! Get caught up on our year so far and stay connected.
July 20, 2021

Greetings, friends and colleagues,

Happy New year! At World Savvy, July 1st marks the beginning of a new fiscal year, and — this year in particular — the end of a year of unprecedented ambiguity and change. As we reflect on a year like no other, we’re profoundly grateful for our community, and the partners and supporters who helped to make this one of our most impactful years despite the upheaval in the world around us.

And now we are beginning to look ahead – to new opportunities to convene and collaborate with school and district partners in the year ahead, with fresh hope for a year that is not a return to the “old normal” — but a reimagined and reinvigorated model for learning that is relevant, inclusive and grounded in cultural and global competence. We have been consistently inspired by educators and school leaders who used this last year as a chance to deeply examine “business as usual” and leverage the year of constant change to build a different approach. Their optimism, creativity and resilience has powered this movement over the last year.

This fall, we’ll launch work with new partners across Minnesota, California, Massachusetts, and more — and globally. We’ve grown our portfolio of school partners 5x since last year, and dramatically expanded our work with long standing partners like Minneapolis Public Schools. We’ve also welcomed new partners from Nebraska, Indiana, and beyond. This update shares some insight into some of the amazing work underway across the country.

With growth, our team has changed and expanded as well. Our Chief Program Officer of 2 years, Susan Tennyson, retired on June 30th. We are so deeply grateful to Susan for her leadership, vision and mission-driven commitment to this work and our team. In her tenure she helped to advance so many of the innovative programs and partnerships that are now thriving, and she leaves a powerful legacy behind. I’m excited to share that Mallory Tuomenin has stepped into the Chief Program Officer role, after more than 5 years of leadership as World Savvy’s Director of Professional Learning; we are all thrilled to have her in this role and eagerly anticipate the amazing work to come under her leadership. In the last year, our team has expanded across every region and area of our work. We look forward to opportunities to introduce you to this growing team in the coming months!

As we look out at the challenges before us as a global community — from the climate crisis to global health to poverty and economic insecurity — World Savvy’s work is more urgent than ever before. We have an opportunity, together, to re-imagine a K12 education system that actually prepares graduates to thrive as problem solvers and change agents ready to not only tackle these global challenges, but contribute to more peaceful, inclusive and sustainable communities at home.

We’ve got exciting things ahead, and invite you to join us at an upcoming event, like the Changemaker Series with Amanda Ripley on June 28th. And follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn to stay informed of upcoming opportunities to engage with World Savvy. And stay tuned for an exciting announcement regarding our strategic growth campaign toward our bold vision for continued growth and impact — we hope you’ll join us!

We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner with you in this movement. Thank you for all you do to support us.

In solidarity,

Dana Mortenson
Co-Founder + CEO

At World Savvy, we know that our work has never been more urgent, nor has the demand for it ever been so high. In order to meet this moment, our team is growing! Meet the newest World Savvy staff members below, and keep an eye on our Work With Us page for new job listings coming soon!

KK Neimann joins World Savvy as our new Director of Professional Learning. Prior to coming to World Savvy, KK spent 9 years at the Blake School in Minneapolis where she designed and implemented a Humanities program for 6th graders that blended reading, writing, and inquiry with the goal of building students’ global competence.

Molly Carina Dengler is returning after 20 years of learning and serving in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, Argentina and Germany. She is thrilled to join World Savvy as our new Professional Learning Facilitator and continue to confront educational inequity after serving as the Assistant Principal of Student Services of a north Minneapolis public charter school over the past year.

Whitney McKinley joins World Savvy as our new Professional Learning Facilitator with 14 years of experience as a teacher, instructional coach, and assistant principal. Her deep belief in education as a foundation of a socially just society drives her work and she looks forward to bringing that excitement to her work at World Savvy.

Jaclyn Swords joins World Savvy as our Director of Communications and Marketing, where she leads the development and execution of the organization’s strategic marketing and communications work. Jaclyn has over 10 years of experience working in K-12 education where she developed and led strategic marketing and communications plans for Eden Prairie Schools, Bloomington Public Schools, and the nonprofit Youth Frontiers.

Interested in a comprehensive school partnership to support your educators and school leaders to deeply integrate global competence into teaching, learning, and school culture?

Our multi-year partnerships are designed collaboratively with school leaders to align with each school’s strategic goals. Learn more about the program elements of a school partnership here!

The last year has been one of many challenges, yet also one of many successes. The World Savvy Program Team worked to be supportive and responsive to our school partners and educators as the demands they faced shifted throughout the year. Over the course of the 2020-2021 school year we served 561 educators and reached 59,700 students across the country. As we begin to look forward to the 2021-2022 school year, we take a moment to look back at just a few of the many highlights from the past year.

Norwood Public Schools Partnership
Last July, we kicked off a cohort based learning model with educators from Norwood Public Schools in Norwood, MA. As a result of the partnership, 100% of educators increased their understanding of global competence and ability to integrate it into their teaching practice. A second learning cohort kicks off work this July!

NSTA Connected Science Learning
Our team authored three briefs for the National Science Teachers Association online publication Connected Science Learning. Contributing to the Design Thinking issue, program team members wrote briefs on the importance of building empathy through design thinking, prototyping to build resiliency and a focus on action taking. Read more here.

Crash Test World Screenings
In partnership with EXPLR Media, we hosted a special screening of Crash Test World, Episode 2: “How do we build peaceful communities?” (Israel). A Q+A with Jenny Buccos (Series Creator & Executive Producer) and Kari Byron (Series Presenter) following the screening generated a great dialogue around what we can learn from Israelis and Palenstinians about building peace.

SXSWedu – Teaching the UNs Sustainable Development Goals
In March we presented a session at SXSWedu, Teaching the UNs Sustainable Development Goals, for a global audience of over 100 participants. Thought provoking discussions were had about the role the SDGs have in education across the globe, and how students can be leading the charge to achieving them. You can find case study resources and more to teach the SDGs in your classroom on our Resources page.

Jefferson Global Studies and Humanities Magnet Partnership
Over the course of the spring and fully launching in June, we began a three year partnership with Jefferson Global Studies and Humanities Magnet School in Minneapolis, MN to support their transition to a global studies focus under the Comprehensive District Design. A June workshop with the whole school introduced Global Competence in more detail and launched a middle school cohort to begin more deeply embedding World Savvy’s approach into their upcoming units.

Eliza bay area

“Wow, what a year for all of us! During this incredibly challenging year, we were able to serve educators across California with our new online programming, and over 50% of those educators were from the Bay Area. We met educators where they were, and helped them support their students through these unprecedented times. As I reflect on the past year, I am filled with pride for our work, for our community, and for what lies ahead for World Savvy in the Bay Area.

World Savvy is entering a phase of incredible organizational growth, and with both feelings of nostalgia and excitement I am thrilled to share that over the next 6 months I will be transitioning out of the Bay Area Executive Director role, and into a National Strategic Projects role at World Savvy. In the meantime, I will be focused on leading the Bay Area region and supporting the hiring and onboarding of a new Executive Director on the west coast to ensure we are positioned well for an incredibly successful year in the Bay, greater California, and beyond.

The opportunity I have to grow professionally within World Savvy is just a small example of this exciting juncture for World Savvy. Over these next few months you can expect to hear from me on updates related to the Bay and the eventual announcement of our new Executive Director!

Keep your eyes and ears open for the posting of the Executive Director role, and if you know anyone who could be a good fit, please encourage them to apply!”

– Eliza Skinner O’Meara, Bay Area Executive Director

“My first six months at World Savvy have been so exciting! From engaging with incredible educators, learning from student leaders, and connecting with our passionate supporters, I am grateful to be leading this work to reimagine education in Minnesota. I’m proud of what our program staff accomplished over the last year in partnership with educators under challenging circumstances. And with conscientious growth plans in place – adding staff, strategic partnerships, and so much more – World Savvy will rise to meet whatever lies ahead. I’m so glad you’re on this journey with us!”

– Andrea Satter, Minnesota Executive Director

Announcing our new Changemakers Series!

This year, in an engaging series of online events, we’re highlighting changemakers and thought leaders across sectors who share our vision for a more equitable, just, and sustainable global community. And our first event kicks off later this month! Will you join us? Join journalist and author Amanda Ripley as she sits down with World Savvy’s Dana Mortenson to discuss conflict, empathy, collaboration across difference, and how we can create a more peaceful, multicultural world. Register here!

Here’s a look at some of the books, articles, films, and other resources World Savvy staff have been inspired by recently. We’d love to hear your suggestions, too – connect with us on social media and let us know what you’re learning!

What Does Justice Look Like? The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland
by Waziyatawin
This book explores how we can embark on a path of transformation on the way to respectful coexistence with those whose ancestral homeland this is. Doing justice is central to this process. Without justice, many Dakota say, healing and transformation on both sides cannot occur, and good, authentic relations cannot develop between our Peoples.

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot
by Mikki Kendall
In her searing collection of essays, Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement, arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women. She provides concrete actions based on examples including food security, education, housing, medical care and more for white feminists who want to go beyond performative allyship and truly step into solidarity and being our sister’s keeper.

Share these upcoming opportunities and resources with the educators in your life!

World Savvy Partnerships

We partner with schools to build inclusive, adaptive, future-ready learning environments. Our multi-year partnerships are designed collaboratively with school leaders to align with each school’s strategic vision and goals.

Online Learning Opportunities

World Savvy offers professional learning that introduces key elements of our educational approach and effective principles from our work in the field, hosted by our staff, consultants, and partner educators.


Through a partnership with Digital Promise, we offer Global Competence Micro-credentials, which allow educators to demonstrate mastery of a range of skills to promote global competence within the K-12 learner experience.

Discover new professional learning opportunities!

Explore new approaches to project-based learning and culturally responsive pedagogy that create engaging, equitable, and student-centered classrooms. Click here to learn more and register!

Thank you to our generous Spring 2021 events sponsors!

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