Helayne Jones Named Chair of the Throughline Learning Board

Helayne Jones Named Board Chair

January evokes thoughts of fresh starts, new chapters, and resolutions. At Throughline Learning, this month marks the transition of Helayne Jones into the role of Board Chair as we launch our very first independent governing board. We are thrilled to make this announcement. Helayne has been a friend, advisor, and board member supporting the Throughline Learning team for nearly 10 years.

Helayne first met Throughline Learning’s Executive Director Shawn Rubin in 2015, when she added the Fuse RI Fellowship to her portfolio as a Gates program officer. In 2018, when Throughline Learning (then Highlander Institute) was accepted into the New Profit personalized learning cohort, Shawn immediately knew that Helayne would be his perfect mentor through the project consultancy. Over that period, Shawn credits Helayne with helping him see himself as an Executive Director and providing him the confidence to step into the role in 2021.

Helayne’s non-profit acumen, deep commitment to systems change, and underlying vision of improved outcomes for all students can be best described through the words of her colleagues over the years.

Tackling New Frontiers

“Helayne is hands down the person you want by your side when you are tackling new frontiers. I watched her lean in with personalized learning and counsel numerous nonprofits, helping them strengthen their boards. I have personally benefited from Helayne’s expertise when I was developing our team’s R&D strategy. And besides all the great business and nonprofit expertise Helayne has, she is also a fabulous human being. I always feel lucky when I get a chance to catch up with Helayne.”

— Karen Johnson, Program Director, Customizations (Zearn)

A Skilled Non-Profit & Funder Intermediary

“Helayne is the best! We came together with the team at New Profit to build a fund to support organizations in the personalized learning space. This was a wide-open field, and everyone had different ideas about how we could work together to drive impact. Helayne brought such a unique perspective, deftly navigating multiple moving parts, challenging my thinking while also supporting me as we worked together. Her ability to think and communicate at three different levels simultaneously enabled us to create and support a cohort of amazing organizations. I learned so much from Helayne that year, and it made me a better a funder and nonprofit CEO.”

— Jon Deane, CEO (GreatSchools)

“From my very first conversation with Helayne, I knew she was the right program officer for our implementation-focused organization. Helayne is a non-profit leader at heart. She understood our challenges as organization leaders with big ideas and a deep need for funding in order to execute. In almost no time, Helayne understood our project model, saw its value, and was able to bolster our confidence to carry out this vision.”

— Shawn Rubin, Executive Director (Throughline Learning)

Collaborative, Caring Spirit

“Working with Helayne is a joy! I learned so much from her deep expertise and commitment to education and her wisdom about leadership and organizations. She brings a collaborative, caring spirit and a contagious laugh and sense of humor to everything she does. And together we had great fun while supporting [Highlander Institute] through a significant period of transition. I'm so excited for what her board leadership will mean for the next chapter of Throughline Learning.”

— Elizabeth Riker, Senior Partner (New Profit)

Passing the Torch

Thank You Joseph South

“Helayne is exactly who you want to have at the table leading a dynamic non-profit board. She quickly grasps the core issues, provides insights from her deep experience, honors a diversity of perspectives, and is always willing to roll up her sleeves and do the work.”

— Joseph South, Chief Innovation Officer (ISTE)

& Outgoing Throughline Learning Board Chair 

We would be remiss if we did not take the opportunity to extend our deepest gratitude to Joseph South, who chaired our board from December 2021 to September 2023. Joseph provided incredible leadership to our team through a critical time — navigating the pandemic, the evolution of our Culturally Responsive School Change model, and our organizational rebrand.

As Joseph captures in his quote, Helayne is the perfect leader to guide Throughline Learning through its next phase of growth and expansion. Please join us as we congratulate Helayne Jones!

Helayne Jones is an innovative education strategist with expertise in personalized learning, scaling and sustaining nonprofits, and executive leadership. She previously served as a Senior Strategy Advisor to New Profit, a national venture philanthropy fund; as Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation developing and implementing the Innovation & Personalized Learning strategy; and as President & CEO of the Colorado Education Initiative.

Helayne’s consulting experience has focused on systems change across for-profits, nonprofits, school districts, and education foundations, resulting in improved student outcomes for all students. She also has extensive experience facilitating strategic planning, board governance and communications, and managing the impact of change. She currently serves on the national boards of Throughline Learning, The Learning Accelerator, InnovateEDU, and the Keystone Policy Center. She received her doctoral degree in educational administration from the Columbia University Teachers College with an emphasis on school reform; a master’s in English from the University of Massachusetts; and a bachelor’s, honors college, from the University of Michigan.