Havala's research interests include student pathways through high school, college, and the workforce; educator career pathways; education systems and policies; and closing achievement and opportunity gaps. She contributes expertise in quantitative and mixed methods research and evaluation; increasing capacity for public education agencies to analyze data and use evidence to inform policy and program decisions; and bringing together education stakeholders to develop systems and expand the use of evidence-based practices that improve education for all students. Prior to joining Education Northwest, she worked as a senior research analyst at the Center for Education Policy Research, housed at Harvard University. She holds a doctorate in statistics and policy in education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a master’s degree in urban education policy from Brown University, and bachelors’ degrees in English and Spanish education from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater.
I started my career as a teacher in Milwaukee Public Schools. This early experience underscores my belief that transformative change begins in the classroom and in the communities schools serve. My goal as a researcher is to generate evidence that empowers educators to accelerate their capacity to prepare all students for 21st century challenges with policies and resources that achieve a robust and equitable education system.