Christina Theokas, Ph.D.
Vice President, Applied Science
Christina Theokas joined Turnaround for Children in 2018 and became the Vice President of Applied Science in 2019. In this role, she ensures science and data inform all program functions of the organization, including continuous improvement of Turnaround’s work in the field and the design and development of new tools and services.
Christina came to Turnaround from the National Center for Urban School Transformation, where she studied the teaching practices, systems and structures, and leadership of high-performing schools and worked with educators to implement those strategies in their schools. Before this, Christina was Chief Program Officer at Breakthrough Collaborative, a national out-of-school time provider, and spent eight years at The Education Trust as director of research. She studied opportunity gaps students of color and low-income students experience and how schools ameliorate those issues, improve and change the odds for students. Christina has also worked as a special education teacher, school psychologist, principal and conducted evaluations of district programs and initiatives to support continuous improvement. She is the co-author of two books, “Getting it Done: Leading Academic Success in Unexpected Schools” and “Five Practices for Improving the Success of Latino Students: A Guide for Secondary School Leaders.”
Christina holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Tufts University, an M.A. in school psychology from Mount Holyoke College and a B.A. in psychology and art from Colby College.
What book has influenced you most?
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel helped me think about the role purpose plays in our lives and how schools can be better organized to help children discover and pursue their passions.
What motivates you?
Being part of a team with diverse skills and perspectives that comes together around a mission to improve outcomes for ALL children and pursues it doggedly, learning along the way and constantly getting better.