Karen Weissinger is a Principal Consultant for MAYA, an Austin-based education consulting firm with a vision for excellent and equitable schools and inclusive communities that prepare all children and families for success in life. Karen believes this change takes a focus on and improvements in education at all levels – schools and school systems, cradle through career. Karen supports students across the country with her expertise as an educator and through her experience with high-performing school systems.
At MAYA Consulting, Karen works towards achieving educational equity by supporting school districts, non-profits, state education agencies and institutes of higher education. Karen excels in relationship-driven strategic planning and partnership facilitation. She prioritizes listening to clients to help them reimagine how to use community assets and set a clear vision with ambitious, attainable goals. She supports clients with planning and implementing system level changes and school improvement strategies through expert level project management, clear communication planning, and change management. Karen is passionate about supporting traditional school districts and community organizations to work together to expand access and quality starting with our youngest learners and to go further, faster.
Her most recent job prior to MAYA Consulting was as a founding elementary principal for IDEA Public Schools in Austin, TX. Karen began her career teaching middle school language arts in the South Bronx with Teach for America and in Brooklyn with Uncommon Schools. After teaching for several years in New York City and in her hometown of Memphis, TN, Karen became a school administrator with roles as a director of operations and assistant principal of curriculum and instruction. Karen’s teaching and school leadership experience spans early childhood through 8th grade and nearly all facets of school organization.
Karen lives in Memphis and is involved in MICAH’s education and equity taskforce. MICAH (Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope) is a coalition of community and faith-based organizations joining together to give a more powerful voice for issues of justice in her hometown. In her spare time, she fundraises for Memphis’s St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where proceeds go towards funding research and treatment for children fighting cancer from all 50 states and around the world. St. Jude, another organization that fights for equity, provides life-saving care for children, despite their family’s economic situation – no family ever receives a bill.
Karen graduated from the University of Mississippi Honors College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Minor in Business Administration. She earned a Master’s Degree in Teaching at Pace University in New York City. After work, Karen enjoys distance running along the Shelby Farms Greenline, a rails-to-trails project that transformed an unused railroad line into one of Tennessee’s favorite paved trails, and spending time with her children at the Children’s Museum of Memphis. Karen resides in Memphis, TN with her husband, Douglas, and two children, Beth and Wynn.