“I loved having the opportunity to teach high school math through the perspective of engineering and computer science, because computers and technology are so important in our economy and our lives. Many students know how to use technology as a toy, but not so much as a tool. I believe that it’s crucial that our education system gives students the opportunity to enter careers in the tech sector which will be so important for our future.”
06’ – New York
Jesse Olsen, a 2006 alumnus and social entrepreneur from Portland, Oregon, taught high school math at Validus Preparatory in the Bronx, NY for five years. While teaching, he realized there was no way to accurately track attendance at the high school level. He used his frustration and expertise to create a solution- an online system that today, is tracking not only attendance, but also grades and behavior, class by class. The University of Portland grad became a software engineer who began with “souped-up” Excel spreadsheets, and eventually founded JumpRope.
JumpRope helps educators implement standards-based grading in every classroom through innovative assessment and feedback. Jesse is the brains behind the organization; with the combination of his teaching experience and his knack for coding, JumpRope is involved with the movement to provide kids in low-income communities an excellent education. The company provides the web-based tools needed to implement progressive teaching practices that allow teachers to create, propel, and inspire students to become life-long learners. He remains the chief academic officer, chief product officer, developer, and general pain-in-the-butt around the office. (Don’t believe us? Read his bio here.)
“Most grading tools are designed as simple accountability systems,” says Olsen. “Being at Validus and participating in the amazing work being done there inspired me to create a better way to reflect the day-to-day accomplishments of the school.” Jesse loves that he has been able to bring his expertise in teaching and school systems to so many through the web applications and professional development that his company offers. For more information about him and JumpRope, please click here.