Heidi Guarino
Heidi is the daughter of public school teachers, and has spent her professional career in and around public education. She began her career as an education reporter for local and national media outlets, ending eventually at the Boston office of the Associated Press. Tired of the unpredictable schedule and long hours she left to manage the media relations for the Massachusetts Department of Education, planning to spend a year working in their press office before returning to journalism. One year turned to a decade as Heidi transitioned to manage the agency’s communications and eventually was named Chief of Staff. As a key member of the agency’s senior leadership team, she helped to write the state’s winning Race to the Top application, and worked closely with the Commissioner to develop, implement and communicate about all of the state’s major education initiatives.
In 2011 Heidi left the state agency to join Education First, a national education consulting group, where she has worked on and managed a wide array of projects focused on the implementation of core reforms and stakeholder engagement and communications. Her clients have included the U.S. Department of Education’s Reform Support Network, the Core to College Learning Network, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Harvard’s Strategic Data Project. She also briefly worked with the Salem Public Schools, leading the district’s Middle School Success Initiative, and helping to organize and plan for community forums related to Salem’s turnaround efforts.
Heidi earned her bachelor’s degree in professional writing from Emerson College in Boston. She and her husband Dave live in downtown Salem with their two boys. They are active members of the community and can often be found biking through town, eating popcorn at the Willows, standing in line for breakfast at Red’s and walking their dog at the Common.