About us

The EDUCATION NEUROSCIENCE FOUNDATION INC.  was founded in 2014 to establish an education neuroscience demonstration school where researchers, educators and families, together, implement a new approach to ‘teaching and learning’ based on a Theory–to- Practice Public School model.

The Education Neuroscience Foundation’ mission is to transform 21st century education, globally, by teaching according to how the brain learns, processes information and acquires knowledge. The goal is to provide each student with the highest quality education according to the newest 21st century Learning Theory, Connectivism, integrated with current evidence-based research, and education neuroscience. The school features a holistic approach to education within the context of the family, community and a developmentally appropriate education environment.

Since 2002, a new field of Education Neuroscience has developed in response to innovative, non-invasive technology and scientific methods that allow cognitive/brain researchers to study brain function and processing with a specific focus on how typical learners from newborns to seniors.  Recently published findings, from education neuroscientists, challenge long-held theories and assumptions about how students learn. This new empirical information impacts instruction and will revolutionize how education is delivered worldwide.

Blooming axons: this image comes from the hippocampus, a region of the brain important for learning and memory. Image by Iris Wang 

Although many Education Neuroscience researchers have collaborative working relationships with teachers, schools and districts where new research-based methods are tested and often adapted to a typical classroom environment, to date, there is not a free-standing Education Neuroscience Demonstration Public School solely dedicated to the development and application of a 21st Century scientific evidence-based Education Theory-to- Practice Model.

ENF’s Board of Directors consists of visionary members with nationally renowned professional expertise in Education Design, Legal Analysis, Marketing and Public Relations, Fundraising, Sustainable Foundation Development, Collaborative Organizational and Community Development and Designing Education Systems from Concept to Practical Application.

The Education Neuroscience Foundation includes Advisory Board members, nationally recognized for their work in real estate acquisition, award-winning education architectural design, evidence-based education research, neuroscience, filmmaking, visionary educators and the Father of the 21st Century Learning Theory: Connectivism, Dr George Siemens.

The Vision of The Education Neuroscience Foundation and Demonstration School was spearheaded by co-founders Kathleen Leos and Lisa Saavedra in 2014 after years of analyzing education neuroscience research and realizing that current education systems are not organized to deliver ‘teaching and learning’ to ALL students according to the way the Brain processes information and thinks!

20 years working with education researchers, teachers, parents and students convinced us, it’s time to begin a New Journey!

Kathleen Leos is the Co-Founder of The Education Neuroscience Foundation Inc.

Prior to establishing this new endeavor, Ms. Leos served six year (2002-2007) presidential appointment as the Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director to the US Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) established by Congress in the 2002 No Child Left Behind-Title III legislation.

In that position, Ms. Leos served as principal advisor to the U.S. Secretaries of Education, Dr. Rod Paige and Margaret Spellings, on all matters related to EL students, developing regulations, policies and procedures to create a national education and accountability infrastructure in 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico for the 5.5 million Limited English Proficient students who grace America’s classrooms K-12. The six- year effort included assisting states in developing: new English language proficiency standards, aligned ELP assessments, research-based instructional strategies and parent-community partnerships.  The goal was to redesign education systems that include ELs in state accountability systems for the first time in the history of US K-12 public schools.

Ms. Leos’ energetic approach to her work comes from her belief that “Each student that crosses the threshold of any one of America’s schools deserves the best education this country has to offer. This is every educator’s responsibility and every student’s civil right.” As Co-Founder of ENF, she continues this vision, mission and commitment by ensuring that the individuals who are the key to EL and ALL learners’ academic success have the information and instructional tools necessary to transform education for every student.

“Each student that crosses the threshold of any one of America’s schools deserves the best education this country has to offer. This is every educator’s responsibility and every student’s civil right.”

— Kathleen Leos, Co-Founder

Kathleen Leos
President and Founder

Lisa C. Saavedra

Lisa C. Saavedra is the Co-Founder of the Education Neuroscience Foundation Inc.

Prior to establishing ENF, Ms. Saavedra was the Bureau Chief for the Bureau of Academic Achievement through Language Acquisition for the Florida Department of Education. Ms. Saavedra has dedicated her professional career to the field of education: ensuring the language and literacy development and high academic achievement of English/Dual Multiple language learners and ALL students for more than 25 years.

In her position as Bureau Chief, Ms. Saavedra served as educational expert to the Florida Department of Education on all matters related to education of Els and all underserved students. Her responsibilities included development of legislation and rules for the state governance and the legislative process.

Ms. Saavedra provided leadership to all 74 Florida school districts in the development of comprehensive plans for instructional services to the 300,000 ELLs in the state. She wrote technical assistance papers used by Florida education experts to interpret rules and regulations, and implement educational policy. She delivered more than a thousand workshops, training sessions and presentations to district and school l personnel on the development and implementation of a uniform statewide system for identification and assessment of ELs; developed data collection and reporting procedures; provision of equal access to students; and initiated effective implementation of research-based instructional models and content-based instructional strategies for teachers.

Ms. Saavedra has also presented at numerous national conferences on topics such as designing data collection and analysis systems; assessment of English learners; accommodations for English learners on content assessment; effective implementation of research based instructional models; alignment of language proficiency standards and content standards; and systems reform efforts based on data-driven decision-making and achievement gap analysis. She also served as an active member on the NAEP assessment Task Force committee to ensure equal access for Els on all NAEP assessments.

Ms. Saavedra’s unwavering commitment to ensuring equal access and academic achievement for ELs is founded on her belief in the three A’s of education: accountability: Academic Achievement for All. As Co-Founder of ENF, Ms. Saavedra continues this mission and commitment by sharing her expertise and promoting the transformation of education systems through education neuroscience and evidence-based research targeting access to achievement for ALL Learners, from early childhood to post-secondary education in states, districts, schools and communities across the nation.

The Education Neuroscience Foundation Inc.

  • Board Members
  • Noel Izon
  • Kathryn McCartney
  • Laura Cooper Roach
  • Lisa Saavedra
  • Paul Vargas
  • Kathleen Leos
This website is dedicated to Travis Baggett of travisdesigns, family, friend and professional colleague. Travis journeyed with us for 10 years to establish two innovative education companies, The Global Institute LLC and The Education Neuroscience Foundation Inc. The companies’ founders and its partners are eternally grateful for his time, talent and gifts, he continually contributed to our effort. Thank you!
Kathleen and Lisa