Kenny Smith
Senior Consultant

Kenny brings close to two decades of experience in education systems transformation to Education First. As a member of the Outstanding Educators team, Kenny partners with school districts, state agencies and stakeholder organizations to develop and implement strategies that help to recruit, develop and retain the best educators. Kenny is passionate about talent management and empowering educators as change agents and leaders.

Kenny has spent his entire professional career working to ensure public education systems meet the needs of the children and families relying on them, and believes that all education systems are unique and have distinct challenges that require customized solutions. Before joining Education First, Kenny served as the Director of Partnerships in the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, where he was responsible for College-wide partnership development and outreach aimed at increasing the enrollment of and matriculation rates for students of color and women. Kenny’s professional experience also includes time at the Colorado Charter School Institute where he collaborated with school leaders and led continuous improvement planning efforts for its portfolio of schools. Kenny has also led large-scale policy implementation projects in Denver Public Schools and the Colorado Department of Education, supporting educator transitions to new standards, assessments and teacher evaluation systems. Kenny began his professional career in Chicago Public Schools, where he supported educators during the district’s No Child Left Behind audit.

A Chicago native, Kenny earned his B.A. in Sociology and M.Ed. in Education Policy from the University of Virginia and his M.B.A. from the University of Colorado Boulder. Kenny resides in Denver, CO and enjoys traveling, reading presidential biographies and watching sports in his spare time.

Kenny's expertise

  • Assessments for Learning & Accountability
  • Quality School Options & Governance
  • Strategy Development and Implementation Support
  • Communities of Practice & Working Groups
  • Educator & Stakeholder Engagement

Recent clients

  • Advance Illinois
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Joyce Foundation

Top Three Places Traveled

  • Berlin
  • Montreal
  • Four Corners Region in Colorado

Kenny likes

  • Returning to my alma mater, the University of Virginia

  • Spending time with my mom