Jonathan G. Vander Els

Director of Innovative Projects

Jonathan G. Vander Els

Jonathan G. Vander Els is Director of Innovative Projects for NHli. In this role, Jonathan works directly in schools to support teachers and administrators as they integrate personalized approaches to learning in a competency-based system.

Formerly, Jonathan was principal of Memorial Elementary School in Sanborn Regional School District in New Hampshire. Under his leadership, Memorial became a nationally recognized model professional learning community (PLC) on All Things PLC ( and competency-based learning elementary school.  Jonathan is a Solution Tree PLC Associate and Author, and his book, Breaking With Tradition: The Shift to Competency-Based Learning in PLCs, co-written with Brian Stack, is scheduled for release in late September.

Jonathan has consulted, coached, and presented throughout the United States on building highly effective PLCs, implementing competency-based learning, and developing rigorous performance assessments. He is involved in the New Hampshire Performance Assessment of Competency Education, a first-of-its-kind accountability and assessment waiver granted by the U.S. Department of Education. Jonathan has also led the State of New Hampshire’s efforts around integrating skills and dispositions into classroom curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Jonathan has an education specialist degree from the University of New Hampshire in educational administration and supervision, a master’s in elementary education, a bachelor’s in history, and is certified as a superintendent, principal, and teacher. Jonathan is currently enrolled at the University of New Hampshire in their Ph. D. program.  Jonathan lives with his wife and three children on the New Hampshire Seacoast. You can follow Jon via Twitter @jvanderels.


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