Jonathan Vander Els

Jonathan VanderEls is the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Learning Initiative (NHLI). NHLI serves as a catalyst for innovation in NH’s education system and schools. NHLI oversees the efforts and supports the scaling of the important work in New Hampshire as we move toward a fully integrated, competency-based PreK-20 system that supports all students, families, and educators.

Prior to becoming the Executive Director of NHLI, Jonathan served as the principal of Memorial Elementary School in the Sanborn Regional School District in New Hampshire. Hired by the district in 1999 as a fifth-grade teacher, he assumed the role of assistant principal and special education coordinator in 2005 and became principal in 2008. Under his leadership, Memorial Elementary School became a nationally recognized model professional learning community.

Jonathan has presented at numerous local, state, and national conferences on PLCs, competency-based education, teacher leadership, and assessment. He is actively involved in the New Hampshire Performance Assessment of Competency Education initiative and is a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, New Hampshire Association of School Principals, and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Jonathan earned a bachelor’s degree in history, a master’s degree in elementary education, and a specialist degree in educational administration and supervision from the University of New Hampshire. He holds elementary education, principal, and superintendent certification in New Hampshire.