About Us

TRANSFORMING TEACHING & LEARNING

We empower educators to bring innovative practices to their classrooms to motivate, challenge, and inspire the diverse learners and leaders of the future.

We’ve brought together some of the most talented and experienced professionals with extensive backgrounds in the educational and corporate spheres with the goal of improving education in our communities. Our state-of-the-art facility serves as an instructional space as well as a laboratory for exploration and learning.

Over 25,000 teachers and countless students have benefitted from KCI programs.

Our Mission

To advance leadership and transform teaching by providing innovative professional learning that inspires students to be lifelong learners.

FAME Teachers ISSD Project
We Innovate

Discovering new ways to capture the imagination of students and increase their engagement and creativity is critical for a successful educational experience.

MERIT Program group
We Educate

Introducing teachers and students to new technology and cutting-edge curriculum helps prepare students to meet the challenges of an ever-changing global economy.

MERIT Program
We Empower

Professional learning at KCI is not limited to acquiring new skills and technology. It includes building the confidence and gaining the inspiration to transform one’s teaching practices.

Our Team

The KCI has brought together some of the most talented and experienced professionals with extensive backgrounds in the educational and corporate spheres with the goal of improving education in our communities.

  • Gay Krause

    Gay Krause

    Executive Director
    Room 4003
    650-949-7113 phone
    650-949-7190 fax
    Executive director, Gay Krause, founded the KCI in July 1998. Gay was responsible for developing and implementing the initial vision to serve K-14 educators in professional development activities. She also led the effort to restore the former Space Science Museum into a fully equipped technology facility to serve K-14 educators, Foothill students, and the community. The KCI is available for professional development activities 24/7 both in-house and on-line throughout the state of California. Prior to July 1998, Gay was a principal of both elementary and middle schools in the Mountain View Whisman School District. Gay served as teacher, middle school counselor, assistant principal and principal for 10 years. Gay received her B.S. degree from The Pennsylvania State University in education and special education, her M.S. degree from the University of Virginia in counseling psychology, and a credential in administrative leadership from San Jose State University and San Francisco University.
  • Jen Gibson

    Jen Gibson

    Director of Strategy & Marketing
    805-264-3642 phone
    Jen joined the KCI team as Director of Strategy & Marketing in 2023. In this role, she will support the storytelling and promotion of the KCI across the state of California and beyond. She brings her love of education and background in business and marketing to the position. Before joining, she worked as an education consultant with the KCI as a client for 2 ½ years, along with other non-profits and edtech organizations. She supported her clients with education strategy, digital badging, business development,  adult learning, and content marketing.     Her background began in public affairs working for the Orange County Register Newspaper in marketing just after graduation. She then returned to school to get her teaching credential and master's in education.  She served in public education for 17 years (combined) as a teacher, adjunct faculty member (Chapman University), TOSA, and curriculum coordinator.  After that, Jen worked as an executive for edtech companies Lesson Planet and ABC-Clio. She received her B.A. in International Politics from Cal Poly Humboldt, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Chapman University, an M.S. in Education from Grand Canyon University, and a Business Certificate in Marketing from UCLA.
  • Kas Periera

    Kas Periera

    Teacher in Residence
    Room 4016
    650-949-7319 phone
    Kas is the current Teacher in Residence at the KCI. She is in charge of curriculum development, course management, and instruction. She is also the Director of the KCI’s Makerspace and Makerspace programs. Kas has long been a KCI affiliate, being a 2012 MERIT Fellow, the miniMERIT Program Director for several years, and a guest instructor in many programs. Most recently, she has been an adjunct faculty member for Foothill and a Lead Maker in the KCI’s Makerspace before stepping into her current role. Kas comes to the KCI from a background of sixteen years teaching high school, the last twelve in the East Side Union High School District in San Jose. As a teacher of Film, Media, and English, she has run the Yearbook along with a daily broadcast television show for several years. Kas has also served as the WASC Coordinator, the Professional Development Coordinator, and a Department Chair at her school site. Most recently, she was one of the co-founders and the Director of the Quicksilver Innovation Program (QuIP), a small learning community for freshmen and sophomores that focuses on cross-curricular and project-based learning. Kas has a B.A. in Literature from UC Santa Cruz, an M.A. in Educational Best Practices and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from San Jose State University, as well as an administrative credential, and a single subject teaching credential in English with a supplementary authorization in Graphic Arts.
  • Justin Sewell

    Justin Sewell

    Director of Partnerships & Programs
    Room 4015
    650-949-7010 phone
    Justin Sewell has joined KCI as the Director of Partnerships & Programs. He graduated from Salisbury University with a B.S. degree in Molecular Biology and he received an M.S. degree in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. After working in a DNA diagnostics laboratory, Justin transitioned to education. He student taught in Vermont and then spent the majority of his teaching career in Baltimore County where he taught Chemistry and Biology and held a department chair position at two high schools. He brought his passion for technology, science, and education to the Silicon Valley Education Foundation where he was responsible for a variety of projects including the development of a middle school computer science course, observing and writing an ethnographic study on 7th grade math edtech products, and working with other nonprofits, companies, districts, and government offices to improve STEM education in the Bay Area.
  • Lisa Tannert

    Lisa Tannert

    Administrative Assistant
    Lisa joined the KCI Team in 2023 as the Administrative Assistant. She oversees day-to-day operations and supports programs, workshops, participants, and the team. She is a published writer with years of administrative, accounting, and teaching experience. Lisa has a BS in Education from SUNY Plattsburgh and has taught in NY, AZ, and CA, most recently in the Cupertino Union School District, where she’s worked as a substitute teacher for many years.

Serving K-14 Educators Since 2000

Over 23,000 teachers have taken KCI courses and programs. It has built a reputation on intensive summer institutes for educators, as well as the courses it provides throughout the year. The KCI has consistently focused on building innovative courses and programs and on evaluating and improving its methodologies.

The KCI’s other key focus has been on partnering with education-oriented nonprofits and foundations to serve the educator segment. Based on this experience and success, the KCI is uniquely positioned to address many of the critical issues facing education and workforce development.

KCI 2022 Annual Report Splash