Elisa Westapher

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Elisa Westapher

Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives

Elisa Westapher works directly with authorizers to strengthen charter school oversight through the development of customized systems, structures, and solutions. Elisa leads and manages a wide variety of projects at NACSA, from authorizer evaluations and technical assistance projects to the development of statewide authorizer accountability systems. Elisa enjoys working with multiple stakeholders and bringing new ideas to the table to reach thoughtful solutions that improve the quality of educational opportunities available to students across the U.S.

Prior to joining NACSA, Elisa practiced law at Holland & Knight, LLP, where she specialized in education and commercial real estate. During her time there, Elisa helped state agencies, charter schools, nonprofits, and ed tech companies structure programs and transactions to achieve their educational goals and maximize flexibility under the law.

Elisa holds a J.D. from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and a B.A. in government from Cornell University.

She believes in a world where the quality of a student’s education is not predetermined by zip code and where all students have access to a high-quality public school.

In what feels like a former life, Elisa danced professionally in Chicago and believes in the power of the arts to transfix and transform.

Most Recent Posts
Wyoming Gets a New Authorizer Is the Headline, But There’s More to the Story
Last month we touched on a Wyoming bill, SF130, which created a new authorizing pathway in the state. But there is more to the bill that deserves to be highlighted: through a comprehensive overhaul, SF130...
Amid Change, Our Autonomy and Community Are Our Strength
This blog post was written by Dr. Sana Shaikh, who served until this spring as Director of School Operations at Rise Prep High School, an autonomous school in Springfield, Massachusetts. Rise...
One of Our “COVID Keepers”: Putting Communities First in Public Charter Schools
This blog post was written by Joanna Hightower and Shira Woolf Cohen, Founding Partners, Innovageous.  In March 2020, brick and mortar public charter schools were suddenly forced to operate as virtual...