Jay Whalen

Jay Whalen

Director, Authorizer and School Quality

Jay works on the Authorizer Learning and Development team developing resources, guidance, and learning experiences to meaningfully support authorizers and impact their practices. He also facilitates the cultivation and dissemination of best practices for quality school evaluation.

Prior to joining NACSA, Jay supported authorizing work and led the implementation of the Charter Schools Program (CSP) grant at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Before that, he served as Deputy Director of Charter Schools for the Tennessee State Board of Education and as a data analyst for the KIPP Nashville charter school network.

Jay is currently pursuing his master’s in public administration at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and History from the University of Rhode Island.

Jay’s professional background has included working with students, schools, and communities most at risk of educational inequity. He believes deeply that all students can achieve at high levels, and it is incumbent upon all leaders, at all levels, to examine, implement, and evaluate programs and systems that work for every child.

As a former college decathlete, avid runner, and cyclist, Jay has completed multiple triathlons including a half-ironman, but now spends most of his time running after his daughter.


Most Recent Posts
Closing the DEI Gap in Authorizing
According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, 68% of charter school students are students of color and nearly 59% come from lower-income households. Unfortunately, most educational organizations, including...
New School Application
What’s possible today? Who can start new, high-quality, innovative, and equitable schools? Is it possible for community members, talented educators, or the next generation of leaders to start a new...
Third Thursdays
NACSA provides professional development opportunities, online courses, resources, and publications that are specifically designed to help authorizers and other school leaders grow and network. Third Thursdays, an ongoing virtual learning...