Vice President of Prepared Environment

Steven Gaudino


Steven Gaudino

Steven Gaudino earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Chicago.

In 2004, he joined Reasoning Mind as a curriculum developer and ran one of the organization’s first pilots using the curriculum he helped develop. In 2007, Gaudino became Reasoning Mind’s first Director of Implementation, founding the department to support enrolment growth from 1,500 to 22,000 students in its first four years.

He continued to oversee Implementation while organizing and directing Reasoning Mind’s sales from 2011 to 2013 and then became Reasoning Mind’s Vice President of Program to focus on the scalability of Implementation, Professional Development, and Tutoring. In a joint appointment that added Vice President of Product Development to his responsibilities, Gaudino also led product management, project management, and systems analysis for five educational product lines.

Gaudino joined Higher Ground in 2017.

My Story

Learn more about Steven

  • Tell us a little about yourself.

    I really enjoy things, and in work, I try to create things that people enjoy.

  • What inspires you about education?

    It's the foundation of what a person will get out of life. The depth of what you can experience and the extent to which you value those experiences is dramatically affected by the quality of your childhood education.

  • How did you discover Montessori?

    When I was 3 or 4, my parents put me in a Montessori school for a year or two. I loved it.

  • How does Montessori impact your daily life?

    I think I'm a better person for going to a Montessori school. I don't mean that relative to other people - I think I'm better than I would have otherwise been. It's hard to explain, but to try, think of the things about yourself that you particularly like. Some of those things you probably consciously worked on, and some of those things are in an elusive "who I happen to be" category. Now imagine, as an adult, you learn of a methodology that was designed to cultivate exactly those things in the second category, and you were taught with that methodology as a child. It was a strange realization that some of the most fundamental things I cherish about myself are possible to teach and were actually consciously developed in me. It is also incredibly awesome.

  • Do you have a favorite Montessori quote or book?

    Hard to say whether it's my favorite - she has all sorts of great quotes - but here's a good one: "Man has captured a secret of life. He has become a sort of magician who has embellished life with the magic wand of his intelligence; because of it, the world is much richer and more pleasant. We begin to see one of the aims of the life of man, one of the reasons which makes him one of the great cosmic forces. He has not been placed in the world in order to enjoy beautiful things. He has been placed here to make the world better. Man has intelligence because he has to make a better world than that which he has found. It is as though man were the continuator of the creation, as though he had been sent to employ his intelligence in order to help and make creation more perfect."

  • When was the moment you decided to make Montessori your career?

    It was more that I arrived at it over a long period of thought and work in education. Methodologies are incredibly complex and it's not at all obvious which ones are worth pursuing. I was fortunate enough in my search to be aware of the Montessori method and meet an organization capable of doing it exceptionally well at scale.

  • How did you discover Higher Ground Education?

    I was working for a different education organization when I met the central team. We were thinking of partnering in some way which - considering I joined - eventually happened, just not in the way I expected at the time.

  • What have you learned from your time working at Higher Ground thus far?

    The number of things is way too long to detail here. At a high-level, I got to deeply study the Montessori method, learn all the factors that enable a quality implementation of it, and discover that it's actually possible to reproduce at scale.

  • What do you enjoy most about working with your teammates?

    It's a tie between their genuine coolness as people and their wild competence.

  • What are your passions, interests and hobbies?

    I enjoy trying and learning new things, playing board games, salsa dancing, motorcycling, playing the piano, sailing, and traveling with my wife.

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