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February 28 - March 1

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The 2013 Education Leadership Case Competition: “Promoting Progressive Education – Marketing the High Tech High Graduate School of Education.”

Each year, the Education Leadership Club at the Haas School of Business hosts a case competition focused on the challenges on public education.  The Education Leadership Case Competition (ELCC) is the oldest MBA case competition in the US focused on education.  The 2013 ELCC partnered with High Tech High (HTH) in San Diego; their challenge, how to market their innovative Graduate School of Education in order to spread the valuable lessons learned in HTH’s last decade of operation.

HTH operates a community of charter schools in San Diego and southern California where they have pioneered an innovative curriculum focused on student-centered, student-designed, project-based learning.  After posting promising academic results in their K-12 schools, the HTH team turned to the challenge of training others to deliver similar high quality education.  The HTH Graduate School of Education (GSE), founded in 2007, runs master’s degree and certificate programs for teachers and school leaders interested in progressive, student-centered education.

The 2013 ELCC focused on the GSE’s challenges to market their programs to high quality candidates, touching on issues from communicating the GSE’s unique value proposition (one of the few graduate schools of education co-located with a K-12 school) to identifying target students.  Ten student teams from graduate programs around the country came to Haas to deliver recommendations on these challenges to the leadership of the GSE.  Teams included University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, the Haas School of Business and the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the George Washington School or Business, and Columbia University Business School.

Kelly Wilson, Director of the Master’s in School Leadership program at the GSE, found the presentations both insightful and helpful as her team determines their next steps.  “The student organizers did the legwork to write a case that framed our challenges in a way that was authentic and accurate.  The resulting presentations were so helpful.  It was fantastic.”  The GSE’s leaders were not the only people who learned something at the ELCC.  Said one student participant, “I learned more in this competition than I have in all of my core classes so far at school.”

Above: The High Tech High judges, Stacey Callier and Kelly Wilson, give an overview of High Tech High's innovative approach to education.

The ELCC’s mission is to positively impact public education by connecting the best practices of management with the most pressing challenges of public schools.  We seek to partner with client organizations with strategic problems that can be addressed by the skills of MBA teams; by connecting these two groups, we hope to both impact the practitioners of education and to educate MBA students about the good their skills can do in the social sector.

The 2013 ELCC could not have been possible with the generous support of our sponsors: the Parthenon Group, the Broad Center, Education Pioneers, Teach For America, the Berkeley-Haas chapter of Net Impact, and the Haas Special Initiative Fund.  We owe them a great deal of thanks for enabling this year’s competition and the resulting benefits for our student teams and for the High Tech High Graduate School of Education.



Above: All ten of the competing teams throw their hands up in support of education.

Above: The first place team from Chicago Booth shows off their prize and regales the crowd with their powerful presentation. Team participants: Zacharias Barden, Ned Levy, Jen Schwartz, and Krystle Goh

Above: The second place team from Berkeley-Haas displays their check. Team participants: Alma Rico, Sheila Bharucha, Eddie Medina, and Vishal Shah

The two teams tied for third place show off their smiles for the camera. (Top) Berkeley-Haas: Skyler Soto, Tom Pryor, Alex Justice, and Fanzi Mao (Bottom) Chicago-Booth: Sarah Sonnenfeld, Miriam Goldberg, Swanand Gupte, and Nitin Chandra




1st Place: $3,000

2nd Place: $1,500


WINNING TEAMS (click on link to view presentation)





  • Jackie Pohl, Education Pioneers
  • Mike Montoya - Broad Center
  • Jesse Lau - Parthenon Group
  • Stacey Caillier, High Tech High
  • Kelly Wilson, High Tech High



The 2013 Education Leadership Case Competition was supported through generous donations from the sponsors shown below. Click on the logo to learn more about each organization. Thank you to our sponsors!


Gold Level sponsors

Ed Pioneers

Education Pioneers mobilizes and prepares a national network of talented leaders and managers to accelerate excellence in education and transform our education system into one that equips all students with the skills they need to thrive in college, career, and life. Through the organization's Fellowship and Alumni programs, Education Pioneers increases the talent supply of top leaders in education to improve the leadership capacity in key education organizations-such as school districts, charter school organizations, and nonprofits-and to advance our goal to make education the best led and managed sector in the U.S.


The Parthenon Group is a leading advisory firm focused on strategy consulting, with offices in Boston, London, Mumbai, San Francisco, and Shanghai. Since its inception in 1991, the firm has embraced a unique approach to strategic advisory services built on long-term client relationships, a willingness to share risk, an entrepreneurial spirit, and customized insights. This unique approach has established the firm as the strategic advisor of choice for CEOs and business leaders of Global 1000 corporations, high-potential growth companies, private equity firms, educational institutions, and healthcare organizations.



Blue Level sponsors









Special Support


The sponsors do not take responsibility for any statements or views expressed by the competition organizers, participants, or judges.



Our previous case competitions made a difference for San Francisco Unified School District in 2012, Los Angeles Unified School District in 2011, Pittsburgh Public Schools in 2010, DC Public Schools in 2009, New Orleans Public Schools in 2008 and Oakland Unified School District in 2007. But there are more schools, education nonprofits, and districts that need our help. Thanks to all who made this possible.

Learn more about our previous competitions:

2012 ELCC: Spread Thin and Needing to Spread Innovation (SFUSD)

2011 ELCC: Budgeting for Student Achievement (LA Unified School District)

2010 ELCC: The Pittsburgh Promise (Pittsburgh Public Schools)

2009 ELCC: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Nation's Capital (DC Public Schools)

2008 ELCC: Rebuilding New Orleans Public Schools

2007 ELCC: Results-Based Budgeting with Oakland Unified School District


The ELCC is brought to you by the Haas Education Leadership Club