About Us

Your Future Forward Team


Kate Bauer-Jones is an experienced educator and strategic leader with a demonstrated history in the nonprofit sector. She knows first-hand that building a solid foundation for a young person’s future success by supporting their families is the keystone to a strong, healthy community.

Kate has spent her career in service to young people and the community that surrounds them, and is passionate about the collective success of each of us. From her work in early intervention serving toddlers newly diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, to her success securing funding to expand childcare scholarships for working families, Kate understands the importance not only of direct, intense intervention for the most vulnerable young people in a community but also the need for effective, efficient systems that work for all families in need. ‍

Kate received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, Religious Studies, and Astronomy from the University of Virginia before starting her career as a New York City Teaching Fellow in the South Bronx. She holds a Masters’ degree in Education, Management, and Innovation earned while teaching special needs middle school students. After seven years as a classroom teacher, Kate moved to full-time nonprofit work, including with the YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, Pinellas Early Learning Coalition, and served as President and CEO of the United Way of the Florida Keys.



Nick Masada is the Deputy Director of Future Forward. Nick manages relationships between the national team and site-based staff, school leaders, and district partners while helping guide the organization in its strategic long-term planning for growth and sustainability. Nick has worked in many educational capacities: Following the completion of a Fulbright teaching grant in Turkey, he spent time with DC Public Schools, the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, and the International Rescue Committee where he collaborated with education entrepreneurs in Amman, Jordan. Nick is a graduate of Hastings College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he focused on political change and impact evaluation of education interventions in historically underserved communities. Nick resides in Denver, Colorado where he enjoys finding new hikes, coaching youth soccer, and any activity that allows him to enjoy the sunshine (preferably with a coffee in hand).


Tia Hatchett has a diverse background that includes experience in leadership, community and family engagement, project coordination, conflict management and resolution, and strong organizational abilities. A dedicated, dependable professional, Tia has spent more than a decade working in educational, community, and social service settings,demonstrating proven ability to provide excellent service with enthusiasm and high drive.

Tia’s roots are in education and child development. She began as a mentor and tutor at Master Service Empowerment Ministries, where she worked with at risk teens, tutoring and conducting home visits to ensure their success at school. She then joined the Next Door Foundation, where she began as an assistant teacher and quickly moved into the Program Coordinator role for Leaders of Tomorrow. It was in this position that she deepened her work with youth, directly acting as an advocate and tutor while providing oversight of the overall program.

In 2009, Tia joined the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, where she began work in the early literacy program that laid the foundation for her current work with Future Forward. Along with engaging the community and staff, Tia was also responsible for monitoring program objectives and outcomes. Tia joined the Education Analytics team in 2018 to continue leading family engagement for Future Forward as the program grows across the country

Tia currently holds an Associate’s Degree in Child Development and is studying to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services. When not working, Tia enjoys decorating,event planning, rummaging, relaxing at the spa, spending time with family and friends, and planning for the next adventure with her sons Jaden and Jacob.


As a Family Engagement Manager for nearly a decade, Watkins helped countless children with literacy and beyond, supported and promoted the needs of families, managed staff, and maintained productive relationships within the Milwaukee Public Schools System. As Milwaukee Regional Coordinator, she will oversee one of Future Forward’s largest community implementation sites in the country.

Watkins graduated from Concordia University of Wisconsin with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.


Michele Gile is a passionate educator with a track record of dedication and service to her community. She started her career as an elementary school teacher in Beloit, Wisconsin, serving hundreds of diverse students in grades 3-5 over the course of 13 years. Michele joined Future Forward as Instructional Specialist in 2022, bringing with her the knowledge and expertise gained in the classroom of how to improve student outcomes through quality instruction. She works alongside the Director of Instruction to assist in the development, training, and implementation of curriculum in the Future Forward program. Along with her years of service as a veteran teacher, Michele brings to the organization a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish from University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology from Cardinal Stritch University – Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Future Forward’s program model has undergone multiple research trials, including random control trial studies and multi-site regression discontinuity analysis. This research has demonstrated the effectiveness of both “develop[ing] the literacy skills of early-grade students and support[ing] families as they learn to support the literacy development of their students.” By supporting the needs of the whole child, Future Forward joins other successful interventions in demonstrating that young, struggling readers can make significant yearly progress when given the tools, resources, and attention required to catch up to their peers.

In October 2017, the U.S. Department of Education awarded Education Analytics, Inc. (“EA”) a $7.8-million Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant to replicate the proven Future Forward model across multiple regions in the country and evaluate its impact. EA established 14 Future Forward sites in three states, partnering with local community organizations including Boys & Girls Clubs, and continues to undergo evaluation conducted by Socially Responsible Evaluation in Education (SREed) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
About the Education Innovation and Research Program at the Department of Education: The Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program, established under section 4611 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), provides funding to create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students; and rigorously evaluate such innovations. The EIR program is designed to generate and validate solutions to persistent educational challenges and to support the expansion of effective solutions to serve substantially larger numbers of students.
Rigorously evaluated by external, third-party evaluators. Repeatedly found effective at improving student literacy, school-day attendance, and reducing referrals to special-education services. Read about key findings and review specific studies by clicking the button below.