Weiss Institute Fellow


Denise Nelson is a Weiss Institute Fellow. The Institute is an initiative of Say Yes to Education that helps expand the capacity of communities to support young people along the developmental pathway from early childhood to adult success. The Institute partners with communities to address inequities and boost economic development, and does so by marshaling the field’s best thinking, best practices and latest research, as well as by drawing on 30 years of Say Yes’ own experience, expertise and lessons learned.

She brings more than 28 years of educational experience to the Weiss Institute.

Prior to coming to Weiss Institute, Denise was involved in a nationally noted school improvement organization at the University of Connecticut. She supported schools and districts across the nation for more than 12 years through the efforts of Accelerated Schools plus, a research-based school reform model.

Over her educational career, Denise served students as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, instructional coach, and school reform specialist. Most recently Denise was involved in the design, development and implementation of North Carolina’s K-3 Formative Assessment Process for the NC Department of Public Instruction, a developmentally appropriate, individualized formative assessment process for students Kindergarten through 3rd grade.

Denise continues to work toward her goal of ensuring student success as they reach their academic and social potential through family, school and community support.