Imagine a public elementary school with minimal science classes because of the cost of materials, a school where physical education takes place primarily on asphalt with no equipment, where teachers struggle to keep up with classes of 35 students each. These were just a few of the situations that STAR Education – a Los Angeles-based nonprofit – was working to improve.

Through Greg’s work at STAR, he learned how to distribute valuable commodities efficiently and through non-traditional channels, how to negotiate with multiple parties in a system simultaneously, and how to creatively design and market new products and services.

At STAR, Greg helped hollow out a school bus and convert it to 11 woodworking stations, and then organized the logistics of driving it to a different school each day of the week. None of these schools could afford to invest in a wood shop, and yet everyone loved that students could now take woodworking classes after school. STAR applied this same creative logic to karate, tennis, radio broadcasting, dance, and all sorts of other classes they offered to the delight of local students. Greg also helped sell and create curricula for teachers with step-by-step instructions and lists of materials; helping to inspire wonderfully gifted teachers to teach what they loved—a professional dancer taught dance, an actor taught acting.

Greg started as a teacher for STAR and he was soon hired to take their programs into a new school district. He often recounts how formative his experiences were at STAR and is still very proud to have been a part of something that brought creative solutions to the communities who needed them most.

Greg’s work at STAR included:

  • Expanding STAR to the Glendale School district—launching and directing STAR at Mark Keppel Elementary, a 1000-student public school
  • Designing, promoting, and administering 25 classes per week, special events, etc.
  • Managing a staff of 10 teachers, which included hiring, firing, training, scheduling and development.
  • Growing the program from 4 students to 120 students in only 15 weeks of classes; 25% of student body eventually joined Greg’s program
  • Successfully advocating for promotion and support from the PTA, principal and school administration
  • Researching and navigating district regulations regarding public-private partnerships
  • Designing an Excel tool for STAR directors to calculate budgets, forecast enrollment, and analyze marketing effectiveness