The Root Team 

Dr. Heather Pressley 


Heather Pressley, BA. Ed.M, Ph.D., is the founder and CEO of The Root Collaborative. She has a wide range of experience as a teacher and leader in public, private, and charter schools as well as nonprofits. Heather’s taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Teachers College, Harvard University, and UNC Charlotte.  What is not reflected in her resume is the deep love and gratitude she has for the students, families, teachers, and communities who allowed her to be a part of their lives over the last 20 years, and who taught her the true meaning of humility, kindness, loss, and acceptance. The Root Collaborative and the work they seek to do, is in honor of them. 

Juan Lascano, MS, M.Ed


Juan Lascano, MS, M.Ed and Graduate Certification for Supervision and Leadership from The Johns Hopkins University. He has several years of classroom teaching, served as a Dean of Culture and as an Assistant Principal. Juan is a master is building relationships with teachers, students and families because he is authentic and cares deeply about the communities he serves. At the Root, he specializes in school culture, leadership and student achievement,  culturally relevant teaching and the pedagogy of rap. Juan is a Teach for America alum and a member of the Profound Gentlemen.

Jack Flowers BA, MPA


Jack Flowers, BS, MPA is an entrepreneur with a background in public policy and small business. Jack’s masters’ capstone with OneColorado focused on a health assessment study with the LGBTQ+ community and using the results to advocate at the state level for expansion of rights for all. In 2015 ahead of its time, Jack opened a farm-to-table restaurant in rural Kansas, and spent a lot of time with farmers and local folk, building relationships that hadn't or would never have been made without pioneering something out of the ordinary.  Jack’s focus at The Root Collaborative is to bring a queer trans perspective to our collaborations and to help create for safe and inclusive spaces for all youth and those who work with youth.