Phone: (512) 596-5417

2028 E. Ben White Blvd #240-5417
Austin, TX 78741

Amy Wooten

Chief of Staff & Strategy

Our People

As Chief of Staff and Strategy at DFI, Amy manages organizational priority-setting and monitoring, supports a values-centered team culture; and explores innovative initiatives and new partnerships. In previous roles, Amy has supported the implementation of effective observation and feedback structures for aspiring and early career teachers, led statewide policy revisions for educator preparation and licensure, and conducted human capital analyses in a large, public school district. She started her career as an elementary teacher in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Amy holds an EdD from Harvard Graduate School of Education; an M.Ed. from Columbia University, an M.Ed. in Elementary Education from UNC-Greensboro, and a BA in History from Wake Forest University. Amy also serves on the board of directors for the Nashville Teacher Residency.

What do you enjoy most about working at DFI?

At DFI I get the opportunity to merge many different kinds of work (strategic, advocacy, programmatic, innovative) that I enjoy with a clear focus on our vision of ensuring that all students have access to a well-prepared teacher. There is no doubt that our team engages in work each and every day to support this vision, yet, we also put people first and recognize one another's humanity through the work. We deeply value our colleagues, our partners, teacher-educators, teachers, and students with whom we get to spend our time.

Describe a teacher or student who made a lasting impact in your life.

I had the privilege of taking a course with Professor Richard Elmore. Through his approach to teaching, he empowered students and challenged our minds by asking insightful, reflective questions. I always left his class continuing to think about the discussion - going over and revising my own arguments. He very much served as a facilitator of the learning and created a space where students did the challenging work of the learning - because we wanted to - not because we had to.

What's a principle, philosophy, or quote you live by, and why?

Wake Forest University’s motto: "Pro Humanitate" means "For Humanity." On the university website, Wake Forest notes that, “Pro Humanitate calls upon the entire University community to engage in the fundamental questions about what it means to be human. It invites us to use our ideas, knowledge, talents and compassion on behalf of humanity in all its difference and diversity — in short, to be catalysts for good.” I am not sure that I fully internalized the depth of that motto as an undergraduate student, but as the university continues to have a presence in my life, I embrace that motto and appreciate how my educational experiences have helped to shape the person that I am today and the one aspire to be tomorrow.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Outside of work, I love traveling. One of my favorite places is Spain - the people, the food, the culture - so amazing. Maybe the most interesting place I have visited was the former Soviet Union in 1989. The contrasts and comparisons across our communities helps me develop a broader and more complex perspective of the world. I am also a sucker for any kind of reality competition show. I think I have seen every season of Survivor!