Trent Sharp
Program Associate

Photo of Trent  Sharp

Trent Sharp is a Program Associate with the Texas Comprehensive Center (TXCC) within SEDL's Education Systems Support (ESS) unit. He is currently working on two projects with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that are designed to increase district administrators’ capacity for supporting underperforming schools. The multi-year projects include coaching and systems development with district teams through the District Turnaround Leadership Institute (a joint project with TEA and the University of Virginia School Turnaround Program) as well as context-specific professional development for District Coordinators of School Improvement. Mr. Sharp also serves as the TXCC liaison to the Center on School Turnaround at WestEd.

Contact Information
You may contact Trent Sharp at 512-391-6572

or by using SEDL's contact form.

Areas of Expertise
  • School Reform Mr. Sharp’s career has been dedicated to supporting transformation in schools or school systems. His current focus is on crafting sustainable learning and leadership conditions within turnaround environments.
  • Human-Centered Design Through collaborations with the K12 lab at the Stanford Design School, IDEO, and +ACUMEN, Mr. Sharp has applied human-centered design principals to school reform contexts. 
  • Change Process Mr. Sharp’s years as a practitioner have shaped his understanding that all change processes must be honored and managed with intentionality, flexibility, and humor.


Before joining SEDL in June 2014, Mr. Sharp supported regional and state turnaround initiatives at the Region 13 Education Service Center. This work was heavily informed by his previous role as the founding Principal of the Denver Center for International Studies at Montbello—an Innovation School serving students in grades 6-12 in  Denver, Colorado. Prior to his principalship, Mr. Sharp served as the Director of Campus Programs in the Office of Redesign, which was responsible for supporting the high school and district reform efforts in the Austin Independent School District (AISD). In this role, he and his colleagues shepherded collaborations between AISD, TEA, parents, community advocates, teacher organizations, and national school development organizations in order to support innovative school models and expanded pathways in traditional schools and multiple pathway options for over-age and under-credited students. Some of his awards and achievements include:

  • Selected for the Education Action Team at TED Active 2011
  • Earned a 2011–2012 High Performing, High Growth designation at DCIS at Montbello from the Denver Public Schools
  • 2006 Teacher of the Year at Reagan High School
  • Finalist, 2006 AISD High School Teacher of the Year
  • Finalist, 2004 Dewey Winburne Community Service Award at the SXSW Interactive Festival
  • Elected to National Writing Project Leadership Cohort


Mr. Sharp earned a Bachelors in English and two Masters degrees in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Education Policy and Planning at the University of Texas at Austin.

SEDL Publications
  • SECC Information Request: Descriptions of State-Developed Alternative Intervention Models for School Improvement Grants in Colorado, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, and Texas (2015)

Selected Presentations

  • Panelist, Anytime, Anywhere: Proficiency-Based Learning Systems, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 2012
  • Presenter, Student Advisories: Moving from Aspiration to Action, ASCD, March 2010
  • Presenter, AISD Redesign: Data Systems and Capacity Building, Stanford LEADS Conference, 2008
  • Presenter, Tools for Teaching Excellence, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Performance Management Summit 2008
  • Moderator, Actions Speak Louder: New Voices in Digital Storytelling, National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture Conference 2007
  • Panelist, AISD Performance Management Processes, Council of Great City Schools Conference 2007
  • Presenter, Are Smaller Learning Communities Enough?, Texas Association of Secondary School Principals 2007