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About Dr. Rufo

With a wealth of experience in K-12 education, Dr. Rufo brings a practical lens to her role as a consultant.  As an Assistant Superintendent and Special Education Director for a large school district, she led the transformation of special education services from one of mostly separate classrooms to an inclusive service delivery model.  She also co-led the district's diversity and equity efforts and was the principal author of the strategic plan.

Prior to entering administration, Dr. Rufo served as a special education teacher, inclusion facilitator, and policy specialist for the Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education.  Her professional experiences, coupled with graduate work completed at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and training from the Carnegie Foundation in improvement science, have provided her with an understanding of both theory and practical implementation. 

Dr. Rufo has shared her knowledge at national and regional events, including The Atlantic’s Education Summit, the Summer Leadership Institute, the National Principals Conference, the Council for Exceptional Children's PA Conference, the Pennsylvania Literacy Conference, and the Pennsylvania Education for All Coalition.  She has co-authored Reimagining Special Education: Using Inclusion as a Framework to Build Equity and Support All Students. and has been published in AASA's School Administrator magazine.

Dr. Rufo was inspired to enter the field of education by her sister, Nina, who has severe and multiple disabilities.  She views education as her calling and is passionate about ensuring quality programs for ALL students.

About The Team

The consultants on Dr. Rufo's team at empowerED are expert practitioners. Her team is comprised of educators with extensive education experience including former and current...

  • Administrators

  • Inclusion Facilitators

  • Instructional coaches

  • Special education teachers

  • Board certified behavior analysts

  • School psychologists

  • General education teachers

  • Reading specialists

What People Are Saying



What a powerful and impactful presentation.

THANK you for all that you do and for helping us move forward in making changes for ALL!



Jenna, just finished your presentation on inclusion and equity and I wanted to thank you for a worthwhile three hours of my time. I think my wife was growing tired of my week-long lamenting about having to spend valuable time getting beat over the head again with "equity" and "inclusion" messages. Your presentation, however, was informative, interesting and useful. Thank you for reminding me - again - not to judge a book before a read the darn thing!



Jenna,  I want to thank you for all your input so far [with our students].  You've really validated so much of how I've felt and what I've gone through.  I really look up to you and hope I can be half as knowledgeable as you one day!  I've always struggled with finding the perfect balance of being passionate and advocating the right way - maybe there's not a perfect balance - but I really would like to emulate the way you go about things.  Just know I sincerely appreciate meeting you.



I just participated in your training for support staff yesterday. It was a wonderful training day! I would love to stay informed.

I have become so interested and engaged with how we can make schooling better for all students. Thank you for an incredibly engaging and informative training day. 

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