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It’s hard to believe another year has passed since our last update, but what a year it was!

by | April 1, 2022

You’re reading a recent edition of The Playbook, a BenchK12 newsletter. Subscribe to receive updates and stay in touch with our team at

We’re excited to share with you what we’ve been up to and what’s ahead in 2022.

The challenges of COVID-19 continue to be felt worldwide. It’s no secret that K12 education has been hit especially hard. Over the past two years, educators and families have gone to great lengths to ensure learning continues and students feel supported. Administrators are balancing constantly changing public health recommendations (or a complete lack thereof) with the desire to provide in-person instruction and attention. The strain of the pandemic on an already strained K12 workforce has resulted in a nationwide teacher shortage that has reached a crisis level.

In this time of great challenge and change, we believe that there has never been a stronger case for . As a team comprised of educators, administrators, and parents, we personally understand and have experienced the K12 hiring process and challenges. We deeply feel (and are motivated by) the urgency of this problem. It’s time to modernize K12 credentialing using the best technology has to offer. That is BenchK12’s mission and we’re so grateful to have you on this journey with us.

-Brooke Barrett, Founder and President

Momentum & Progress

  • 🏆 Winning. BenchK12 was awarded a competitive Innovation Grant from Launch Minnesota, with just 12 other MN-based companies. 
  • 💪 Getting Stronger. We’ve added new members to the BenchK12 team!

 joins us as Vice President of Experience. She will be leading our pilots starting this summer working directly with our school partners. She’s an experienced and empathetic former Chief Technology Officer who has experienced “all the frustrations and joys of edtech!”

 is our Director of Voice & Brand. Jen has spent nearly a decade helping education and technology leaders tell their stories using as little jargon as possible.

 rounds out our communications efforts as Vice President of Strategic Marketing. Liz thinks it’s about time we apply the best of technology to some of education’s most outdated systems!

Expertise & Asks

  • 🚀 . Venture capital invested only , despite  in 2021. So we’re looking to our community, who understands this problem and knows and believes in us, to create momentum and . We’re using Wefunder to professionally manage the round and make our case to you and other potential investors in BenchK12. We have some exciting incentives and low-dollar entry points, as well as lots of resources on how to make smart “angel” investments. More to come!
  • 📣 Spread the Word. If you can’t invest right now, please help get the word out about BenchK12. You can start by forwarding this message to anyone in your network who might be eager to help solve the hiring crisis in K12 education. Sharing this with just three folks and your endorsement would be a tremendous start!
  • ✈️ Pilot partners. We’re finalizing our pilot partners for Summer 2022 now (SEAs, Regional Collaboratives, and LEAs are welcome!). We have two pathways they can choose from equity (paid model) and non-equity (free model). Interested in learning more? 
  • 💬 Get Social with Us (virtually)  |  | 



  • 🧠 Get to know our brain trust. Our  represents decades of experience in education and technology. The entire BenchK12 team gathered recently at our first all-team retreat, “Benchella”. We’ll be featuring some articles and videos featuring our advisory board members so you can learn more about each of them, why they are excited about BenchK12, and how they have been vital to our success.
  • 🙏 Thank You, Shawn. We remain grateful for the contributions of our now former founding team member, Shawn, and wish her well in her future endeavors.

About BenchK12

 is building the future of work for educators, starting with substitute teachers. Why substitute teachers? We know that there is an immediate shortage and need for great substitute teachers and technology that helps schools and subs manage their entire career lifecycle. What’s out there today isn’t solving this problem.

So what does this actually look like in practice?

For our school partners, it means not just finding someone to fill a vacancy, but the *right* sub for your school, your classroom, and your students for 50% less than it costs today with a more streamlined vetting and onboarding process, AND smart analytics about how your subs are doing. For subs, it means one place to get quickly licensed/certified to substitute teach, a more personalized sub experience where you get to show who you are, what you are great at teaching, find all of the details for your sub role before you arrive in the classroom, and the opportunity for higher pay, advancement, and recognition for the important role you play in K12 education.

You can find a lot more information on our  or by watching this .

You’re receiving The Playbook because at some point you made an impression on one or all of our team members. You are a great partner, colleague, friend, co-conspirator, inspiration, champion, or future collaborator and in order to build the best company — that truly empowers and serves the K12 educators and leaders who help our students realize their genius — we need a deep bench, with you on our team. We promise to keep these communications brief, but rich. You’ll hear from not only us but from our partners; firsthand insights into what we’re working on; milestones we’re reaching; asks for expertise; and shoutouts of gratitude.