Why I work with HCM

As a special educator for 9 years, I witnessed firsthand the problems that plagued our public school system and the effect they have on students. My students are the ones who continue to inspire me the most. In my classroom, I felt hopeless, knowing I was unable to create the change they needed to be given a fair shot, and that I had no choice but to accept the broken system would fail them. I do this work to change the situation for students like mine in the hopes of giving them a voice to create the opportunities and change they need to open the door to a better future. 

Erica Gray


Erica Gray leads the public opinion research and content creation for HCM Strategists’ K-12 portfolio. She has spent the last four years deeply engaged in comprehensive research with multiple clients, including Learning Heroes, the Collaborative for Student Success and SAS, to understand mindsets related to expectations for schools, accountability, assessments and student achievement.

To date, Erica has been involved in more than 100 qualitative sessions and multiple nationally representative surveys aimed at better understanding of how to communicate education policies effectively to parents and the public. Her work focuses on communicating education data, including student and school performance, in a way that it is accessible and understandable for the general public and equips educators and school leaders to use the data in a meaningful way. The evidence-based materials and guidance she has developed on behalf of HCM’s clients have been used across the country as they have prioritized more effective stakeholder communication and outreach.

Prior to joining HCM, Erica spent nearly a decade as a special education teacher and continues to draw from that experience to support clients. She continues to lead the Collaborative for Student Success’ teacher coalition and collaborates with teachers across the country to better to amplify their voices in policy-making and the media.

Erica received her master’s degree in public policy from George Mason University. She lives in Arlington, VA with her fiancé and two cats.



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