Our team has deep operating experience in Ed Tech, from running sales and marketing departments, to creating and managing talent pipelines, to being responsible for full P&Ls. We combine this “human intelligence” with metrics, data, and KPI’s to ensure we are objectively, quantifiably, and expeditiously delivering the best candidates. Our proprietary selection methodology optimizes every step of the hiring process, maximizing throughput of high-performing candidates while minimizing risk along the way.
Teresa founded HighFive, combining her two decades of education industry expertise with her passion for Ed Tech high-growth companies. She spent the first decade of her career in operations and then moved into talent development and acquisition, rising to global executive roles. Her strategic work attracted the top 2% of the workforce, achieving a nearly 100% satisfaction level from executives and senior leaders over a five-year period.
Through this experience, Teresa gained unique insights into how to customize executive searches successfully, develop a qualified talent pipeline, and attract high-potential leaders. Teresa’s proud of the Net Promoter Score of 100 that she and her team have accomplished.
Teresa’s passion for learning developed from early experiences. Raised in South Korea, she saw her first flushing toilet at the age of 8 when she moved to the US. Growing up with very little in East LA, her parents instilled in her a vision that education represented life-changing opportunity.
Over time, Teresa has observed that education alone doesn’t guarantee opportunity, particularly for diverse populations. She’s gained a passion for developing diversity in her talent pipeline, recognizing that networks are invaluable to opening up opportunities for all.
Karen Penner is passionate about education, recruiting and working in the Ed Tech sector. She started her career in the classroom as an ESL teacher for 6 years before recruiting for the technology and biotech industries.
She found her way back to the Ed Tech industry in 2012, where she headed the recruiting function for IXL Learning. The company grew from 80 to 400+ employees in the 5 years that she led their recruiting team. Additionally, she has guided several Silicon Valley startups in creating solid recruiting plans and processes to prepare the organization for rapid growth. Karen enjoys coaching and mentoring others on their career path.
Personally, Karen loves to travel and explore the world, which she accomplishes by visiting at least one new country every year. Karen is a mom of two young children and a dog lover.
Lori Houghton brings a foundation of human resources expertise to HighFive. Her experience includes organization development and design, executive compensation, workforce planning, and talent development. She’s energized by examining company cultures and connecting talent to opportunities. She has worked extensively on both sides of the hiring equation—coaching executives in their career searches and partnering with hiring managers inside organizations. With an MBA and a BA in English, Lori also has considerable experience writing/editing HR content.
Raised in a family of entrepreneurs, she values the risk taking, bias for action of start-ups. She also appreciates the best practices and resource-based environment of the corporate world.
A travel addict and lover of foreign films, Lori likes to learn new languages, even if she’s not very good at them. She gravitates towards people who are curious, genuine, kind--but direct, and people who make her laugh.
Andarla began her career in executive search at one of the country's premier executive search firms where she specialized in full-cycle recruiting of executives for a broad range of clients in higher education, K-12 education, academic medicine, philanthropy, and nonprofit sectors. Andarla is focused on innovative practices to advance equity, inclusion, and diversity in search processes and enjoys partnering closely with clients to meet their unique organizational needs. Andarla also brings professional experience in higher education and K-12 education, having worked in law school admissions and as an elementary educator. Andarla holds a B.A. and B.F.A from the University of Colorado, Boulder and her Master’s of Higher Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
In her free time, Andarla is an avid gardener, collage artist, and ukulele player. On most sunny weekends you can find her exploring mountain hiking trails with her husband, daughter, and dog.
Connect with Andarla on LinkedIn >