Since its founding in 2002 by the late Grant Wiggins, co-author of the Understanding by Design® (UbD) framework, Authentic Education (AE) has been a leader in education reform. Under the leadership of Grant Wiggins and Denise Wilbur, AE partnered with thousands of educators, schools, districts, and organizations around the world. The work of Wiggins, Wilbur, and the Authentic Education Consulting Team specialized in designing curriculum grounded in understanding, teaching for transfer, authentic assessment, and thoughtful school change. 

It is with tremendous excitement and a deep commitment to honoring the organization’s legacy as a leader in education that I am writing to share that Denise has asked me to take over the work of Authentic Education. As a National Board Certified Teacher, former Curriculum Director, and Consultant with AE since 2017, I look forward to continuing the work of Authentic Education and am honored that Denise will remain part of the organization in an advisory capacity and as a consultant on select projects.

As AE’s President, I am delighted and humbled to follow in the footsteps of Grant Wiggins and Denise Wilbur. The Understanding by Design framework transformed how I plan, how I teach, and how I lead. I’m deeply grateful for this opportunity and look forward to furthering Authentic Education’s deep legacy and mission-driven work. 

I am excited to announce a new set of workshops to stand alongside our tried-and-true offerings. AE has long prided itself on designing bespoke workshops, coaching opportunities, and partnerships that are acutely tailored to meet the unique needs of the schools and organizations we work with.

Coming out of the pandemic, this approach is more important than ever. While educators across the globe faced shared challenges, the experiences of students, teachers, and schools were inherently local and unique. I’m excited to work with educators and schools to reflect upon takeaways from the past three years — identifying ways that we can leverage what we’ve learned to design and refine curriculum, collaboration, and school culture. Informed by the UbD framework, AE’s team of experts is uniquely equipped to lead the important work ahead.


Mike Matthews
President, Authentic Education



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