Board of Directors


Rachel Pickett

Co-Founder, President/Executive Director, M.A., Certified Facilitator

Rachel discovered IBSR in 2002, and it radically changed her life for the better.  She’d never learned what a thought was, or how to identify and question her thoughts.  She just believed thoughts when she got stressed about something. Inquiry changed this; she learned that she can put her thoughts down on paper and question them.  She learned that often what she’s assuming isn't the truth or isn't the full story.  A few years after discovering inquiry she was standing in a grocery store check out line, and thought "I should have learned this (inquiry) in school" ran through her mind.  Her mind quickly turned this thought around to "I should bring this to schools," and this turnaround propelled her application to teacher preparation programs, her journey as a new teacher, her work co-founding The Thinking Project, and it remains at the heart of her purpose as an educator and as a Thinking Project director to this day. In 2017 The Thinking Project received a two-year grant, personally arranged for by Byron Katie, which allowed her to leave her job teaching and pursue the development of The Thinking Project’s program and whole-school model.

Rachel is passionate about building creative, thoughtful curriculum, and interweaving classroom management and curricular content with ISBR and social-emotional learning.  As a Thinking Project director, she strives to work with teachers and students to build classrooms where multiple perspectives are valued, where learning is relevant to the lives all of us lead, and where students develop ways of thinking that support them in leading positive, thoughtful, creative, contributing lives. Developing The Thinking Project as a quality, honest, creative organization rooted in inquiry is a dream come true. Rachel hold a Master's degree in Education (concentration in Curriculum and Instruction) from the University of Denver and is a Certified Facilitator of IBSR.  

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Korinne Akridge

Board Member, M.Ed., Administrative Director, Certified Facilitator

Korinne completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Business at The University of West Florida. She went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola University in Baltimore along with her AMI (Association Montessori International) Certification at the Elementary level. Korinne has been an active member of the ISBR community since 2014 and became a Certified Facilitator in 2017.

Korinne’s career has centered around teaching and administration in the Montessori community. In 2005, Korinne founded Riverstone Montessori Academy in Georgia. This is a successful AMI Montessori school that works with children from Pre-School through Adolescence.

While Riverstone Montessori Academy is still a thriving community, Korinne sold this business in 2019. She now travels and works part-time for The Thinking Project as well as serves on its Board of Directors. With a background in business, education and ISBR, Korinne finds this to be an extremely fulfilling opportunity to be of service.


Karen Lowenstein

Board Member, Ph.D.

After serving for 12 years as a high school teacher, a mentor teacher, and a teacher educator, Karen completed her doctorate in curriculum, teacher education and educational policy at Michigan State University with a focus on how teacher candidates understand and learn about issues of diversity and equity. She moved to Colorado to help build and launch the Boettcher Teacher Preparation Program, a unique partnership among title I schools in two metro-Denver school districts, a non-profit organization, a university, and a private foundation. The program was an innovative, residency-model of culturally-responsive teacher preparation that directly served the talent pipeline needs of partner school districts, resulting in high retention rates and improved K-12 student growth and achievement. Karen then served as Director of Educator Preparation for the Colorado Department of Education, leading the reauthorization processes of Colorado’s traditional and alternative educator preparation pathways for the State Board of Education. In addition, Karen has served as Director of Clinical Experiences and Partnerships for Metropolitan State University of Denver, facilitating clinical pathways for all teacher candidates, as well as Director of Policy for the Public Education & Business Coalition, advocating for high-quality preparation pathways for all educators. In 2019, Karen returned to a state-level role as Educator Preparation Specialist for the Colorado Department of Higher Education where she continues to inform and carry out legislation dedicated to recruiting, developing and retaining great educators for all of Colorado’s students. Karen is thrilled to serve on the Board of The Thinking Project because she believes in the critical work that the organization does to use inquiry as the foundation for students’ social-emotional well-being and academic growth.