Cipher 360 (360)‘s mission is to disrupt how schools build culture by providing a system of training, feedback and collaboration. Birthed from the experience of working to place Black men in classrooms across the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge at Brothers Empowered to Teach (BE2T), 360 is a curriculum company that provides culturally relevant professional development to teachers, schools, and districts. Simply put, “if we want to sustain diverse classrooms, we must change school culture.” The concept was well received at the 2019 Propeller PitchNOLA: Education and was a finalist in Camelback Ventures 2019 Fellowship program.
Kristyna Jones and Larry Irvin
Kristyna Jones is the CEO and co-founder of Cipher360 (360). Kristyna grew up in a family full of urban educators and was fortunate to be raised in a home where education was seen as an adventure, a source of self-discovery, and means to success. One of the greatest influences on her passion of working in education was her grandfather. A life-long learner, 30-year educator, and counsel and sage to generations of young people, he inspired them to see the possibilities beyond their own environment or circumstances. Kris calls herself a ‘reformed community development finance expert’ and has more than 15 years experience in housing and community development in different areas—as a developer, project manager, investment officer and technical assistance provider. She developed her expertise through work in different markets across the country. Kris co-founded Brothers Empowered to Teach from which 360 was birthed. The basis for 360 is the Teacher Development Lab, a concept Kris generated for BE2Tfellows to learn the art and science of childhood development and classroom management. She is a graduate of New York University and The New School’s Milano School for Public Engagement. She continues to be engaged in community development and was recently appointed to the Board of Commissioners for the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. Kristyna was also recently awarded a fellowship with the WK Kellogg Community Leader‐ship Network as a part of the second cohort.
Larry Irvin is a co-founder of Cipher 360. Larry is also the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Brothers Empowered to Teach (BE2T) from which C360 was birthed. At BE2T, he is the Chief Fundraiser and ensures that the vision and culture always match the mission. Larry is the creator and mastermind of ‘The Cipher,’ BE2T’s in-house personal and professional development space. At 360, Larry is the Chief of Culture where he works to ensure that the content of the training meets the needs of the young people and potential educators who participate in a way that is both culturally relevant and speaks to the needs of the participants. Prior to this role, Larry was a former teacher and high school football coach. Larry has become a member of the Andover Breadloaf Teacher Network and will be pursuing a master’s degree from the Middlebury Breadloaf School of English. A New Orleans native, Larry earned his associate’s degree in Journalism and Media Arts from Delgado Community College followed by earning his bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with a concentration in Rhetorical Theory and Public Address from Louisiana State University. Larry is a 2016 Camelback fellow and is also a member of the WKKF Kellogg Leadership Network. Educational attainment was always a point of emphasis for Larry growing up. Raised by an early childhood educator, Larry’s mother spent 23 years as a teacher for the Jefferson Parish Head Start program. Larry was most inspired by his mother’s perpetual benevolence, which extended from the classroom deep into the community, and Larry continues to adopt those same values through his work.