For students, nothing can be more frustrating or isolating than feeling invisible to a teacher. For Philip Heimes, spending his childhood in a crowded German classroom was no different. After suffering through low grades, he came to believe learning was exhausting and grew to dislike school. But he later realized, it doesn’t have to be this way.

In a recent interview with EdSurge, Heimes explained how he now uses his own experience in the educational system to drive support of data-driven personalized learning and ultimately prevent other students from the same anguish he endured. As co-creator of The Educatory and Student Open Learning (EASOL) initiative and former Chief Technology Officer for the Center of Educational Innovation, Heimes is a data-driven education evangelist promoting the benefits of adopting the Ed-Fi Data Standard.

“I learned differently,” Heimes told the publication. “And with absolutely no personalized learning in place—it was another time after all—I was invisible in the back row. But, today in a data-driven environment…I would’ve received all the resources and would’ve struggled less.”

It’s the passion and commitment of Heimes, and all of the other individuals that make up the Ed-Fi Community, that are perpetuating change and driving impact for both our students and teachers. Be sure to read Heimes’ story in its entirety over at EdSurge.