Summit 2012 Bios

WELCOME AND SUMMIT OVERVIEW

Janice Poda

Janice Poda recently joined the Council of Chief State School Officers as the Strategic Initiative Director for the Education Workforce. Previously, Janice served as the Deputy State Superintendent of Education for Administration and Chief of Staff at the South Carolina Department of Education under State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex. She has broad and deep experience in educator human resources issues. During four years of her service as Deputy Superintendent of the South Carolina Department of Education's Division of Educator Quality & Leadership, Quality Counts ranked South Carolina as #1 and #2 (two consecutive years each) in the US for the state's efforts to improve teacher quality. In that role, she oversaw educator certification, a statewide evaluation system for teachers, leaders, and other school personnel, program approval, the state's teacher of the year program, and federal Title II programs.

She also worked as Executive Director of the South Carolina Center for Teacher Recruitment (now known as the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA)) at Winthrop University. While Assistant Superintendent for Personnel in Greenwood School District 50, Poda assisted with the aftermath of a school shooting and a chartered bus accident. She began her career teaching social studies and children with learning disabilities, and has worked at the district level in testing, research, and evaluation. She is currently a member of the Council of Accreditation of Educator Programs' (CAEP) redesign team and interim board, and has served on the Unit Accreditation Board for NCATE.

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Alan Burke

Alan Burke is the deputy superintendent for K–12 education at the Office of the Superintendent of Instruction (OSPI) in Washington State. In this role, he oversees several divisions and statewide efforts in teaching and learning, career and college readiness, assessment and student information, student support services, teacher and principal evaluation, and early learning.

Before coming to OSPI in February 2009, Burke held a number of positions over a 35-year career in public education, including middle school teacher and principal, assistant superintendent, and, from 1998 through 2009, superintendent of the Yelm School District. Burke has worked with many educational associations and boards, including serving as president for Region 113 of the Washington Association of School Administrators and as a founding member and president of the Washington State Association for Middle Level Education. He currently serves on the FIRST Robotics Pacific Northwest Regional Advisory Board, Washington State Education Coordinating Council, and the board and executive committee of Education Northwest. He also represents OSPI on the boards of Washington Association for School Administrators and Washington State School Directors Association.

Burke earned his EdD from the University of Washington in 1990, completing a dissertation that described middle-level practices in the state and outlined steps to complete a successful junior high to middle school transition.

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Chris Minnich

Chris Minnich serves as the Senior Membership Director at the Council of Chief State School Officers ("CCSSO"). In this role, he manages the communications, advocacy and membership functions of the Council. This includes advocating on behalf of the state chiefs and generating collective state action around key education reform areas.

Prior to his current role at CCSSO, he led the standards and assessment work at CCSSO, where they are currently working on implementing common standards across states.

Prior to CCSSO, Chris worked at Pearson Assessment as the Director of the Assessment Academy Project which provided information regarding assessment practices to different users around the world.

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KEYNOTE — TEACHING AND LEARNING SYSTEMS: CREATING OUR FUTURE

Ramona Pierson

Ramona and her team are developing next generation "Big Data" innovation R&D Platforms and algorithms for open analytics, recommendation engines, and automation using intelligent data methodologies. Pierson Labs is involved in international projects that bring insight and intelligence to data across eGovernment sectors including education, environment, healthcare, social services, pandemic awareness, and beyond in order to empower early warning and pattern detection, system diagnostics, data visualization and simulation. Ramona brings extensive experience with building business and innovative technologies in the PK-20 education and technology, and neuroscience verticals. She has global experience as a thought leader and transformer of education, cognitive sciences, and technology; vast experience as an academician, district administrator, neuroscientist, and well known change--agent in schools worldwide. Her career began as a neuroscientist in university and VA hospitals, which led to her advocating for students with learning challenges in the public school systems. She developed algorithms for the military, and tools for diagnostics and surgery. Her innovative work with education spurred her to develop enterprise level software solutions for data, assessment, and communication systems specifically for education. In 2005, she developed The Source, an online resource for the Seattle Public Schools that allows parents and students to view classroom assignments, grades, attendance, school news and other items. In 2007, she founded SynapticMash to take her concepts to the next level, creating a range of online tools for educators, parents and students. Ramona has been involved with building interoperability and data standards with other global technology leaders such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing in order to enable personalization of learning to students at scale. Ramona is also actively involved in developing the national levels strategies for personalization of learning at scale across the globe. Ramona also founded Learning without Borders (L3RN Foundation), which provides technology and training to educators and learners since 2004.

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TEACHER DEVELOPMENT AS A LEARNING PROGRESSION

Mary Diez

A 1995 winner of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education, Mary Diez is Professor and Dean in the School of Education at Alverno College. She was President of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education in 1993-94 and currently chairs their Task Force on Teacher Education as a Moral Community. She has served on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the Board of Examiners of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. She co-chaired the 2011 InTASC teacher standards revision committee and currently chairs the committee developing teacher learning progressions related to InTASC. In Milwaukee, she directs the Southeastern Wisconsin Assessment Collaborative (SEWAC), which works with teams from schools over a year-long series of professional development days focused on instructional design and the use of effective formative assessment in classroom contexts.

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Karen Huffman

Karen Huffman is Associate Program Director of the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center (ARCC) at Edvantia. With diverse experience and expertise as a state, district, and school administrator, Dr. Huffman is uniquely prepared to provide technical assistance and support to state education agencies (SEAs) as they plan and implement federal reform initiatives focused on teacher and leader effectiveness. Her expertise in the development of teacher, leader, and system standards at the district, state, and national levels includes directing work in West Virginia to develop teacher standards and revising the state teacher evaluation system. She serves on the Council of Chief State School Officers' (CCSSO) committee that has revised the Interstate Teacher Assessment State Consortium (InTASC) standards.

At ARCC, Dr. Huffman heads the team that provides technical assistance in the reform area of teacher/leader effectiveness to the five ARCC states (Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia). She has 25 years of education leadership experience at the district and state levels, with 10 years of experience coordinating and directing state-level education reform initiatives. Dr. Huffman's SEA experience includes work as Assistant Director of the WV Department of Education (WVDE) Office of Assessment; Executive Director of the WVDE Office of Professional Preparation (Teacher Licensure); and WVDE Assistant State Superintendent for the Division of Educator Quality. Prior to her employment with the WVDE and Edvantia, Dr. Huffman was a high school English teacher, high school counselor, and district administrator.

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Kathleen Paliokas

Kathleen Paliokas is Director of the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Kathleen oversaw the development and recent release in April 2011 of the Model Core Teaching Standards: A Resource for State Dialogue and its companion piece, State Policy Implications of the Model Core Teaching Standards. Kathleen helped conceptualize and also staffs CCSSO's new State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness (SCEE), which provides support to 30 states, represented by 6-member teams, as they work to develop coherent standards-based educator effectiveness systems. Previously, Kathleen served as Director of the Center for Improving Teacher Quality (CTQ) at CCSSO, a national center funded by the Office of Special Education Programs at the US Department of Education. CTQ worked with 41 states from 2002-2008 to develop model policies to improve the preparation, licensing, and professional development of both general and special education teachers of students with disabilities.

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Irv Richardson

Irv is currently the Coordinator of Public Education and School Support for NEA-New Hampshire. In this position, he organizes professional development opportunities for educators and serves as the liaison to the New Hampshire Department of Education. Irv has also been an elementary classroom teacher and principal, a member of the instructional support group at the Maine Department of Education, and an independent consultant to state departments of education, colleges and universities and to individual schools. 

He was selected as Maine's Teacher of the Year in 1988 and received a Milken National Educator Award in 1993. Irv worked with the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) on the dissemination of the INTASC Model Standards for Licensing General and Special Education Teachers of Students with Disabilities and was the lead consultant to InTASC's Special Education Resources for General Educators (SERGE) project. He served as a member of the CCSSO workgroup to revise the INTASC Core Standards. He has co-authored several publications on multiage education and has presented at numerous national conferences.

Irv completed his undergraduate education at Dartmouth College, his masters at the University of Southern Maine and his doctorate in teacher education and school improvement at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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Maria Salazar

Dr. María del Carmen Salazar is an Assistant Professor at the University of Denver Morgridge College of Education in the areas of Curriculum and Instruction, and Teacher Education. Her doctorate is in bilingual and multicultural foundations of education. Dr. Salazar's research and scholarship center on high-quality teacher preparation through rigorous research and promising practices in teacher recruitment, preparation, and induction in urban schools. Her research and teaching fields include teacher education, linguistically diverse education, culturally responsive teaching, and college readiness for English Language Learners. Dr. Salazar has authored numerous U.S. and international academic journal articles and book chapters, and given over 100 scholarly presentations on her research areas. In addition, she is the lead author of a widely circulated policy document titled, The State of Latinos 2008: Defining an agenda for the future. This document was presented to members of the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C. and distributed to all members of the U.S. Congress. Dr. Salazar served for three years on the Colorado Quality Teachers Commission to design a teacher identifier system for the state of Colorado. She has also served for four years on the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) to revise model content standards for beginning teacher licensing, assessment, and development.

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KEYNOTE — THE COMPLEXITY OF TEACHING

Michelle Shearer

2011 National Teacher of the Year, Michelle Shearer is a tenth through twelfth grade Advanced Placement Chemistry teacher at Urbana High School in the Frederick County (Maryland) Public Schools system, where she has taught since 2006 and previously at this school from 1997 to 2002. From 2002-2006 she was a ninth through twelfth grade teacher of science and mathematics at the Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick, Maryland. Her first teaching experience was as a sixth grade general science teacher at New Market Middle School, also in Frederick County, during the second semester of the 1996-1997 school year.  As the 61st National Teacher of the Year, she began a year as a full-time national and international spokesperson for education on June 1, 2011. She is an advocate for STEM education for all K-12 students and successfully reaches those who have been traditionally underrepresented in scientific fields, including students with special needs, students of all ethnic backgrounds, and young women.  Shearer was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, graduating from Brandywine High School in 1991.  She holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Princeton University and a master's degree in deaf education from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland.  She is also certified in special education. She is married to George Shearer, an Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate physics teacher at Urbana High School, and they have one child, age five.

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KEYNOTE — PREPARING TEACHERS WHO ARE CLASSROOM-READY AND PRINCIPALS WHO ARE LEADER-READY

Tom Luna

Tom Luna was sworn into a second term as Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction on January 7, 2011. Since first taking office, Tom has worked diligently to raise student achievement by creating a customer-driven public education system that meets the needs of all students and ensures that every student will graduate from high school prepared to live, work and succeed in the 21st century.



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KEYNOTE — TRANSFORMING EDUCATOR PREPARATION

Linda Darling-Hammond 

Linda Darling-Hammond is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University where she has launched the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the School Redesign Network and served as faculty sponsor for the Stanford Teacher Education Program. She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and member of the National Academy of Education. Her research, teaching, and policy work focus on issues of school restructuring, teacher quality and educational equity. From 1994-2001, she served as executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, a blue-ribbon panel whose 1996 report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future, led to sweeping policy changes affecting teaching and teacher education. In 2006, this report was named one of the most influential affecting U.S. education and Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation's ten most influential people affecting educational policy over the last decade. She recently served as the leader of President Barack Obama's education policy transition team.

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PANEL — CONVERSATION: TRANSFORMING EDUCATOR PREPARATION

Jim Cibulka  is President of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in Washington, D.C. Since the beginning of his presidency in 2008, Cibulka has led a redesign of NCATE accreditation to ensure that it serves as a lever for change and reform in educator preparation to better meet urgent national P-12 needs. Under his leadership, NCATE's redesign focuses on moving educator preparation to excellence through continuous improvement and research-based transformation.

Cibulka also serves as president of the new unified accrediting body, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), which is scheduled to become fully operational in 2013.

Cibulka has a long and distinguished record in higher education. Prior to his appointment as President of NCATE, he served as dean of the College of Education at the University of Kentucky from 2002 to 2008, where he also held academic appointments in two departments. While in Kentucky, Cibulka was appointed by the governor to the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, and he served as chair of that body.  Prior to his service in Kentucky, Cibulka was associate dean, chair, and professor at the University of Maryland's College of Education. His first university appointment was at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he served for 23 years, establishing the Department of Community Education and directing the Ph.D. program in urban education.

Cibulka started his career as an administrator for the Chicago Board of Education and as a teacher and administrator in the Model City Community Schools Program in Duluth, MN.

Cibulka holds a B.A. from Harvard College, magna cum laude, with a major in Government. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in the Department of Education, where he concentrated in the fields of educational administration and political science. He attended public schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which he credits with inspiring him and preparing him well for his later achievements.

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Tabitha Grossman  is Program Director in the Education Division of the National Governors Association. Grossman oversees the Education Division's human capital portfolio, which includes work on educator compensation, educator evaluation, and educator preparation. She leads work in the division on time and learning, dropout prevention and recovery and educator professional development.

Prior to joining NGA, Tabitha was director of the North Carolina Learn and Earn Early College High School initiative, a High School Specialist in the Virginia Department of Education, and held various positions in school districts in the central Virginia area.

Tabitha holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, a Post-Master's Certificate in School Administration and Supervision, a M.Ed. in Counselor Education, and a B.A. in Political Science and African-American Studies from the Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia.

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AM CONTENT BREAKOUTS

Mary-Dean Barringer  is the Educator in Residence, supporting SCEE members in the Eastern Region of the United States. Prior to joining CCSSO in December 2011, she served as the Chief Executive Officer of All Kinds of Minds. There, Mary-Dean had the responsibility for the development and expansion of the institute's neurodevelopmental model for schools. Her efforts leading the Schools Attuned® Initiative have resulted in more than 50,000 K-12 educators world-wide receiving and implementing research-based training about learning variation to better instruct struggling students.

Throughout her path in education, Mary-Dean has been dedicated to keeping America focused on learning -- making schools effective learning environments for all children. Prior to her tenure at All Kinds of Minds, Mary-Dean was a founding board member of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and then served as Vice President of Outreach and Mobilization for the non-profit education organization for a decade. In 2010, she was once again elected to serve on the NBPTS board of directors.

Mary-Dean started her career as teacher of exceptional needs students in Michigan. As a special education teacher for thirteen years, Mary-Dean received numerous awards and recognition for her innovation and advocacy, including the 1985 Council for Exceptional Children's National Teacher of the Year award.

Mary-Dean received a Bachelor's of Science in special education from Eastern Michigan University and earned a dual-major Master's of Science in developmental disabilities and early childhood from Wayne State University. She pursued doctoral studies in education policy at Michigan State University until 1994. In 2008, Mary-Dean was inducted into the Eastern Michigan University College of Education Hall of Fame.

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Holly Boffy is an Educator in Residence for CCSSO serving the central and southeastern states participating in SCEE. Holly also serves as an elected member of the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. While teaching 8th grade social studies to gifted students, Holly was selected as the 2010 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year. She taught middle school for ten years and also served as an adjunct instructor for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Holly is National Board Certified. 

Holly is a graduate of Louisiana State University where she graduated with a B.S., M.Ed. and Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction. She is currently working on a doctorate. Holly is married to Carrick Boffy. Their son has a mild form of a rare bone disorder called osteogenesis imperfecta. In their spare time, the Boffy's organize Fishing for Memories: A Benefit Rodeo for the Alzheimer's Association.

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Mary Canole  recently retired from the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (RIDE) in June of 2008 after serving as the Director of the Office of Progressive Support and Intervention. This office was formed to support and monitor schools and districts categorized as "In Need of Improvement" by both NCLB and Rhode Island Law for School Accountability. Previously, Mary served as the Superintendent of Newport Public Schools in Rhode Island for four years and was successful in moving the Newport district out of the "In Need of Improvement" status. Before becoming Superintendent, Mary spent four years as the Director of Instruction and Grants for Newport Schools and seven years as the Director/Principal of the Newport Area Career and Technical Center. Mary taught at both the middle school and high school levels in other urban and suburban schools in Rhode Island.

Mary Canole received her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University in 1999. Her dissertation was titled "District Strategic Planning - Is there evidence of Strategic Thinking and Acting?" In addition, she holds a Master's of Education Administration from Rhode Island College, a Master's of Science from University of Rhode Island, and a Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University. Mary is a 1998 Milken award recipient.

Since leaving RIDE, Mary continues some of her former SEA leadership initiatives related to the newly adopted Rhode Island Leadership Standards. She leads a Rhode Island superintendents' network called the Advanced Leadership Development Seminar (ALDS) and teaches in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at Johnson and Wales University. Mary serves as a consultant on School Leadership and a member of the Educator Workforce Team for the Council of Chief State School Officers. She previously facilitated the work of the State Consortium on Education Leadership (SCEL). SCEL contributed to the recent revisions of the ISLLC 2008 Educational Leadership Policy Standards and developed and published a companion document last spring entitled: Performance Expectations and Indicators for Education Leaders. In addition, Mary is a member of Mass Insight's Teacher Evaluation Bench at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island, a school undergoing transformation.

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Liza Cordeiro joined the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) in September 2002 as the executive director of the Communications Office.  As part of the Communications Office, Ms. Cordeiro oversees all integrated marketing communications for the department and the West Virginia Board of Education.

Ms. Cordeiro has nearly 20 years of experience in public relations, crisis communications and new media strategies as well as marketing, video production, web design and image development. Prior to her time with the WVDE, Ms. Cordeiro worked with the West Virginia Governor's Office as a media specialist and as press secretary for former Congressman Bob Wise. She has worked in television news markets across the country including Boston, Los Angeles, Providence and the Midwest. 

In addition to her communications work for the WVDE, Liza has been part of the Common Core State Standards team, the Race to the Top application team and helped implement the state's 21st century learning plan called "Global21: Students Deserve it. The World Demands it." Ms. Cordeiro currently serves on the board of the Council of Chief State School Officers Communications Directors Network and is a member of the National Assessment Governor Board Policy Task Force.

Cordeiro, originally from Providence, Rhode Island, is a graduate of Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts where she earned a journalism degree. She also earned her master's degree in integrated marketing communications from West Virginia University.

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Felicia Cumings Smith serves as associate commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Education's Office of Next Generation Learners. Smith's job duties include oversight of three divisions within the office: Program Standards, Learning Services and Next Generation Professionals. The work of these divisions is centered around P-12 teaching and learning for all learners; standards development and subject-area resources; school readiness initiatives; differentiated learning options for students including Response to Intervention; college and career readiness initiatives; educator effectiveness; and development and implementation of a new teacher and leader evaluation system. Smith earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville and is pursuing a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Kentucky. Smith's previous work experience includes serving as executive director of the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development (CCLD) in Lexington, state Reading First coordinator, district reading resource teacher and an elementary school teacher.

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Kate Dando joined CCSSO in September of 2010 as the Director of Communications. In this role she is responsible for developing and implementing the Council's strategic communications plan. She and her team manage internal and external communications efforts for the Council.  She also oversees the planning and execution of CCSSO's three annual member meetings, the Annual Policy Forum, the Legislative Conference, and the Summer Institute.  Her team works closely with the communications directors in each state education agency to provide resources and support to them as they communicate throughout the state about education reform efforts. 

Prior to joining CCSSO she spent six years as a strategic communications advisor at the law firm Holland & Knight LLP. While at Holland & Knight, Kate worked with trade associations, communities, Indian tribes, non-profit and for-profit organizations to develop and implement comprehensive communications and government relations strategies.  Prior to working at Holland & Knight Kate, spent three years in the office of U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell from Colorado as his press secretary and deputy press secretary.  Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Art History from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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Ben Fenton  (Benjamin) co-founded New Leaders in 2000 with several other social entrepreneurs. In his current role as chief strategy and knowledge officer, Ben leads the organization's Policy and Practice Services, helping states and districts develop new policies, strategies and tools for principal evaluation and principal effectiveness. He is also responsible for the ongoing implementation of the New Leaders organizational learning plan and programmatic evaluation.

In previous roles, Ben has served as chief operating officer, growing the organization from a staff of five to more than 150 employees; chief cities officer, managing and supporting all local program sites; and chief school support officer, developing national and local strategies to support the performance of schools led by New Leader principals. A recognized expert on principal quality, he is the lead author of the New Leaders white papers "Principal Effectiveness" and "Evaluating Principals," and he co-led the development of the Urban Excellence Framework, a detailed field guide of the school practices and principal actions found in high-gaining urban public schools.

Ben is also a founding board member of Teach Plus, a non-profit dedicated to retaining and developing great teachers who improve student achievement. He formerly worked as a consultant at McKinsey and Company, focusing on marketing and operational efficiency. Ben is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School, where he received the Fiske award for excellence in teaching in the Economics Department.

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Paul Ferrari has worked at CCSSO since 2007. In this time he has been responsible for developing an online and social media strategy for the organization, leading the redesign of the CCSSO webpage, serving as editor of the Council's newsletter, managing the Council's brand, and assisting with the development and implementation of the Council's strategic communications plan. One of Paul's favorite roles involves working with CCSSO's Communications Directors Network, because in this role he gets to connect with state education agency communications professionals from across the country.

A jack of all trades and self-professed master of none, Paul has worked at a number of professional theatres and arts organizations prior to joining CCSSO, serving as an actor, marketer, teacher, and company manager. He realized his passion for education when he was charged with developing and running an after-school and summer musical theatre program for at-risk children. In his free time, Paul enjoys photography, painting, and volunteering with small non-profits to provide strategic communications counsel. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Criticism from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

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Jackie Gran,chief policy and partnerships officer for New Leaders, leads efforts to create a supportive policy environment for school leaders and high-performing school leadership preparation programs across the country. These federal, state, and local policy efforts are designed to create the working conditions that allow highly effective school leaders to succeed, such as autonomy, accountability, and management that fosters professional growth. Jackie spent the last two years at the U.S. Department of Education serving as a special assistant in the Offices of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary and as a senior advisor in the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. She was previously the national director of growth and policy at New Leaders, overseeing the selection competition for new district partners. Jackie taught middle school as a Teach For America corps member in New York City. She also served as a legislative aide to Senator Kennedy on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. She earned a bachelor's degree from Wellesley College and a master's degree from Pace University.

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Deb Hansen is a senior policy analyst at West Wind Education Policy Inc.  Deb specializes in analyzing information and identifying resources pertaining to teacher and administrator quality policies and practices. She has expertise in designing and supporting professional growth systems and has been instrumental in designing and implementing CCSSO's State Consortium on Teacher Effectiveness (SCEE).

Prior to working at West Wind, Deb spent nearly 25 years consulting on professional development and policy issues on the state level after spending 15 years as a teacher and early childhood specialist. Deb most recently served as an Administrative Consultant for the Iowa Department of Education providing technical assistance and supports for school improvement efforts at the state, regional, and district level.

Deb completed her bachelor's in Special Education from Northern Illinois University, her master's in Early Childhood Special Education from Illinois University, and graduate coursework in Education Administration at the University of South Dakota, Iowa State University, and Drake University.

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Stephanie Hirsh is Executive Director of Learning Forward. With more than 12,000 members, Learning Forward is an international association of learning educators committed to one purpose in K-12 education: Every educator engages in effective professional learning every day so every student achieves.

Hirsh presents, publishes, and consults on Learning Forward's behalf across North America. She facilitated the process that led to the publication and national dissemination of NSDC's Standards for Staff Development. Hirsh also directed the development of Innovation Configurations, described in the book Moving NSDC's Staff Development Standards Into Practice: Innovation Configurations.  Hirsh advises governors, chief state school officers, legislators, and other policy makers regarding all aspects of professional development. 

Recent books include: The Learning Educator, co-authored with Joellen Killion, and Transforming Schools Through Powerful Planning, co-authored with Kay Psencik. Hirsh writes a regular column for JSD, Learning Forward's bimonthly magazine. She has also written articles for Educational Leadership, Phi Delta Kappan, The Record, The School Administrator, American School Board Journal, The High School Magazine, and Education Week. In 2008, Hirsh co-authored two book chapters with Shirley Hord: "Making the Promise a Reality," in A.M. Blankstein, P.D. Houston, & R.W. Cole (Eds.), Sustaining Professional Learning Communities, published by Corwin Press, and "The Role of Professional Learning in Advancing Quality Teaching and Student Learning," in Thomas L. Good, (Ed.), 21st Century Education: A Reference Handbook, published by Sage Publications.

Prior to her position with Learning Forward, Hirsh completed 15 years of district and school-based leadership positions, including: teacher, community college teaching, consulting teacher for free enterprise, and program and staff development director. In 2005, she completed three terms as a school board trustee in the Richardson Independent School District.

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Karen Huffman is associate program director of the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center (ARCC) at Edvantia, where she heads the team that provides technical assistance in the reform area of teacher/leader effectiveness to the five ARCC states (Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia). She has 25 years of education leadership experience at the district and state levels, with 10 years of experience coordinating and directing state-level education reform initiatives.  

Karen provides technical assistance and support to state education agencies (SEAs) as they plan and implement federal reform initiatives focused on teacher and leader effectiveness. Her expertise in the development of teacher, leader, and system standards at the district, state, and national levels includes directing work in West Virginia to develop teacher standards and revising the state teacher evaluation system.  Karen serves on the Council of Chief State School Officers' (CCSSO) committee that has revised the Interstate Teacher Assessment State Consortium (InTASC) standards. 

Karen's SEA experience includes work as Assistant Director of the WV Department of Education (WVDE) Office of Assessment; Executive Director of the WVDE Office of Professional Preparation (Teacher Licensure); and WVDE Assistant State Superintendent for the Division of Educator Quality. Prior to her employment with the WVDE and Edvantia, Karen was a high school English teacher, high school counselor, and district administrator.

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Terry Janicki  is the Educator in Residence for the Western Region in the SCEE with the CCSSO. He is working with state education leaders in Wisconsin, Washington, Utah, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Hawaii, and California to help them redefine and rethink their system of effective educators with a focus on standards, preparation, professional development, evaluation, licensure/certification and the related areas of recruitment, hiring and selection, and induction and mentoring, so that we have effective educators at all levels in all states.

His educational background includes a BS in Physics and Mathematics and a Master in Science Education from the University of Illinois and a PhD in Educational Psychology (Human Learning) from the University of Wisconsin. He served as an administrator at the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) where he was the manager of the examination and research unit, which included overseeing the implementation of the teaching performance assessment requirement in California (both CalTPA and PACT), and standards development.

Prior to his work at the CTC, he served as the Director of the Education Services Center (Director of Professional Education Programs) at CSU, Chico; managed the Mathematics/Science Leadership Office at the California Department of Education; spent 13 years as a consultant with the Commission where he worked on the California New Teacher Project, BTSA, and monitored examination related contractual work; and, he represented California at INTASC meetings from 1995-2000, and from 2009-2011.

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Deborah Jonas is the Executive Director for Research and Strategic Planning at the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), where she provides support and advice to the superintendent of public instruction, the executive leadership of the department and VDOE staff. Dr. Jonas conducts, coordinates and oversees scientifically based research and analyses conducted by the department and in cooperation with partner agencies and organizations. In addition, she provides internal consultation services to VDOE staff on issues pertaining to research, analysis and program evaluation and supports the Department's strategic and operational process-improvement initiatives. Dr. Jonas conducted and managed the research supporting Virginia's College and Career Readiness Initiative, leads the work to develop and implement Virginia's growth measure, and is a key staff member in the development of guidelines for using measures of student academic progress in Virginia's teacher and principal performance evaluation system.

For the past several years, Dr. Jonas' research has focused on identifying factors that suggest students are at risk of not graduating from high school, Virginia's indicators of college readiness, and developing and implementing student growth percentiles in Virginia.

Dr. Jonas earned a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Duke University, and a B.A. from the University of Maryland.

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Brad Jupp is a Senior Program Advisor in the Office of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. In that role he supports the development and implementation of policy on teacher and leader effectiveness. He is on loan to the Secretary's team from the Denver Public Schools (DPS) where over 24 years he served as a teacher, union leader and senior administrator.

Jupp spent 19 years as a middle school language arts teacher, including four years in his dream job at the DPS Alternative Middle School.

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Curtis Linton  is a co-owner of School Improvement Network where he is co-executive producer of The Video Journal of Education and TeachStream. He has spent the last 10 years documenting on video and in print the improvement efforts and best practices of the most successful schools and school systems across North America. Each year, he visits more than 100 classrooms and schools, capturing what they do to succeed with all students at the classroom, school, and system levels.

Mr. Linton has written or produced dozens of award-winning video-based staff development programs, including No Excuses! How to Increase Minority Student Achievement, which presents how schools across North America have completely closed their achievement gaps. He also co-authored with Glenn Singleton the best-selling, award-winning book, Courageous Conversation About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools. His areas of expertise include building equity, using data, leadership, effective staff development, brain research, differentiation, action research and closing achievement gaps. With the goal of delivering results-based professional development efficiently to large numbers of educators, he works with school systems to design comprehensive school improvement plans that integrate workshops, video, electronic media, and other resources. As a part of this, Mr. Linton conducts workshops on building systemic equity to increase minority student achievement and integrate effective classroom practices.

Mr. Linton also works extensively in the community, including serving on the Davis School District Equity Committee and directing the Salt Lake chapter of Families Supporting Adoption. Mr. Linton received his master's degree in fine arts from the University of Southern California and currently resides with his wife, Melody, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Colleen Mileham  is Assistant Superintendent for the Office of Educational Improvement and Innovation (OEII) at the Oregon Department of Education. She has served students and teachers in the education field for more than 36 years. Colleen has led and managed teams of education specialists implementing high school improvement, career and technical education programs, PK-20 system integration efforts, and implementation of the Oregon diploma requirements. Currently she provides leadership for state and federal programs that support comprehensive education in K-12 school districts. Colleen guides staff in the areas of educator effectiveness, teaching and learning in academic and career and technical education, alternative education, talented and gifted programs, advanced placement and charter schools. She also guides the administration of 17 federal grant programs awarded to Oregon school districts.

In addition to her current position at the Oregon Department of Education, Colleen served as the Director of the Secondary/Postsecondary Transitions Team, Coordinator of a School Improvement Team, and as an Education Program Specialist. Prior to coming to the Oregon Department of Education Dr. Mileham served as an Assistant Professor and Teacher Educator at Central Washington University and Education Consultant with the state of Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Department. Her education career began as a high school and middle school teacher.

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Joellen Killion is Senior Advisor for Learning Forward. Killion focuses on improving professional learning for all educators. Her books, What Works in the Middle: Results-Based Staff Development, What Works in the Elementary Grades: Results-Based Staff Development, and What Works in the High School: Results-Based Staff Development, summarize two-year studies of content-specific staff development. Her study of schools that have received the U.S. Department of Education's Model Professional Development Awards sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and WestEd resulted in Teachers Who Learn Kids Who Achieve: A Look at Model Professional Development.

Killion has studied online learning and its role in professional development. This work resulted in E-Learning for Educators: Implementing the Standards. Her most recent books include Assessing Impact: Evaluating Staff Development, Assessing Impact: Evaluating Staff Development: A Trainer's Manual (co-authored with Linda Munger and Pat Roy), Collaborative Professional Learning Teams in School and Beyond: A Tool Kit for New Jersey Educators, and Taking the Lead: New Roles for Teacher and School-based Coaches (co-authored with Cindy Harrison); The Learning Educator: A New Era in Professional Learning (co-authored with Stephanie Hirsh); and Becoming a Learning School (with Patricia Roy).

Killion has extensive experience in professional development. As former Deputy Executive Director of Learning Forward, she has led a number of initiatives related to examining the link between professional development and student learning. She has extensive experience in professional development planning, design, implementation, and evaluation both at the school and system level. She has conducted evaluations of projects funded by federal and private foundation grants including U.S Department of Education Technology Challenge Grants, Washington Mutual Foundation, Dodge Foundation, GE Foundation, Wachovia Foundation's Teachers and Teaching Initiative, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Wallace Foundation, and the Sandler Foundation.

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Tricia McManus was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. She received her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from the University of South Florida. For the past twenty years, she has been a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Hillsborough County Public Schools, six years of which she served as a turnaround principal in two high needs elementary schools. She currently serves as Director of Leadership Development for Hillsborough County Public Schools. In this role, she provides training and support for school and district leaders as part of our Hillsborough Principal Pipeline, with a specific focus on preparing leaders for the role of school principal.

She has served as a state trainer and has presented at state and national conferences to include the Florida Association of Staff Development and the National School Board Association. She contributed to the development of the book, Becoming a Learning School, published by Learning Forward.

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Peter McWalters joined the Council of Chief State School Officers' leadership team after having served as the Rhode Island commissioner of elementary and secondary education from 1992 to 2009. During his time as commissioner, McWalters made significant gains in creating a better state-led system of education and increasing success for all of Rhode Island's students. This included establishing and adopting grade-level content standards and implementing an aligned state assessment; partnering in founding the successful three state assessment collaborative, the New England Common Assessment Program; designing and implementing a legislatively-motivated accountability system with multiple measures and indicators including a robust public reporting system; leading the state in transitioning from a life certification system for teachers to an individual professional improvement plans for license renewal; and intervening in five high-need, underperforming districts and succeeding in significant improvement within No Child Left Behind and Annual Yearly Progress targets. He also advocated for creating statewide early-childhood education, a school-financing system that was fair to all districts, the improvement of education for students with disabilities, and better and more comprehensive training and development for teachers and administrators.

McWalters' background and expertise in educator (both teacher and administrator) development is what led him to direct this initiative for the Council. A lifelong educator, McWalters began his career as a teacher of English as a Second Language in the Rochester, New York, public schools. He holds a degree in history and philosophy from Boston College, a Master's Degree of Public Administration and Certificate of Advanced Studies in Education Administration from the State University of New York, Brockport and he has previously served in the Peace Corps in the Philippines.

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Rashidah Lopez Morgan  is currently the director of leadership strategy with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. In her role, she leads programs and initiatives that focus on building the leadership capacity in the district in order to drive student achievement. Her responsibilities include leading the district's initiative that focuses on building a comprehensive approach to identifying, hiring, evaluating and supporting principals and assistant principals and managing a program focused on retaining and developing high potential teachers.

Morgan began her career in education as a Broad Resident. Her professional background includes strategic marketing and product management experiences with Fortune 500 companies such as American Express, Microsoft Corporation and Wachovia Bank. She started her career with Accenture where she worked in the Organizational and Human Performance/Change Management Group developing organization designs, communication plans, and training for Fortune 500 companies. Morgan holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Spelman College and a master's of business administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She mentors at-risk girls and is a mentor with Tri it for Life, on organization dedicated to supporting women who are first time tri-athletes. She has also served as an instructor at a local community college, a board member for an organization that provides affordable after school care for children, as well as a member of an impact fund for emerging philanthropists.

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Scott Palmer is Managing Partner and Co-Founder of EducationCounsel LLC, an affiliate of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. EducationCounsel is an education consulting firm that helps leading states, school districts, higher education institutions, foundations, and education associations understand how to structure their policies in ways that best drive improved student achievement while leveraging federal requirements to ensure maximum flexibility and support. Mr. Palmer provides policy, legal, strategic planning, and advocacy services to education leaders across the country, including state/national policy counsel and federal advocacy before the White House, U.S. Department of Education and Congress. He works on a wide range of major reforms, from designing K-12 policies that promote college and career readiness, to building comprehensive birth-to-five early learning systems, to promoting access and diversity in higher education. Mr. Palmer previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education and Attorney and Policy Advisor in the Clinton White House where he worked on the President's Race Initiative on education and civil rights issues. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of California Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelor of Arts with honors from the University of Maryland.

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Barbara Sims  is an Associate Director with the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) in the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has more than 20 years of experience in education as a teacher, administrator and consultant. She has worked in private, public and State Education Agency settings. Barbara is currently concentrating on the application of implementation research to the education field, especially in the areas of School Improvement, and building the capacity of state, regional and district education systems to implement and scale up effective education innovations.

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Michael Sponhour is Executive Director of Communications and Outreach for the Ohio Department of Education where he oversees media relations, strategic communications and customer service. The department leads Ohio's public education system which serves 1.8 million students and employs more than 190,000 educators in 614 school districts.

From 1999 t0 2010, he was Director of Public Affairs for the South Carolina Budget and Control Board, South Carolina's central administrative agency. Previously, Sponhour was a reporter for The State, where he spent a decade as a reporter covering state government and politics, statewide education issues, and local government. He is also former chairman of Lexington County (S.C.) First Steps, an early childhood education initiative.

Sponhour earned a B.A. in Journalism from Ohio State University, and an M.A. in History from the University of South Carolina. He holds the Accredited Business Communicator certification from the International Association Business Communicators and is past president of the South Carolina IABC chapter. He led South Carolina's 2010 statewide Census awareness campaign which won state, regional and national communications awards for helping the state tie for the national lead in improved Census response rate.

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Kendyll Stansbury  is an assessment specialist at the Stanford Center for Assessment, Education, and Equity.  She currently is working on a nationally available, pre-service teacher assessment that is being field tested in 23 states this Spring.  She has been working in pre-service and beginning teacher assessment for over two decades.

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Circe Stumbo is founder and president of West Wind Education Policy (West Wind). As a consultant to CCSSO, Circe directed the creation of the State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness, its online collaboration site (www.ccsso.org/scee), and designed and managed its April 2011 National Summit on Educator Effectiveness.  Circe has facilitated numerous national and statewide blue ribbon panels and summits, cross-functional working teams, organizational strategic planning processes, and equity leadership teams.

For nearly fifteen years prior to founding West Wind, Circe worked in non-profit associations in the fields of agriculture, higher education, and K-12 education policy in Washington, DC.

Circe also taught political theory at the University of Maryland College Park, where she advanced to Ph.D. candidacy in 2001 before investing her efforts in West Wind and her commitment to alleviate inequities in public education.   Circe earned a master's degree in education from Harvard University, a master's in government and politics from the University of Maryland, and a bachelor's in political science from The University of Iowa.

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Richard Wenning is a national expert on the design and implementation of education accountability and performance management systems and supports states, districts, and education service providers as president of RJW Advisors. He served until June 2011 as the Associate Commissioner of the Colorado Department of Education and led its Office of Performance and Policy. At CDE, Richard led public policy development resulting in enacted statutes for standards and assessments, education accountability, and educator effectiveness. He also led the design and implementation of Colorado's new education accountability system, including the SchoolView® data system and Colorado Growth Model.

Before joining CDE, Richard was Vice President for Quality & Accountability at the Colorado League of Charter Schools. He also served as an Executive on Loan to the Superintendent of Denver Public Schools, where he focused on strengthening the district's performance management practices and helped develop the district's School Performance Framework.

Prior to moving to Colorado from Washington, DC, Richard was President of the Education Performance Network, an affiliate of New American Schools, where he led a consulting practice focused on education accountability systems and new school development. Previously, he served as Senior Policy Advisor to the CEO of the DC Public Schools during the school district's takeover by the congressionally appointed D.C. Control Board. While at DCPS, he headed its offices of intergovernmental affairs and educational accountability and led implementation of charter school legislation enacted by Congress.

Before working with the D.C. Public Schools, Richard served as Clerk for the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the District of Columbia and as a staff member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services. Richard began his career at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), where he led research on educational accountability, equity, and market-based education reform strategies.

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John White is the senior manager of SAS® EVAAS® for K-12, a division of SAS® Solutions OnDemand. SAS EVAAS provides educators and policymakers with a number of powerful reports necessary to build upon effective practices and meet the needs of individual students. More specifically, SAS EVAAS is based on sophisticated modeling of student achievement test scores to measure student academic progress and to predict future student success. John oversees analytic development, research, and production of the SAS EVAAS solution and, as a long-time member of the group, brings a wealth of technical knowledge and practical expertise. He has met with many educators, administrators, researchers and policymakers across the nation to discuss value-added and growth models and assist in their implementation. Currently, SAS EVAAS is available to every district and school in four states and to individual districts in sixteen other states.

John has bachelor of science, master, and doctorate degrees in statistics from North Carolina State University.

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Peter Winograd  currently serves as the Director of the Center for Education Policy (CEPR) at the University of New Mexico. CEPR's mission is to conduct independent research on a wide range of education issues and to use that research to strengthen the efforts of policy makers, educators and citizens in meeting the challenges facing New Mexico. Dr. Winograd has been deeply involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of New Mexico's major education reform initiatives including early childhood education; statewide longitudinal education data systems; high school redesign and college readiness; teacher and principal effectiveness, and evaluation. Dr. Winograd directed the Wallace Foundation Educational Leadership Grant from 2004 to 2008 and also directed the New Mexico Title II Teacher Quality Grant from 1999-2003. Dr. Winograd's previous experience includes serving as the Education Policy Advisor to Governor Richardson for two years and the Director of the New Mexico Office of Education Accountability in the Department of Finance and Administration for six years. Dr. Winograd also served as the Director of The Center for Teacher Education & Educational Policy in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico; Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Kentucky; Director for the University of Kentucky Institute for Educational Research; and Co-Director for The University of Kentucky and University of Louisville Joint Center for the Study of Educational Policy. Over his career, Dr. Winograd has published more than 60 books, book chapters and refereed articles dealing with literacy, assessment, and education reform. Dr. Winograd received his doctoral degree from the University of Illinois in 1981.

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PM CONTENT BREAKOUTS

Sarah Buhayar  is a Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she manages the district grants and project operations for the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project. Sarah completed her teacher training at the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) in Chicago, and taught middle school math in Chicago Public Schools for five years. She worked as a math teacher and math specialist at Dodge Renaissance Academy, Chicago's first turnaround school, helping to lead the school to the largest student achievement gain in Illinois. Sarah also served as a math curriculum manager for AUSL, leading the design and implementation of a K-8 formative assessment system in the network's turnaround schools.

Sarah holds National Board Certification in Mathematics, a BA in English from the University of Chicago, an MA in Elementary Education from National-Louis University, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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Hardin Daniel  is Vice President of Discovery Education Assessment (formerly ThinkLink Learning founded by Vanderbilt University) focused on supporting educators in the effective use of data to drive teaching and learning. A former teacher and principal, he earned a MEd from Peabody College and later completed his MBA from Owen School of Management, both at Vanderbilt. For the past four years, Hardin has been involved with the development and implementation of the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL-ED) establishing the instrument as the standard for valid and reliable measurement of effective educational leadership.

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Keith Everson  is responsible for facilitating the development of teacher and leader effectiveness measures for Gwinnett County Public Schools. Prior to returning to GCPS, he was Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Support Services in a neighboring Georgia school system. He was a middle school principal and assistant principal after beginning his teaching career in Gwinnett County. He holds an Ed. D. from Nova Southeastern University, an Ed.S. from Georgia Southern University, a M.Ed. from Georgia State University, all in Educational Leadership, and a B.A. in Education from the University of Georgia. He has served education in Georgia by working with the Georgia Department of Education, The Professional Standards Commission, the Georgia School Boards Association and the Georgia School Superintendents Association.

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Robin Gelinas a senior policy advisor at EducationCounsel, provides assistance to clients at state education agencies and other state-level entities to inform, guide, and facilitate the process of policy change. She also works with various nationally and federally focused organizations to provide assistance in strategic planning and policy analysis. Ms. Gelinas's core areas of expertise are educator quality and effectiveness, high school reform, college- and career-readiness, state capacity building, school/district supports and interventions, and student supports.  

Ms. Gelinas formerly served as Senior Director of Policy Initiatives for the Texas Education Agency. In that role, she introduced and created momentum for new policies and initiatives within the agency and throughout the state. She created and managed Texas's teacher pay for performance program and managed the Commission for a College Ready Texas (CCRT), a Governor-appointed advisory group made up of representatives from the business, philanthropic, and research communities.

Prior to joining the Texas Education Agency, Ms. Gelinas worked as a policy associate at the Alliance for Excellent Education, where she provided general leadership in policy efforts and authored or co-authored multiple briefs and papers relating to federal high school policy and teacher quality.   Early in her career, she was employed first by Accenture and then by BearingPoint, Inc., where she assisted clients in the change management process, including strategic and organizational planning, communications, and training development. 

Ms. Gelinas earned a Master's in Public Policy from Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, where she received a Terry Sanford Fellowship. She also has completed additional class work at Duke MBA, Duke Law School, and UNC Law School. She earned a Bachelor of Science, cum laude, in Business and Finance from Wake Forest University.  

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Liam Goldrick  is Director of Policy at New Teacher Center, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders. Liam leads a range of initiatives designed to strengthen new educator induction and mentoring policies at the state and national levels. He served as project lead on the NTC Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction, which includes a policy paper and individual policy summaries for all 50 states. His work at NTC also includes: policy analysis and research; policy consultation; development of federal and state legislation and policy regulations; influencing federal program rules (such as the Race to the Top program); presentations to policy task forces; legislative testimony; and written communications, including a monthly policy newsletter, policy briefs and reports.

Prior to joining NTC, Liam served as education policy advisor to former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, senior policy analyst in the Education Division at the National Governors Association in Washington, DC, and executive assistant to the Vermont State Auditor.

Liam graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Boston College in 1993 and earned a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1995. He grew up and attended public schools in Massachusetts and Vermont. Liam currently lives in Stoughton, Wisconsin with his wife and their two children.

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Aimee Rogstad Guidera founder and executive director, leads the Data Quality Campaign's (DQC) efforts to encourage policymakers to increase the availability and use of high-quality education data to improve student achievement.

Aimee was named one of TIME's School of Thought: 12 Education Activists of 2012 for her devoted and proactive leadership on the data front.

Prior to launching the DQC in 2005, Aimee served as the director of the Washington, DC, office of the National Center for Educational Accountability, where she built and managed relations with leaders in business and education organizations as well as managed the administration of the Just for the Kids school improvement model. From 1995 to 2003, Aimee filled various roles at the National Alliance of Business (NAB), supporting the corporate community's efforts to increase achievement at all levels of learning. As NAB vice president of programs, she managed the Business Coalition Network, which included more than 1,000 business-led coalitions focused on improving education in communities across the country.

Prior to joining NAB, Aimee focused on school readiness, academic standards and accountability systems with the Center for Best Practices at the National Governors Association. She also taught for the Japanese Ministry of Education in five Hiroshima high schools, where she interviewed educators and studied the Japanese education system.

Aimee received her bachelor of arts from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs and earned a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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Deanna Hill is a senior policy analyst at West Wind Education Policy Inc., where she conducts research and authors reports on a number of critical issues in education.  Deanna supported state policy development during the 2010-11 Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC) pilot year and conducted research and co-authored paper on state policy considerations of the five accelerated states for CCSSO.  She is now contracted by American Association of Colleges of Teachers Education (AACTE) to provide policy development support to TPAC states during the 2011-12 field test year. 

In 2007-2008 Deanna was the lead staff on West Wind's Teacher Development Collaboratives in Ohio, where representatives of institutions of higher education and practitioners within local educational agencies conducted action planning around improvements to teacher preparation and professional development for middle and high school teachers.  She also teaches online courses on social foundations of education, curriculum and instruction, assessment, and education research at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she has developed curriculum for both the Bachelor of Science and Higher Education programs. 

Prior to joining West Wind, Deanna worked as a research and evaluation specialist in the Title I Division of the Georgia Department of Education and conducted research for a number of organizations, including the Center on Education Policy in Washington, D.C.  Deanna also conducted research in Pittsburgh Public Schools for the RAND Corporation. 

Deanna holds a Ph.D. in administrative and policy studies in education from the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, Deanna holds a J.D. from The University of Iowa College of Law and is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas.

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Chris Lafrenz achieved National Board Certification in 2001 and renewed in 2010.  She has trained NBPTS assessors to score portfolio entries for the past 5 years.  She graduated from Northeast Missouri State with a bachelor's degree in special education, later attended University of Northern Iowa obtaining regular education certification.  In 2008 she enrolled in a graduate program through Graceland University and received her master's degree in 2009. She has taught elementary behavior disorders for 6 years, learning disabled students for 6 years and has taught regular education for 18 years.  Currently, Chris teaches 5th grade in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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Kathleen Narduak  oversees the NYC Leadership Academy's (NYCLA) New York City programs, including its signature Aspiring Principals Program (APP) and programs that deliver coaching and professional development support to NYC public school principals. In addition, she frequently collaborates on NYCLA's national consulting work, providing strategic guidance, curriculum design, training facilitation, and other support to districts, states, and universities across the United States that partner with NYCLA to build and strengthen their school leadership programs.

Kathy's more than 35 years in education includes two decades at the New York City Department of Education, where she held key positions in finance and in operations, served as Chief of Staff to the Chancellor, and played a significant role in the strategic planning and implementation of Chancellor Joel Klein's Children First reforms.

Kathy holds a M.Ed from William Paterson College, a MS from Fordham University, and a BA from Thomas More College.

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Valerie Nybergis a policy analyst for West Wind Education Policy Inc. She works on various projects providing input, research, and analysis on projects relating to issues of equity and race. She lends to West Wind her background designing and implementing cultural competence professional development at the school district level as well as her background as a teacher educator, mid-level administrator working with schools, a program director, and classroom teacher. Valerie is also finishing her Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Iowa. Valerie holds a K-12 administrator license in the State of Iowa and she is an adjunct professor at Kirkwood Community College, teaching Composition. Her areas of interest include: sociocultural theory, multiliteracies and critical literacy, secondary teacher education, diversity issues in education, qualitative research, reluctant/resistant learners, and administrative leadership.

Valerie holds a Master's in English, she also has a Bachelor's of Education in English and Communications both from Western Washington University (Western) in Bellingham, Washington. She taught high school English in Washington State for three years, as well as taught Freshman composition at Western for a year and was the Managing Editor for the Bellingham Review, also for a year. Prior to that, Valerie served for three years in the United States Navy in the aviation community.

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Lynn Olson is the special assistant to the director of education-college ready at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the interim deputy director of the Empowering Effective Teachers team.

Prior to joining the foundation, Ms. Olson was a writer and editor for 24 years at Education Week, an independent, national newspaper covering K-12 education in the United States. In 2005 the Consortium for Policy Research in Education presented her with an award for distinguished contributions to the field of education policy, alongside James B. Hunt, Jr., former governor of North Carolina, and Professor Robert E. Slavin of Johns Hopkins University. She also has received awards from the Education Writers Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the International Reading Association. During her time at Education Week, Ms. Olson served as the executive project editor for both Quality Counts, an annual report card on public education in the 50 states, and Diplomas Count, an annual report on high school graduation rates and policies.

From 2002 through 2009, Ms. Olson was a board member of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, serving as chair of the nominating committee and vice-chair of the board. In 1995 she received a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation of New York to write a book about the transition from school to work for America's young people. The book, The School to Work Revolution: How Employers and Educators Are Joining Forces to Prepare Tomorrow's Skilled Workforce, was published by Addison-Wesley in 1997.
From 1980 until 1984, Ms. Olson worked as a staff writer and editor for the Children's Defense Fund, a national child advocacy group, where she also specialized in child welfare and mental health policies. She graduated from Yale University in 1980 with a degree in psychology.

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Andy Plattner has helped clients ‘listen' to key audiences, craft clear, effective messages, and develop realistic strategies to sustain public support for better schools for more than two decades. He works with clients to build public awareness for important issues and move policy makers to action.

Current clients include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Educational Testing Service, MetaMetrics, ASCD and the University of Michigan.

Plattner co-founded KSA-Plus Communications, a national communications company. He has written a variety of well-received reports, including several examining how the public feels about schools, standards and accountability, and about the teaching profession. He often provides crisis communications assistance to clients in the midst of turmoil.

Plattner, 61, served as a senior consultant to the National Center on Education and the Economy in Washington, DC, where he helped bring the public's voice into the development of rigorous academic standards and tests.

Plattner has worked on education issues since 1990. Before that he spent 18 years as a journalist covering politics, the last several of those years with U.S. News & World Report. He lives outside of Annapolis, Maryland, and is married to Linda Plattner, president of Strategic Teaching. They have five children and five grandchildren. He is a persistent athlete, struggling to hit golf balls in the fairway and stay on his skates in ice hockey.

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Linda B. Rogers has more than thirty years of educational experience, and currently serves as Associate Secretary for the Teaching and Learning Branch at the Delaware Department of Education. In the Teaching and Learning Branch, she works with and supervises five work groups including Accountability Resources; School Support Services; Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development; Exceptional Children Resources; and Early Development and Learning Resources.

A graduate of the University of Delaware, Dr. Rogers completed her doctoral program at the University of Delaware with a specialty in Educational Leadership. A Reading Specialist by background, training, and experience, Dr. Rogers worked in the Caesar Rodney School District for 30 years. Working for six years as Supervisor of Instruction in a central office setting, her administrative background also includes 11 years as an Elementary Principal and instructional leader. Dr. Rogers' work experience also includes five years working as an Implementation Coordinator/Manager in large urban school districts such as Buffalo and New York City. She provided implementation and professional service support for reading and math intervention products/services and was responsible for planning, providing, and assessing educational professional development services for educational clients.

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Julia Simmerer  is currently the Director of the Office of Educator Effectiveness for the Ohio Department of Education. As part of her office responsibilities, Julia oversees both Teacher and Principal Evaluation Systems, including the credentialing of evaluators and student growth measures, the Ohio Educator Standards Board, and a variety of RttT projects. She has been with the department almost five years. Before coming to the State Department of Education, Julia was a classroom teacher for many years and served her final four years in the district as a full-time release PAR consultant. Julia is a renewed National Board Certified Teacher. She was a founding member of Ohio's Educator Standards Board and served as a teacher on this board.

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Karen Soule has been an Educator for over 40 years starting as an elementary teacher, speech language therapist, then becoming a special education director, and moving to building level leadership as a school principal leading two one room schools and a large elementary school. She then became superintendent of a small New Hampshire school district and just prior to her semi-retirement was superintendent of one of New Hampshire's city school districts. Recently retired she now works for the Division of Program Support as the Administrator for the Bureau of Credentialing at the NH Dept. of Education.

She is Past Chair of the New Hampshire Professional Standards Board and co-chaired the Commissioner of Education's Phase I Task Force for Effective Teachers. The lead for the New Hampshire SCEE team, Karen has taken a leadership role in educator and leadership effectiveness in New Hampshire. She currently facilitates the Principal's Leadership Task Force and is a member of the planning committee for Phase II of the new Hampshire Educator Effectiveness Task Force. She is the Learning Forward liaison for New Hampshire as a critical friend to Kentucky in the Transforming Professional Learning with Learning Forward.

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Daisy Vickers began her career in education as a teacher at high school and then college-level, moving into high stakes performance assessments in the 1980s' This work in assessments resulted in her accepting a position with the North Carolina Department of Education as Chief Consultant over all performance assessments. She directed the design, development, administration, scoring and reporting for the performance tasks. During the 13 years that she worked in this position, she served on a TAC for developing scoring models for NBPTS and consulted with numerous states as they developed performance assessments.

After leaving NCDOE, she became a Pearson employee and is a Director of its Performance Scoring Center. She works as a consultant on the design of new projects, the development of new rubrics, and the quality of the scoring across projects. She has worked with the scoring of NBPTS since Pearson acquired the contract. 

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Andrea Whittaker  is Director of the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC), a national partnership among over 25 states, the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, Pearson, and Stanford University. At the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE), she manages design and development of the TPA, and provides technical assistance and policy support to universities and state departments engaged in the TPAC national field test. For 15 years prior to her position at Stanford, Andrea was Professor of Education at San José State University where she served as faculty, middle level program coordinator and department chair for Elementary Education. Since the early 1990's, she has participated many local, state, national and international initiatives related to policy, school reform, assessment and/or best practices in teaching and learning. Andrea is currently President-Elect of the California Council for Teacher Education. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University, MA and BS from California State University, Fullerton, and multiple subject credential from San José State University.

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Jackie Wilson (Jacquelyn) is currently Director of Southern Programming and the Delaware Academy for School Leadership at the University of Delaware. She has 39 years of experience working in the Delaware public school system in the following roles: Graduate Education Coordinator, Wilmington University; Director of Professional Accountability at the Delaware Department of Education,; and 28 years in the Indian Rivers School District as a teacher, reading specialists and elementary principal. In her current position as Director of DASL, Dr. Wilson provides oversight on three Race to the Top projects which includes: Development Coach Project; School Administration Managers; and a partner with a Positive Outcomes Charter School-a school turnaround partnership zone school.

Dr. Wilson has served on various committees and has been a member of several organizations. The work includes: serving on three national leadership issue groups on the topics of assessing school leader effectiveness, roles and responsibilities of school leaders, and governance; serving as co-chair of the committee that developed the new Delaware Performance Appraisal System for Administrators; serving as project director for the Delaware Department of Education's Wallace Foundation Cohesive Leadership System grant; representing the Delaware Department of Education on the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC); serving as chair of the Delaware Principals' Academy; serving on the executive board of the Delaware Association for School Administrators; co-chairing the national committee that developed a curriculum for teacher leadership; serving as President of the Delaware Elementary Principals' Association; and serving as a consultant to the National Governors' Association, the Council for Chief School Officers, and several states and districts on issues related to performance evaluation of principals.

Jackie was also named Delaware's National Distinguished Elementary Principal in 2002 by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. In 2001 Lord Baltimore Elementary School, the school where Wilson served as principal, was recognized as Delaware's first public elementary school to be named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Wilson was also recognized by the Delaware Department of Education and the University of Delaware as one of seven Delaware schools to close the achievement gap with special education and low income children.

Jackie was appointed to Delaware's Professional Standards Board for a three-year term by Governor Tom Carper. She served on the Board of Trustees at the University of Delaware for seven years and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Beebe Medical Center. Dr. Wilson lives in Sussex County with her husband of 39 years. She has two daughters and three grandchildren.

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