69th EWA National Seminar: Speakers
Experts, reporters, and scholars presenting


Dakarai Aarons

Dakarai I. Aarons is the director of communications and external affairs for the Data Quality Campaign. Previously, he served as education and policy manager for CommunicationWorks, where he managed key messaging, outreach and interactive projects focused on urban education, school leadership, school improvement and policy change in K-12 education, and also on projects involving student access and success in postsecondary education. He is a veteran of the newsroom, having reported for The Commercial Appeal, Education Week and The Washington Post. Contact:, @D_Aarons

Jamaal Abdul-Alim

Jamaal Abdul-Alim is a senior staff writer with Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Previously, he was a freelance journalist covering higher education and chess. His education articles have appeared in several national newspapers and magazines, including Education Week, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal and U.S. News & World Report. His chess articles have appeared in Chess Life, Chess Life Online, and Abdul-Alim broke into the newspaper business as a crime reporter at the old Milwaukee Sentinel while completing his undergraduate studies in print journalism at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He is a former Knight-Wallace journalism fellow at the University of Michigan and a former Spencer education journalism fellow at Columbia University. He has won several awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was named the 2013 Chess Journalist of the Year by Chess Journalists of America. He resides in Washington, D.C., and can occasionally be found playing chess at the tables in DuPont Circle. Contact:, @dcwriter360

Pious Ali

Pious Ali is a youth and community engagement specialist at Portland Empowered, a program of the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service. He has spent much of his career focused on community engagement by creating dialogue across cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic, and faith-based barriers. Prior to joining the Muskie School, Ali worked with the city of Portland’s refugee services and as a facilitator for Seeds of Peace, a summer program that builds relationships and leadership skills among youth from regions of conflict. He also worked as a site coordinator for the Peer Leader Program at what is now the Opportunity Alliance in Portland and as an education and community engagement coordinator at the Portland branch of the NAACP. Ali is the first African-born Muslim American to be elected to a public office in Portland and serves on the city’s board of education. He is an alumnus of the Institute for Civic Leadership and is currently studying philosophy at Southern Maine Community College. Ali has also worked as a photojournalist for a range of print publications in Ghana. Contact:, @Piousali

Mayra Quiroz Alvarado

Mayra Quiroz Alvarado is the digital manager for Clave al Éxito and Quiero Aprender, both part of Univision Contigo at Univision Inc. Four years ago, she moved to Miami from Peru, where she worked as a journalist for Somos Magazine writing about education and other subjects. She has also covered local news as an intern for The Miami Herald and recently earned a master’s degree in mass communications at Florida International University. While there, she was a graduate assistant for the International Media Center doing research on independent Cuban journalists. Contact:

Anika Anand

Anika Anand is the engagement editor for Education Lab, a project of The Seattle Times. Previously, she worked at Chalkbeat in various roles, including director of product, director of engagement and a reporter covering New York City public schools. She interned at, the Center for Investigative Reporting, Salon and Business Insider and has been published in the New York Daily News, DNAInfo and other outlets. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s in business and economics reporting from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. Contact:, @anikaanand00 

Tiffany Anderson

Tiffany Anderson is the superintendent of Jennings School District in Missouri and will become the Topeka (Kansas) Public Schools superintendent in the summer of 2016. As superintendent, she led the Jennings School District from meeting only 57 percent of the state accreditation standards in 2012 to meeting 81 percent in 2015 — exceeding the state’s requirement of 70 percent for full accreditation. The district also moved from a $2 million deficit to a budget surplus. Anderson also served as superintendent in Virginia’s Montgomery County Public Schools and in the Rockwood School District in Missouri. Anderson earned her master’s degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and her undergraduate degree and doctorate from Saint Louis University. Contact:

Christine Armario

Christine Armario is a journalist for The Associated Press in Los Angeles. She is a member of the AP’s national education team focusing on K-12 issues. She previously covered the U.S. Department of Education. During her eight years with the AP, she has also reported from Cuba and Honduras. She was named an International Center for Journalists fellow in 2015. Contact:, @cearmario


Charlie Baker

Gov. Charlie Baker was inaugurated on January 8, 2015 as the 72nd governor of Massachusetts. Over the course of his career, Baker has been a leader of complex organizations in business and in government. As a cabinet secretary under Gov. William Weld and Gov. Paul Cellucci, Baker helped lead efforts to reform and modernize state government. Baker served as secretary of health and human services in 1992, and two years later as secretary of administration and finance. Baker was recognized by the National Governors’ Association in 1998 with the Distinguished Service Award. He also served as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care from 1999 to 2009. Raised in Needham, Massachusetts, Baker attended public schools and is a graduate of Harvard College. He went on to earn a master’s in business administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Contact:, @MassGovernor, @CharlieBakerMA

Caroline Bauman

Caroline Bauman is wrapping up a master’s degree in data journalism at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and will soon join Chalkbeat Tennessee as a reporter and community editor in Memphis. She previously worked as a K-12 and higher education reporter at the Columbia Missourian, covering topics ranging from the achievement gap to Title IX. She spent three semesters as the education assistant city editor at the Missourian and helped oversee coverage during the fall of 2015 when University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe resigned following protests led by Concerned Student 1950. Contact:, @CarolineBmn

Deborah Becker

Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education. Becker is a substitute host on several WBUR programs and helps produce and report for various special projects. She also worked on the launch of WRNI, Rhode Island’s NPR News Station, where she served as Morning Edition host and host of the weekly show “Focus Rhode Island.” Before joining WBUR, Becker worked at Monitor Radio, the broadcast arm of The Christian Science Monitor newspaper, and at several Boston-area radio stations. Becker has received numerous awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTNDA), Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, Education Writers Association, Associated Press, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Parent/Professional Advocacy League. She has also completed several fellowships on health care, addiction, mental health, juvenile justice, and journalism and the law. Becker studied journalism at St. Bonaventure University. Contact:, @wburdebbecker

Julie Bell

Julie Davis Bell is the education program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. She has been with NCSL for 26 years and has directed the education program for 23 years. She oversees the 12-person education program staff and is responsible for setting program priorities, responding to constituent needs and requests, developing new education projects, and interfacing with other national education policy organizations. She also serves as the program policy specialist for higher education issues and speaks and writes regularly about education and legislative issues. Prior to joining NCSL, Bell was a policy associate with the Center for Policy Research in Denver and taught political science courses at the University of Colorado. Bell received her doctorate in political science from the University of California, Davis in 1986. Contact:

Mark Bieler

Mark Bieler is chairman of the Edwin Gould Foundation’s board of trustees. He is also president of Mark Bieler Associates Inc., a consulting firm advising on strategic human-resources and organizational development. His clients include The Westfield Group, Morgan Stanley Retail, Ogilvy & Mather, Mercantile Trust, and the top management of the Central Intelligence Agency. From 1985 to 1999, Bieler was director of human resources for Bankers Trust Company, as well as executive vice president of the parent organization, Bankers Trust Corporation. Contact:

Collin Binkley

Collin Binkley is a higher education reporter for The Associated Press in Boston. Since joining the AP in 2015, he has written about racial tensions on many campuses following protests at the University of Missouri, and about racial turmoil at Harvard Law School. Previously, he covered higher education, K-12 schools and local governments at The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio. He has a degree in journalism and English from Ohio State University.

Liz Bowie

Liz Bowie writes about state and local education issues for The Baltimore Sun. Since joining the newspaper in 1986, she has covered environment, business, state government, and — for the past 15 years — education. Bowie grew up in Baltimore, where her mother was a reporter and editor for The Evening Sun. She is a former Spencer fellow in education reporting at Columbia University. Contact:, @lizbowie

Daren Briscoe

Daren Briscoe is a senior vice president at GMMB. He is a strategy and content development specialist with more than 15 years of experience in journalism, political and policy communications. His experience has afforded him a 360-degree perspective on the overlap and intersections between politics, policy and the lives of everyday people – a perspective that has been invaluable in his leadership of accounts at GMMB, including the Opportunity Finance Network, the Council of the Great City Schools and Howard University. He has also led GMMB’s messaging efforts on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids in Nigeria and Ethiopia. Previously, Briscoe worked on Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative stories at the Los Angeles Times and covered national news for Newsweek magazine. He helped reposition the nation’s approach to drug policy under the Obama administration through strategic messaging campaigns and speechwriting as deputy assistant director for public affairs at the White House Drug Policy Office. He was also press secretary and spokesman for U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Contact:, @DarenBriscoe

Melanie Brown

Melanie R. Brown joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2015 as a senior program officer of U.S. policy, advocacy and communications. She serves as advocacy lead for the foundation’s work in Colorado and manages a national portfolio focused on elevating teacher voice in education policy. Previously, Brown worked for eight years as a program officer at The Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh. While at Heinz, Brown’s grantmaking focused on achieving equity in education for African-American students and students from low-income communities. In addition, she served on the foundation’s African American Men and Boys Taskforce. Prior to her work in philanthropy, Brown worked as a middle and high school English teacher at the SEED Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., where she also led the school’s musical theater program. In 2007, she was named a Harvard Crimson China Cultural Exchange Foundation senior fellow and taught English in Hong Kong and Beijing, China. Brown received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and literature from American University, a master’s in education from Harvard University, and a master’s in public management from Carnegie Mellon University. Contact:, @MsMelanieBrown

Robert Brown

Robert A. Brown has served as president of Boston University since 2005. During his tenure, Boston University has rapidly gained in stature, as evidenced by the invitation to join the Association of American Universities in 2012. Brown initiated the university’s first comprehensive campaign, which surpassed the $1 billion mark in April. Before coming to Boston University, Brown held a number of leadership positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, culminating in his service as provost. He has published more than 250 papers in areas related to mathematical modeling of transport phenomena in materials and served as executive editor of the Journal of Chemical Engineering Science from 1991 to 2004. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota. Contact:


Erendira Calderon

Erendira Calderon is a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago majoring in public health. She is a core member of the student organization Fearless Undocumented Alliance, which provides mental, social and financial support for undocumented students on campus such as herself. She is also a part of a student coalition that campaigns for a state bill in Illinois known as the Student ACCESS Bill. This bill would allow undocumented students to apply for scholarships at four-year public universities in the state, making the path to and through college more accessible to undocumented students. Recently, she was involved with the organizing strategy for the protest against Donald Trump in Chicago. Calderon immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico City at age 8. She grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and, after graduating high school, her family moved to East Palo Alto, California. While there, she attended community college and worked to pay out-of-state tuition, due to her status. After attending several colleges, she is finally graduating in May. She plans to move back to the Bay Area for a summer fellowship and will pursue a career in health policy and management. Contact:

Patrick Callan

Patrick M. Callan is president of the Higher Education Policy Institute, an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in 1991. The institute has sponsored the California Higher Education Policy Center and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. Prior to serving as president of the California and National Policy centers, Callan was executive director of state higher education boards and commissions in Montana, Washington and California, vice president of the Education Commission of the States, and staff director of the California Legislature’s joint committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education. Since 2011, Callan has served as senior fellow at the Committee for Economic Development; visiting scholar at the Institute for Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley; and senior fellow at New York University’s Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy. He serves on national and regional boards and commissions on higher education. In 2012 Callan co-authored “Financing American Higher Education in the Era of Globalization,” which was published by Harvard Education Press. Contact:

Lauren Camera

Lauren Camera is the national education reporter at U.S. News & World Report. She’s covered education policy and politics for nearly a decade and has written for Education Week, The Hechinger Report, Congressional Quarterly, Roll Call, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She was a 2013 Spencer Education Fellow at Columbia University’s School of Journalism, where she conducted a reporting project about the impact of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top initiative.

Michael Casserly

Michael Casserly has served as executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools since January 1992. Previously, he was the organization’s director of legislation and research. As head of the urban school group, Casserly unified big-city schools nationwide around a vision of reform and improvement; led the nation’s largest urban school districts to volunteer for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP); guided the organization to be the first national education membership group to call for the Common Core State Standards; initiated a technical assistance program to improve urban education; directed the development of public education’s first performance management system; and led the first national study of common practices among the nation’s fastest improving urban school districts. He has been called a “crusader for urban schools” by USA Today. Casserly is a U.S. Army veteran and holds a doctorate from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University. Contact:

Yanine Castedo

Yanine Castedo is a junior at The Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Castedo went to a charter school through eighth grade but decided to try a different style of learning with her education by going to a Big Picture Learning school. She has since been involved in youth organizations such as Providence Student Union, Youth Pride, New Urban Arts, and Providence Youth Caucus. Castedo is an active member of her community and has accumulated about 300 hours of community service. Currently, she is campaigning for a bill she drafted herself to protect students’ free speech in schools. Castedo works closely with legislators and student journalists to help support the press community in Rhode Island. Contact:

Lissette Castillo

Lissette Castillo has worked at Fenway High School in Boston since 2005. She has over 12 years of experience working with youth of color, developing curriculum, and teaching the Spanish for Native Speakers class. She has also worked for four years at Sociedad Latina as a curriculum developer consultant. She has received multiple awards and honors, including the Pass It On Award from the faculty at Fenway High School in 2012 and Technology Goes Home Teacher of the Year in 2009. She was also the recipient of a Fund For Teachers grant in 2013 and a Quest Adventures service learning grant in 2012 and 2013. She earned a master’s degree in teaching in 2004 and a master’s in public policy in 2015 from Tufts University. Contact:

Shaina Cavazos

Shaina Cavazos is a staff reporter for Chalkbeat Indiana, where she covers the Indiana General Assembly, state education policy, state standards, testing, teaching and other issues. Previously, she worked as a K-12 education reporter for the Columbia Missourian and a business reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. At the Missourian, she wrote about Common Core and literacy, among other education topics. Cavazos graduated magna cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in economics and journalism from the University of Missouri. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Contact:, @ShainaRC

Hedy Chang

Hedy N. Chang is the founder and director of Attendance Works, a national and state-level initiative aimed at advancing student success by addressing chronic absence. A skilled presenter, facilitator, researcher and writer, she co-authored the seminal report, “Present, Engaged and Accounted For: The Critical Importance of Addressing Chronic Absence in the Early Grades,” as well as numerous other articles about student attendance. As a result of her work on attendance, Chang was named a Champion of Change by the White House in 2013 for her commitment to furthering African American education. Chang has spent more than two decades working in the fields of family support, family economic success, education and child development. She served as a senior program officer at the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund and as co-director of California Tomorrow, a nonprofit committed to drawing strength from cultural, linguistic and racial diversity. She has a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s from Occidental College. Contact:

Tommy Chang

Tommy Chang is superintendent of the Boston Public Schools, the nation’s first school district, which serves more than 56,000 students in 125 schools. He also serves as a cabinet member to Mayor Martin J. Walsh. Previously, Chang was the local instructional superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District Intensive Support and Innovation Center (ISIC), where he oversaw 135 schools and approximately 95,000 students. He also served as special assistant to the superintendent of LAUSD. He is a former teacher and principal. He holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Loyola Marymount University, a master’s degree from the Principals Leadership Institute at UCLA, a master’s from the teacher education program at UCLA, and a bachelor’s from the University of Pennsylvania. Contact:, @SuptChang

Ainslya Charlton

Ainslya Charlton, 22, was born in Westmoreland, Jamaica. Her father left for the U.S. in 1996 when an automobile accident left her grandfather comatose while her grandmother was battling the late stages of cancer. It soon became too expensive for Charlton and her mother to meet six-month visa requirements to visit her father, and Charlton became an undocumented immigrant in the U.S. by the time she was 6 years old. In 2012, she was named a Trinity College Posse scholar and was approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals as a first-year college student. She has engaged in intersectional activism from the perspective of an undocumented, black, working class, cisgendered woman. She will be graduating from Trinity College in 2016 with an undergraduate degree in political science and human rights. Contact:, @AinslyaCharlton

Mitchell Chester

Mitchell Chester began serving as commissioner of the Massachusetts public schools in May 2008 after being unanimously selected by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. He began his career as an elementary school teacher in Connecticut and later served as a middle-school assistant principal and district curriculum coordinator. He then moved to the Connecticut State Department of Education, where he oversaw curriculum and instructional programs. In 1997, he was named the executive director for accountability and assessment for Philadelphia and became the senior associate superintendent for policy and accountability for the Ohio Department of Education in 2001. Chester has presented nationally on accountability, assessment, and teacher induction and retention. He has served as a consultant to states and school districts regarding curriculum and instruction, teacher evaluation, student achievement, and assessment and accountability. Chester holds a doctorate in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University, as well as advanced degrees from the University of Connecticut and the University of Hartford. Contact:

Juan Cofield

Juan M. Cofield is serving his seventh term as president of the New England Area Conference (NEAC) of the NAACP. Cofield’s tenure has been focused on providing resources and assisting branches to become more effective advocates for civil rights. In June 2008, Cofield led NEAC to establish the New England Civil Rights Hall of Fame, created to provide a special tribute to leaders throughout New England who have made significant and indelible contributions in furthering the evolving democracy of the U.S. through their civil rights advocacy. He has served two terms as a trustee of the NAACP Special Contribution Fund, the official fundraising arm of the NAACP, been a member of the NAACP National Health Advocacy Committee and was treasurer of the Boston branch of the NAACP for 13 years. Cofield is also the founder, president and CEO of Boston Realty Associates Inc., a full-service real estate development and advisory firm. He has a master’s degree in business administration with a major in corporate finance from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania. Contact:

Jodi Cohen

Jodi S. Cohen is the higher education reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Cohen has worked at the Tribune since 2003 and has also covered K-12 education and general assignment news. In 2010, she was named the Illinois Journalist of the Year, and her work has been honored by state and national organizations. Cohen graduated with honors with a degree in political science from the University of Michigan, where she was managing news editor of The Michigan Daily. Contact:, @higherednews

James Cole

James Cole Jr. was delegated the duties of deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Education in January 2016. He serves as the chief operating officer and chief legal officer and oversees a broad range of operational, management, policy, legal and program functions at the department. Cole also oversees work on President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, which seeks to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color. From 2004 to 2011, Cole served on the board of directors of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. From 2005 to 2011, he also served on the board of trustees of Prep for Prep, a New York City-based youth leadership development program that identifies and prepares students of color for the rigors of independent day and boarding schools. Before joining the Department of Education, he served as the deputy general counsel of the U.S. Department of Transportation from 2011 to 2014. Cole was the first in his family to graduate from college. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his law degree from the University of Chicago. Contact:, @EDDepSec

Art Coleman

Arthur L. Coleman is a managing partner and co-founder of EducationCounsel LLC, one of the preeminent education policy, law and strategy firms in the U.S. Coleman leads the legal and policy work of the College Board’s Access and Diversity Collaborative and was a principal author of the briefs filed by the College Board and other education organizations in the U.S. Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas regarding race-conscious admissions practices. During the Clinton administration, Coleman served as deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. He has testified before the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, served as an adjunct professor of two law schools and one graduate school of education, and spoken and published extensively regarding legal and policy issues in education. Coleman is a current member of the board of directors of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and of The Lab School of Washington. He is a 1984 honors graduate of Duke University School of Law and a 1981 Phi Beta Kappa and honors graduate of the University of Virginia. Contact:

David Coleman

David Coleman is the president and CEO of College Board. He leads the overall direction and strategic priorities of the organization, with the goal of ensuring all students are prepared to successfully complete college and career training. Coleman was named to the 2013 Time 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. He has been recognized as one of Time magazine’s “11 Education Activists for 2011” and was one of the NewSchools Venture Fund Change Agents of the Year for 2012. Contact:

Hardin Coleman

Hardin Coleman has been dean of the Boston University School of Education since 2008. Coleman is deeply involved in the improvement of educational opportunities within the Boston area through his service on the External Advisory Council on School Assignment, as well as advisory board membership for EdVestors and FUEL – nonprofits that are driving change in urban education. His career as an educator has focused on helping adolescents become effectively engaged citizens. He spent 17 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he trained school counselors, produced research on the role of cultural identity in student achievement, and rose to the position of associate dean of outreach and multicultural initiatives in the School of Education. After starting as a religion teacher, counselor, and coach at Quaker Schools in the Philadelphia area and a year teaching at the Shanghai Teachers University in China, Coleman earned his doctorate in counseling psychology with a focus on multicultural counseling from Stanford University. Contact:, @hcoleman52

Michelle Asha Cooper

Michelle Asha Cooper is the president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, one of the nation’s most effective voices in championing access and success for all students in postsecondary education. Cooper is recognized as a well-respected practitioner, researcher, and policy advocate, helping to reaffirm IHEP’s role of ensuring equal educational opportunities for all students. Prior to joining IHEP, Cooper held various leadership positions at the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance at the U.S. Department of Education, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Council for Independent Colleges, and King’s College. A native of Charleston, South Carolina, she received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Charleston, a master’s in public service from Cornell University, and a doctorate from the University of Maryland, College Park. Contact:, @MACooperPhD

Kathleen Cotton

Kathleen Cotton is the middle and high school curriculum, assessment, and instruction coach for the Rochester School District in New Hampshire. The Rochester School District has been a pioneer in building a competency-based system of education and a framework that supports collaboration among school districts to build quality performance assessments. She has worked in a leadership role during this school redesign as a district coordinator and coach for the science, English, and math PACE assessment teams, and has also worked closely with district leads to ensure consistency in communication and administration. Previously, she worked as a competency coach, English department head, and English teacher. She was also a member of the first Performance Assessment Network team in New Hampshire and as a professional development provider for Epic. Prior to entering the education field, Cotton was a journalist and public relations consultant.


Catherine D’Ignazio

Catherine D’Ignazio is an assistant professor of civic media and data visualization in the journalism department at Emerson College, a fellow at the Engagement Lab, and a research affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Civic Media. Her work focuses on data literacy and media innovation. D’Ignazio has co-developed a suite of tools for data literacy (, developed custom software to geolocate news articles and designed an application, Terra Incognita, to promote global news discovery. Her art and design projects have won awards from the Tanne Foundation,, the LEF Foundation, and Dream It, Code It, Win It. Her work has been exhibited at the Eyebeam Center for Art & Technology, Museo d’Antiochia of Medellin, and the Venice Bienniale. Contact:, @kanarinka

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth A. Davis is the president of the Washington (D.C.) Teachers’ Union. An award-winning educator, Davis has always been at the forefront of public-education advocacy and reform. She is dedicated to advancing and promoting quality education, improving teaching and learning conditions, and aggressively protecting teachers’ contractual and professional rights. Davis’ writing about social justice teaching and teacher leadership has been published in the books “Putting the Movement back Into Civil Rights Teaching,” “Writing for A Change,” and “How Teachers Become Leaders.” Before winning the election for president of the Washington Teachers’ Union in 2013, Davis was a teacher at Phelps Architecture and Engineering High School. She is a member of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s education transition team, the executive board for the Metropolitan/Maryland Labor Council, the American Federation of Teachers Program and Policy Council, Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for Women Educators, the D.C. Area Writing Project, the National Commission on Writing, and Howard University’s Board of Visitors. Contact:

Matthew Delmont

Matthew Delmont is an associate professor of history at Arizona State University. He is the author of three books: “Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation” (2016); “Making Roots: A Nation Captivated” (forthcoming August 2016); and “The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia” (2012). His work has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post and several academic journals. Originally from Minneapolis, Delmont earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and his doctorate from Brown University. Contact:, @mattdelmont

Rosanna DeMammos

Rosanna DeMammos works as a content specialist in the language acquisition division of District of Columbia Public Schools supporting all programming for secondary English-language learners. The growth in the district’s ELL population has led the language acquisition division to collaborate with school leaders in support of older students who are recently arrived immigrants at the beginning level of English-language development. The division aims to help these students transition to life in a new country, graduate from high school and be college-and-career ready.. The division has been charged with creating programming to meet the needs of students, nurturing critical community partnerships to support school leaders, as well as educators, and collaborating with internal and external groups in order to ensure that students are prepared for the challenging road ahead. This has led to three initiatives for DCPS – the creation of the ELL summer academic program, the opening of the International Academy at Cardozo Education Campus and future expansion to Roosevelt Senior High School, and an expansion of secondary dual-language programming. Contact:

David DesRoches

David DesRoches covers education for WNPR public radio and mentors high school students from the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut. DesRoches’ special education reporting for The Darien Times has been cited as one of the most comprehensive explorations of children’s disability rights in the U.S. He’s nabbed nearly two dozen state, regional and national awards, including a first place prize for investigative reporting from the Education Writers Association. He’s been twice named New England’s Reporter of the Year, and he was also included in Connecticut Magazine’s “40 Under 40″ list. Before his career in journalism, DesRoches started a nonprofit media organization in Ethiopia. He has also taught songwriting to people with disabilities. Contact:, @SavingEJ

Nicholas Donohue

Nicholas C. Donohue is president and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, leading efforts to reshape New England’s public education systems to be more equitable and more effective for all learners. Prior to joining the foundation in 2006, Donohue was a special master at Hope High School in Providence, Rhode Island, where he oversaw implementation of the Rhode Island commissioner of education’s order to reconstitute the school. Donohue was also commissioner of education in New Hampshire. Throughout his career, Donohue has championed innovative approaches to expand access to high-quality learning opportunities for all learners, especially those who are underserved. In 2015, Donohue was named as one of the “50 People Shaping the Future of K-12 Education” by Getting Smart, an organization and online community focused on accelerating and amplifying innovations in teaching and learning. Donohue serves on the boards of directors for the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) and Grantmakers for Education. Donohue holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and a master’s from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Contact:, @NickDonohueNMEF

Neil Dorosin

Neil Dorosin is the co-founder and executive director of The Institute for Innovation in Public School Choice and leads the institute’s enrollment and choice reform projects. Dorosin and his colleagues at IIPSC developed the original theories behind unified enrollment and helped to create the first implementations of unified enrollment systems in Denver and New Orleans. Since 2007, he has designed and implemented unified enrollment and other choice reform projects in various cities, including Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, New Orleans, New York, and Washington, D.C. Dorosin began his career in public education as a Teach For America corps member in the South Bronx in 1994. From 2004 to 2007, he was the director of high school admissions operations at the New York City Department of Education, where he led a team in overhauling the high school choice system. He then managed the department’s high school choice process for four years. Dorosin earned his master’s in public administration from Columbia University. Contact:

Kenya Downs

Kenya Downs is the digital producer and reporter for PBS NewsHour’s Race Matters series and education verticals. In this role, she creates multimedia content for TV and the web centered on issues of race, culture and social justice. This includes exploring the intersection of identity and culture with education reform and policy. Her work encompasses reporting on discrimination and racial justice, poverty, immigration and foreign correspondence in the Caribbean region. Downs also facilitates the Race Matters and education units’ social media engagement through Twitter chats and live-streamed segments. She is based in Washington, D.C. Contact:, @LiveFromKenya

William Doyle

Will Doyle is an associate professor of higher education in the department of leadership, policy and organizations at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. His research includes evaluating the impact of higher education policy, the antecedents and outcomes of higher-education policy at the state level, and the study of political behavior as it affects higher education. Contact:, @wdoyle42

Steve Drummond

Steve Drummond leads NPR’s education reporting project, NPR Ed. Drummond brings to this initiative more than 20 years of experience covering education issues, and more than a decade at NPR in a variety of roles. Prior to this assignment, he was the network’s senior national editor. In that role, from 2007 through 2013, he oversaw domestic news coverage and a team of more than 60 reporters, producers and editors in Washington, D.C., and 18 bureaus around the country. In 2012, he also served as acting senior editor for investigations, managing a team of six reporters and producers on investigative projects. Drummond has also spent some time in the classroom. In the early 1990s, he left journalism temporarily for a graduate degree in education and a brief career as a middle and high school teacher. His journalism and education interests merged in 1993, when he joined Education Week, where he spent six years as a senior editor and writer. Contact:, @SDrummondNPR

Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and a 2013 MacArthur fellow. She is also the founder and scientific director of the Character Lab, a nonprofit with a mission to advance the science and practice of character development. Duckworth studies grit and self-control — two attributes that are distinct from IQ and yet powerfully predict success and well-being. Previously, Duckworth founded a summer school for low-income children that was profiled as a Harvard Kennedy School case study and, in 2012, celebrated its 20th anniversary. She has also been a McKinsey management consultant and a math and science teacher. Her first book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” debuts May 3, 2016. Duckworth completed an undergraduate degree in advanced studies neurobiology at Harvard, a master’s in neuroscience from Oxford University, and a doctorate in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Contact:, @angeladuckw


Pam Eddinger

Pam Y. Eddinger is president of Bunker Hill Community College, the largest community college in Massachusetts. Previously, Eddinger was the president of Moorpark College and executive vice president at Massachusetts Bay Community College. She was among a select group of educators invited to a summit on higher education hosted by President Obama in 2014. She serves on a number of local and national boards, including Boston Private Industry Council, EdVestors, the National Asian/Pacific Islander Council and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board. She also serves in a number of education-related organizations. Eddinger is a commissioner for the City of Boston Employment Commission, co-chair of Success Boston, an initiative of The Boston Foundation, and serves on the City of Boston Resilience Steering Committee and the Policy Leadership Trust for Student Success task force at Jobs for the Future. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Barnard College in New York City and both a master’s and doctorate in modern Japanese literature from Columbia University. Contact:, @PamEddinger

Scott Elliott

Scott Elliott is president of the Education Writers Association Board of Directors and bureau chief for Chalkbeat Indiana, a nonprofit news organization created by journalists who believe that an independent local press is vital to ensuring that education improves. He previously served as the education reform reporter for the Indianapolis Star. Prior to that, he wrote primarily about education as a member of the editorial board of the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News after serving as that paper’s education reporter for a decade. Elliott and his colleague, Mark Fisher, won the 2005 National Headliner Award for education reporting for a series of stories about testing and No Child Left Behind. Elliott also is the author of Public Schools, Private Markets: A Reporter’s Guide to Covering Privatization. Contact:, @ScottElliott_IN

Frances Esparza

Frances Esparza serves as the assistant superintendent of the Office of English Language Learners in Boston Public Schools. She has spent 24 years in education teaching in bilingual classrooms, facilitating and advising programs for English-language learners (ELLs), and leading as a school principal. Esparza has in-depth knowledge of instruction for ELLs, standard English learners, ELLs with disabilities, ELL students identified as gifted and talented, and socioeconomically disadvantaged students. She has monitored ELL compliance and categorical budgets for over 1,000 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Esparza has received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, a teaching credential from California State University, Los Angeles, a school business management certification from USC, a master’s in educational leadership and psychology, and a doctorate in educational leadership administration policy from Pepperdine University. Contact:, @BPS_OELL


Ronald Ferguson

Ronald F. Ferguson, has taught at Harvard University since 1983, focusing on education and economic development. His research and writing for the past decade has focused on racial achievement gaps and appeared in a variety of publications. His most recent book is “Toward Excellence with Equity: An Emerging Vision for Closing the Achievement Gap,” published by Harvard Education Press. He is the creator of the Tripod Project for School Improvement and also the faculty co-chair and director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University. After 31 years as full-time faculty, he recently moved into an adjunct position and will focus the majority of his time on researching and writing. Ferguson earned an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both in economics. Contact: 

Thomas Fiedler

Thomas Fiedler is dean of Boston University’s College of Communication, which he joined in 2008 after a 36-year career as a journalist. During those years, he earned many of journalism’s highest honors for his work as an investigative reporter, political columnist, White House correspondent, war correspondent, editorial-page editor and, ultimately, as the executive editor of The Miami Herald. Fiedler is best known for political journalism, including coverage of every U.S. presidential campaign between 1972 and 1996. His reporting on the 1988 presidential election won him the Society of Professional Journalists’ top award. His investigative report into an extremist cult’s political tactics was part of a Miami Herald series that won a 1991 Pulitzer Prize. During his 2001 to 2007 tenure as executive editor, the newspaper was awarded two additional Pulitzer Prizes. Fiedler was a Goldsmith fellow and visiting lecturer on politics and policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2007-08. Contact:, @BUCOMDEAN

Joni Finney

Joni Finney is a practice professor of higher education and director of the Institute for Research in Higher Education (IRHE) at the University of Pennsylvania. Finney completed a five-state study to understand the relationship between state policies for higher education and state performance in collaboration with her colleague, Laura Perna. The results of this work are found in “The Attainment Agenda,” published in 2014. Since this study, Finney has led similar studies of states. She developed and directed the nation’s first state-by-state report card for higher education, Measuring Up. She was principal author of the 50 state-by-state report cards, Measuring Up 2000-2008, and has also co-authored the books “Public and Private Finance of Higher Education: Shaping Public Policy for the Future,” “Designing State Higher Education Systems for a New Century,” and “Financing American Higher Education in the Era of Globalization.” She recently released a study of higher education affordability in the states. Contact:

Cara Fitzpatrick

Cara Fitzpatrick is a senior education reporter at the Tampa Bay Times. This year, she and Times reporters Lisa Gartner and Michael LaForgia won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for their series, “Failure Factories,” which showed how a school board abandoned integration and neglected five elementary schools until they became among the worst schools in Florida. The series also won the George Polk Award for Education Reporting, the Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism and the Investigative Reporters & Editors Medal, among other honors. Fitzpatrick grew up in Washington state and graduated from the University of Washington and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Contact:, @Fitz_ly

Jack Fleming

Jack Fleming is a senior associate of communications at The Education Trust, where he leads the organization’s digital advocacy work. From website edits to social media monitoring and engagement and online advertising, Fleming and his team work to find new opportunities to advance Ed Trust’s equity agenda. Fleming has more than eight years of experience in the digital media space. Prior to joining The Education Trust, he worked for a number of nonprofit and for-profit companies, running everything from campaigns to pass a local city ordinance to a 50-state national campaign for comprehensive reform. When he’s not retweeting or setting up a Google Ad Words retargeting campaign, Fleming spends as much time as he can with his nieces and nephews. Contact:, @JustJack7

Adriana Flores-Ragade

Adriana Flores-Ragade is a partnership engagement manager at Univision Communications Inc. Prior to joining Univision, she worked for the College Board for more than a decade, leading diversity and access initiatives and SAT outreach. She also worked as a community services director for the American Red Cross Palo Alto Area Chapter and for her alma mater, Claremont McKenna College, as an assistant dean of admissions and financial aid. In 2014, she earned a master’s degree in communications management from the University of Southern California. Contact:

Jeff Frantz

Jeff Frantz is the associate director of communications at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. He connects journalists with faculty and promotes research so that it can be useful beyond the academy. He also edits the school’s Educator’s Playbook, a monthly newsletter for K-12 teachers and administrators. He previously wrote for the York Daily Record and the Harrisburg Patriot-News/PennLive, where he contributed to the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Pennsylvania State University. Contact:, @jeff_frantz

Andrew Frishman

Andrew Frishman is co-executive director of Big Picture Learning. In 2002, Frishman joined the network’s mothership, The Met school in Providence, Rhode Island, as an adviser and worked with a ninth grade advisory group until their graduation in 2006. He then moved to California to support the development of The Met Sacramento High School, where he worked with the school’s first graduating class and became the first coordinator of its Learning Through Internship program. Frishman joined the leadership team of Big Picture Learning in 2013 and has assisted with the expansion of the Big Picture Network in a variety of capacities, including by supporting the launch of innovative schools across the U.S. and internationally. He has a master’s degree in teaching focused on urban schools and completed the Doctor of Education Leadership program at Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. Contact:, @AndrewFrishman


Liliana Garces

Liliana M. Garces is an assistant professor of higher education, co-director of the Center for Education and Civil Rights, and research associate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Pennsylvania State University. Her research examines access policies for underrepresented populations in higher education and the use and influence of research in court cases. She is co-editor of “School Integration Matters: Research-Based Strategies to Advance Racial Equity” and “Affirmative Action and Racial Equity: Considering the Fisher Case to Forge the Path Ahead.” Garces has served as counsel of record for the research community in four amicus curiae briefs filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, including a second amicus brief filed in Fisher v. University of Texas (2015) by 823 social scientists. She received the American Educational Research Association’s Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award in 2013 and the Association for the Study of Higher Education Early Career Award in 2015. She holds a doctorate in education from Harvard University, a law degree from the University of Southern California School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University. Contact:, @garceslm

Lisa Gartner

Lisa Gartner is an education reporter for the Tampa Bay Times (formerly known as the St. Petersburg Times). Her most recent team project, “Failure Factories,” was a year-long investigation into how the local school board abandoned integration and neglected five elementary schools in south Pinellas County until they became the worst schools in Florida. The series has won the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting, the George Polk Award for education reporting, the Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism, and the Investigative Reporters & Editors Medal, among other honors. Gartner covered District of Columbia Public Schools for The Washington Examiner before joining the Times in 2013 to cover Pinellas schools. Her beat coverage of Pinellas was named among the best in the nation by the Education Writers Association in 2014. Gartner is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Contact:, @lisagartner

Carey Goldberg

Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR’s CommonHealth blog. She has been the Boston bureau chief of The New York Times, a staff Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, and a health/science reporter for The Boston Globe. She is co-author of the triple memoir “Three Wishes: A True Story Of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak and Astonishing Luck On Our Way To Love and Motherhood.” She was a Knight Science Journalism fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; graduated summa cum laude from Yale; and did graduate work at Harvard. Contact: @commonhealth

Sara Goldrick-Rab

Sara Goldrick-Rab is professor of educational policy studies and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also senior scholar at the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education and an affiliate of the Center for Financial Security, Institute for Research on Poverty and the Consortium for Chicago School Research. Goldrick-Rab’s scholar-activism is evidenced by her research and writing dissecting the consequences of the college-for-all movement. In numerous research projects, she has examined the efficacy of financial aid policies, welfare reform, transfer practices, and a range of interventions aimed at increasing college attainment among marginalized populations. She provides extensive service to local, state and national communities, working directly with governors and state legislators to craft policies to make college more affordable. She also collaborates with nonprofit organizations seeking to examine the effects of their practices and provides technical assistance to congressional staff, think tanks, and membership organizations throughout Washington, D.C. Contact:, @saragoldrickrab

Steven Goodman

Steven Roy Goodman is an authority on college and graduate school admissions. Over the past 20 years, he has designed admissions strategies for more than 1,700 applicants to colleges, graduate programs, and business, law, and medical schools. Specifically, he provides professional assistance with school selection, application strategies and personal statement preparation, coaching students and families through the college search and application process. Goodman’s educational services also include assistance with long-range educational planning, course selection, internships, summer activities, gap programs, study abroad, transfer applications, interview training, effective campus visits and family relocations. He also trains high school guidance counselors and leads admissions workshops for groups and professional organizations. His book, “College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family,” is one of the most referenced college guides for both parents and librarians. His television talk show on UDC-TV, Higher Education Today, has won six Telly Awards for addressing contemporary education issues. Contact:

Larry Gordon

Larry Gordon is a reporter and editor at EdSource, the website that covers California education. He previously was a higher education writer at the Los Angeles Times, where he also was an assistant city editor. Before moving to California, he worked at the Bergen Record and Hudson Dispatch in his native New Jersey. Gordon was a midcareer Fulbright scholar teaching journalism at the American University in Bulgaria. He graduated from Georgetown University and has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Contact:, @LarryJayGordon

Elizabeth Green

Elizabeth Green is the co-founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief of Chalkbeat, a multi-state education news network. She has written for The New York Times Magazine and many other publications. She is the author of “Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (And How to Teach It to Everyone)” and a former Spencer fellow at the Columbia School of Journalism. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Contact:, @elizwgreen

Cathy Grimes

Cathy Grimes is the communications manager for the Virginia Tech Graduate School. Prior to joining Virginia Tech in August 2014, she spent 20 years as an education journalist, working with the Daily Press Media Group in Newport News, Va.; the Seattle Times Company and at the Sequim Gazette on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula as an editor, coach and writer. She was a Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard University in 2006, where she also taught undergraduate and graduate journalism courses. Grimes began her journalism career in 1994 after 11 years as a free-lance business, technical and education writer and editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities from the University of Washington. Contact: or @cathgrimes.

Betheny Gross

Betheny Gross is a senior research analyst and research director at the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE). Her recent research includes analysis of the portfolio strategy; the implementation of school choice enrollment systems; and strategies to attract, develop and retain high-quality talent in public schools, as well as recent efforts to design and implement technology-supported efforts to personalize learning. Gross is co-author of “Strife and Progress,” an early account of cities’ experiences implementing the portfolio strategy. Her research has also appeared in several journals, including Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, American Educational Research Journal, Journal of Education Finance, and Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Contact:, @bethenygross

Cornelia Grumman

Cornelia Grumman is the education director of the Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation. She previously directed policy and strategic communications for the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute and was the founding executive director of the First Five Years Fund, a national advocacy and communications organization focused on early childhood education. Grumman spent the first half of her career as a journalist. She was a member of the Chicago Tribune editorial board, where she won many awards, including the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for a series of editorials that led to reforms of Illinois’ criminal justice system, a 2001 Studs Terkel Award for coverage of disadvantaged communities, and 2006, 2005 and 2001 Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism for her coverage of children and families. She joined the Tribune in 1994 as a general assignment reporter. She also worked at the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina and the Daily Southtown in Chicago, and as a stringer in The Washington Post’s Beijing bureau. She has a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a bachelor’s in public policy from Duke University. Contact:, @cgrumman


Naseem Haamid

Naseem Haamid is a 17-year-old junior at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in New York. In his sophomore year, Haamid completed internships at both J.P. Morgan and Madison Square Garden. In 2015, he represented the Children’s Aid Society in Washington, D.C., while advocating for funding for after-school programming. Currently, Haamid is serving as the student government president and is the first junior to be elected to the post. He also works as a Just Ask Me (JAM) peer sex educator and was recently nominated by the Children’s Aid Society for the Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year competition. Contact:

Keith Hammonds

Keith H. Hammonds is president of the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization founded in 2013 that builds the capacity for rigorous and compelling reporting on the responses to social issues. Previously, Hammonds worked for Ashoka, where he founded and ran the News and Knowledge initiative, a program funded by the Knight Foundation and Google to identify and support social entrepreneurs whose innovations better inform, connect and engage people around the world. He also has been the executive editor at Fast Company magazine; a bureau chief and editor for BusinessWeek in Boston and New York; a writer for The New York Times in London and Johannesburg; a consultant to New Nation in Johannesburg; and director of an emergency food distribution program in Namibia. Contact:, @keithhammonds

Emily Hanford

Emily Hanford is a senior correspondent for American RadioWorks, the national documentary unit of American Public Media. Her documentaries have covered a range of topics, from preschool to adult education. You can hear the documentaries on public radio stations nationwide and online at Hanford’s work can also be heard on programs such as NPR’s Marketplace and Morning Edition, and on the weekly ARW education podcast (available at the ARW web page and iTunes). Before joining ARW, Hanford worked as a senior editor and news director at WUNC in Chapel Hill, where she created the series North Carolina Voices, which won a duPont-Columbia Award in 2005. Hanford also worked at WBEZ, Chicago as a reporter and program host, and at WFCR in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her work has won numerous honors including a Casey Medal and awards from the Education Writers Association and The Associated Press. Hanford is based in Washington, D.C. Contact:, @ehanford

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones is an award-winning investigative journalist working for The New York Times Magazine. Previously, she covered civil rights at ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom based in New York City. Her 2014 investigation into school resegregation won the Education Writers Association’s Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting. Hannah-Jones has also worked for The Oregonian and The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history and African American studies from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Contact:

Linda Hanson

Linda Hanson is a kindergarten literacy coach for the Arlington, Massachusetts, school district and the president of the Arlington Education Association. She began her teaching career in 1987 as a bilingual and English as a second-language teacher in the Somerville, Massachusetts, school system. Hanson later worked as a building-based reading specialist in the Arlington district. In the past five years, her interests in education have broadened to include policy, teacher leadership, and advocacy. Hanson participated as a fellow in the Education Policy Fellowship Program through the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy. She also successfully completed the Teacher Leadership Initiative, a program co-sponsored by the National Education Association, the Center for Teaching Quality, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Hanson recently joined the advisory committee for the Rennie Center’s Condition of Education in the Commonwealth project. Contact:

Liana Heitin

Liana Heitin is an assistant editor for Education Week and the co-author of the Curriculum Matters blog. She writes about literacy, math, STEM, the Common Core, and national and international test scores. Previously, she covered teacher policy issues, including evaluation and professional development, as the associate editor for Education Week Teacher. She also worked as a health care reporter and as an editor for a website on learning disabilities. Prior to becoming a reporter, Heitin taught elementary special education in an Arizona public school and worked as a private reading specialist in Washington, D.C. She has a master’s degree in special education from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s in English from Wesleyan University. Heitin’s essays on teaching were featured in the 2010 book, “The Ultimate Teacher: The Best Experts’ Advice for a Noble Profession.” Contact:, @lianaheitin

Caroline Hendrie

Caroline Hendrie is the executive director of the Education Writers Association, the national professional organization for members of the news media who cover education. She leads strategy, development and programming for the nonprofit organization in support of its mission to increase the quantity and quality of education coverage to better inform the public. Hendrie was herself an award-winning education journalist for more than two decades, with experience covering education from early learning through postsecondary schooling at the local, state and national levels. From 1996 to 2010, Hendrie held various reporting and editing positions, including managing editor, at Education Week. Hendrie started at daily newspapers in Connecticut and spent seven years as state education writer and editor at The Record, a daily newspaper based in Bergen County, New Jersey. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University. Contact: or @chendrie

Gary Henry

Gary T. Henry is a professor of public policy and education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. He formerly was a professor of public policy and directed the Carolina Institute for Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently a fellow with the university’s Frank Porter Graham Institute for Child Development. Henry specializes in education policy, educational evaluation, teacher quality research, and quantitative research methods. He has published extensively in top journals such as Science, Educational Researcher, and the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. He currently leads the evaluation of the North Carolina Race to the Top initiative and the Teacher Quality Research Initiative for the University of North Carolina General Administration. He has also recently evaluated North Carolina’s Disadvantaged Student Supplemental Fund, Georgia’s universal preschool program, the effectiveness of the Achievement School District in Tennessee and the Georgia HOPE Scholarship, as well as school turnaround in North Carolina. He earned his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Contact:

Frederick Hess

Frederick M. Hess is the director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. An educator, political scientist and author, he studies K-12 and higher education issues. His books include “The Cage-Busting Teacher,” “Cage-Busting Leadership” and “Breahrough Leadership in the Digital Age.” He is also the author of the popular Education Week blog, Rick Hess Straight Up, and is a regular contributor to The Hill and National Review Online. Hess serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, and sits on the review board for the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. He also serves on the boards of directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and 4.0 SCHOOLS. A former high school social studies teacher, he teaches or has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University and Harvard University. He holds a master’s degree and doctorate in government, as well as a master’s in education degree in teaching and curriculum, from Harvard University.

Andrew Ho

Andrew Ho is a professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research seeks to improve the use of tests in educational research, policy and practice. He has advanced the measurement of proficiency, growth, value added, achievement gains, achievement gaps, college readiness and course completion. He is a member of the National Assessment Governing Board and chair of the research committee for the Harvard University vice provost for advances in learning. His current research addresses measurement of achievement gaps, setting standards for college readiness, and massive open online courses. His “Practitioner’s Guide to Growth Models,” published with Katherine Castellano, is available for free from the Council of Chief State School Officers. He has received the Jason Millman Award from the National Council on Measurement in Education, the Palmer O. Johnson Award from the American Education Research Association, and the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching from Stanford University, where he also earned his doctorate in educational psychology and master’s degree in statistics. Contact:, @AndrewDeanHo

David Hoff

David Hoff has been deeply involved in the education world for more than 20 years. For more than a dozen years at Education Week, he covered major events in Congress and everyday classroom lessons that illuminated larger policy issues. He left journalism to join the senior communications team for U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, where he wrote speeches, launched the Department of Education’s social media presence, and developed the messaging for major announcements for Race to the Top and other initiatives. He is now a senior vice president at Hager Sharp in Washington, where he works with government and nonprofit clients in the education world. Contact:

Jesse Holland

Jesse J. Holland is the race, ethnicity and demographics reporter for The Associated Press, where he is responsible for coverage and analysis of the nation’s minority and ethnic groups for the world’s largest news organization. He is also the author of the new book, “The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slaves In the White House.” A former Supreme Court, White House and congressional reporter, Holland was named one of’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2011 and is the youngest person on the University of Mississippi’s Top 50 Journalism Graduates. Holland is also the author of the 2007 book, “Black Men Built the Capitol: Discovering African American History In and Around Washington, D.C.” Holland graduated from the University of Mississippi with a liberal arts degree with an emphasis in journalism and English, and received his master’s degree in fine arts in creative nonfiction from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland. Contact:, @jessejholland

Eric Hoover

Eric Hoover is a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education, which he joined in 2001. He has written extensively about college admissions and enrollment issues and has reported on debates over standardized testing, the challenges of student recruitment, and the growing demands on admissions officers. As one of The Chronicle’s regular feature writers, he has also written in-depth stories about the challenges facing adult students, the rush to define the “millennial” generation, the rise of student sex columnists, and the meaning of Animal House’s 30th anniversary. Previously, Hoover wrote for the Washington City Paper and C-VILLE Weekly in Charlottesville, Virginia. His writing about higher education has also appeared in The New York Times, Washington Monthly, and The Washington Post’s Book World. A 1997 graduate of the University of Virginia, Hoover is pursuing a master’s degree in the teaching of writing and literature at George Mason University. Contact:, @erichoov

Mayme Hostetter

Mayme Hostetter is the dean of the Relay Graduate School of Education and manages deans in Chicago, Houston and New Orleans, as well as faculty and academic programs in New York City. Before joining Relay as founding director of teaching and learning in 2008, she taught eighth-grade English at KIPP Academy in the South Bronx, where her students were the highest-performing eighth-grade charter school class in the city. Ten of her former eighth-grade students earned master’s degrees from Relay. Hostetter began her career as a teaching fellow at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, where she was an English teacher, coach and dean. Hostetter earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and a master’s from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was an Urban Scholars fellow in the mind, brain and education program. While at Harvard, Hostetter researched reading-related development and disabilities in the Gabrieli Laboratory of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s department of brain and cognitive sciences. She is a doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University. Contact:, @MaymeHostetter

Erika Hunt

Erika Hunt is a senior policy analyst and researcher in the Center for the Study of Education Policy (CSEP) at Illinois State University. She co-chairs the P-20 Council Committee on Teacher and Leadership Effectiveness, which has worked on initiatives around building a diverse educator pipeline, teacher and principal preparation accountability measures, and teacher leadership. Hunt directs a $4.6 million U.S. Department of Education School Leadership Grant. She has also directed a $6 million Wallace Foundation statewide school leadership grant that resulted in key state policy changes, including the redesign of all principal preparation programs under new program requirements. This work was recognized by the Education Commission of the States as the recipient of the 2014 Frank Newman Award for State Innovation. Contact:

Troy Hutchings

Troy Hutchings is a senior strategic adviser at Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, New Jersey, where he leads research initiatives and offers practical applications on educator ethics. He has taught, researched and worked in administration at the university level for 15 years and also served as an administrator, teacher and coach in public and private schools for 16 years. Hutchings earned a bachelor’s degree in English education from the University of South Dakota, a master’s in secondary education from Arizona State University, and both a master’s and doctorate in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. Contact:


Ashley Inman

Ashley Inman is the director of digital media at the Collaborative for Student Success, where she leads all of the social media, email and website efforts for the organization. She has previously served as the communications manager at Education Next and, before that, the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy. Inman has a bachelor’s degree in political science with a focus on public policy from Boston University. Contact:, @ashleyemilia

Meghan Irons

Meghan E. Irons is a political reporter at The Boston Globe. She covers city government, including the Boston public school system, and is responsible for breaking news coverage and long-term enterprising stories. Irons has been a professional journalist since 1990 and has worked for Newsday, The Baltimore Sun, the Providence Journal and The Boston Globe, where she has been for the past 14 years. Irons immersed herself in a troubled Boston community for the award-winning five-part series “68 Blocks.” She also teaches a beat reporting class at Boston University. Contact:, @MeghanIrons


Kim Janey

Kim M. Janey is a senior project director at Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC). There she leads the Boston School Reform project in its effort to advocate for systemic policy reforms that ensure equity and excellence in education for all children in the Boston Public Schools, with a special emphasis on closing achievement and access gaps for children of color, children living in poverty, English-language learners, and students with disabilities. Janey has more than 20 years of experience in community organizing and child advocacy and has received national recognition for her work. She was invited to appear as a panelist on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC and has also been invited to speak to a number of groups and organizations, including as a guest speaker for classes at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and as a panelist during the 2014 Roxbury International Film Festival. In addition to her work at MAC, Janey serves on the board of directors for MassVOTE, Discover Roxbury, and Diamond Girls Boston Inc. She is also a member of the NAACP Boston branch and was re-elected as a member of the Ward 12 Democratic Committee in 2012 and 2016. Contact:, @Kim_Janey

Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik is the editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed. He co-leads the outlet’s editorial operations, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, resources and interactive features. Jaschik has published articles on colleges in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post and Salon. From 1999 to 2003, Jaschik was the editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. He is a graduate of Cornell University. Contact:, @ScottJaschik

Nathan Jones

Nathan Jones is an assistant professor of special education at Boston University. In his research, he focuses on teacher quality, teacher development and school improvement, with a specific emphasis on the use of measures of teacher effectiveness in evaluation systems. He previously worked as a middle school special education teacher in the Mississippi Delta. Jones is currently the principal investigator of a $1.6 million Institute of Education Sciences grant examining whether the Framework for Teaching – an observation system used in over 20 states and hundreds of school districts – can be used validly and reliably in the evaluation of special education teachers. He is also co-principal investigator on a W.T. Grant Foundation study examining Los Angeles Unified School District’s three-year roll-out of a consequential teacher evaluation system. Jones also serves as an editor of The Elementary School Journal and is on the editorial board at The Journal of Teacher Education. Contact:

Peter Jones

Peter R. Jones is senior vice-provost for undergraduate studies and a professor in the department of criminal justice at Temple University. He joined Temple in 1985. Jones is co-author of the book “Personal Liberty and Community Safety: Pretrial Release in the Criminal Courts.” He also has more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals, over 100 published research monographs and many authored and co-authored book chapters. He has received a Best Practices Award from the American Correctional Association, was a finalist in the Innovations in American Government Awards Program administered by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and was recognized as a Lindback Foundation Distinguished Teacher in 2004. As senior vice-provost of undergraduate studies, Jones leads a portfolio of programs focused on student success. Recent developments within his portfolio include initiatives that have produced increases in both student retention and four-year graduation rates, as well as the development of the Center for Learning and Student Success and a new general education curriculum that focuses on student skills and abilities in addition to academic content. Contact:

Stephanie Jones

Stephanie Jones is an associate professor in human development and urban education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on the longitudinal effects of poverty and exposure to violence on social, emotional and behavioral development from early childhood through adolescence. Much of her recent work has focused on exploring noncognitive factors across the developmental spectrum, with an emphasis on conducting rigorous scientific research while also creating translational and applied products for the early and middle childhood practitioner and policy communities. Over the past five years, she has designed and led a series of multi-year, multi-site projects related to the development, implementation and evaluation of SECURe, a school-based intervention that targets executive function, self-regulation and social-emotional skills in preschool through third grade settings. Jones serves on numerous national advisory boards and expert consultant groups related to social-emotional development and child and family anti-poverty policies. She holds a doctorate in developmental psychology from Yale University. Contact:


Richard Kahlenberg

Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, has been recognized as a leader of the economic integration movement in K-12 schooling and a chief proponent of class-based affirmative action in higher education admissions. He is also an authority on teachers’ unions, charter schools and community colleges. He is the editor of 10 books on education and the author or co-author of six books, including “A Smarter Charter” (2014); “Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race and Democracy” (2007); “All Together Now: Creating Middle Class Schools through Public School Choice” (2001); and “The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action” (1996). He has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal and has appeared on several news networks, including ABC, CBS, CNN and Fox News. Previously, Kahlenberg was a fellow at the Center for National Policy, a visiting associate professor of constitutional law at The George Washington University, and a legislative assistant to Sen. Charles S. Robb, D-Va. Kahlenberg graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Contact: or @RickKahlenberg

Sarah Karp

Sarah Karp is a reporter at WBEZ-Chicago Public Radio. A former reporter for Catalyst-Chicago, the Chicago Reporter and the Daily Southtown, Karp has covered education and children and family issues for more than 15 years. She has won five Education Writers Association awards, three Society of Professional Journalism awards and the 2005 Sidney Hillman Award. She is a native of Chicago and a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Contact:, @SSKedreporter

Robert Kelchen

Robert Kelchen is an assistant professor of higher education in the department of education leadership, management and policy at Seton Hall University. His research interests include higher education finance, student financial aid and accountability policies. His recent published works include articles in The Journal of Higher Education, The Journal of Education Finance, and the Journal of Student Financial Aid. His work as a methodologist for Washington Monthly magazine’s annual college rankings won an award for best data journalism from the Education Writers Association. He is frequently quoted in the media, including The Washington Post, NPR, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Politico. He has also appeared on the Marketplace radio program, KABC radio and MSNBC. Kelchen holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from Truman State University, as well as a master’s degree in economics and a doctorate in educational policy studies, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Contact:, @rkelchen

Louise Kennedy

Louise Kennedy is WBUR’s senior editor for education. She oversees WBUR’s new vertical about education and learning at all stages of life. Kennedy joined WBUR in 2012 as director of community engagement. She was a longtime editor and writer at The Boston Globe, most recently as a theater critic, and has taught journalism at Emerson College. She is the co-author, with Linda K. Rathof “The ‘Between the Lions’ Book for Parents: Everything You Need to Know to Help Your Child Learn to Read.” She graduated from Yale University. Contact:, @LouiseWBUR

Louise Kiernan

Louise Kiernan is an associate professor at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. Previously, she was an enterprise editor at the Chicago Tribune, where she managed a team of reporters working on in-depth news features and coached writers throughout the newsroom. During a 10-year stint as a special projects reporter at the newspaper, she won a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting as the lead writer of a four-part series on problems with air travel. Kiernan also worked as an urban affairs team editor and reporter, directing coverage of issues such as housing and immigration and specializing in writing about social policy, including welfare reform, poverty and juvenile justice. She earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Virginia, a master’s at Medill, and was a Nieman fellow at Harvard. Contact:, @louisekiernan

John King

John B. King Jr. is the U.S. secretary of education, a position to which he brings a continued commitment to advancing excellence and equity for every student, supporting educators and elevating the teaching profession, and improving college affordability and completion rates. Before becoming secretary, King served as a principal senior advisor at the department, carrying out the duties of the deputy secretary and overseeing all P-12 education policies, programs, and strategic initiatives, as well as department operations. He also oversaw the department’s work leading cross-agency collaboration for President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper task force. King previously was the New York commissioner of education, serving as CEO of the state education department and as president of the University of the State of New York. King began his career in education teaching high school social studies in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Boston. He earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University and a law degree from Yale Law School, as well as a master’s in the teaching of social studies and a doctorate in educational administrative practice from Teachers College, Columbia University. Contact:, @JohnKingatED


Robin Lambert

Robin Lambert is a policy information manager at the Rural School and Community Trust, where she served as long-term editor of Rural Policy Matters. She has worked extensively with K-12 rural schools and communities to develop the resources of place and to address policy issues in order to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for rural students. Lambert researched, wrote and developed graphics for “Violence in U.S. K-12 Schools, 1974-2012: Patterns in Deadly Incidents and Mass Threat,” a report that compiles and analyzes media accounts of lethal violence and mass threat in schools and suggests policies and practices that make schools safer and more successful. Lambert previously served as executive director of Pine Mountain Settlement School and as assistant director of the Program for Rural Services and Research at the University of Alabama. She holds degrees in education, American studies and interior design. Contact:

Michelle Lerner

Michelle Lerner is the press secretary for District of Columbia Public Schools where she promotes DCPS’ mission across all media markets and is responsible for strategy, planning and implementation of external communications. Prior to joining DCPS, Lerner was the communications director at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, where she led the institute’s relationships with the press, developed communications and outreach strategies for research studies, served as the “brand czar,” and managed a small team. Lerner has also served as the media-relations and outreach manager at Fordham, the communications manager for the American Federation for Children, and an associate at a federal lobbying firm. She is an advisory board member at the Education Writers Association. Lerner holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University and a master’s in public policy from George Mason University. Contact:, @MichelleSLerner

Harold Levy

Harold Levy is the executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Previously, Levy was managing director of Palm Ventures LLC, an education practice that invests in businesses with a transformative social impact; the executive vice president of Kaplan Inc., where he started Kaplan University’s online School of Education; the first non-educator chancellor of New York City schools; and the director of global compliance and associate general counsel at Citigroup. Levy has served on many boards and committees, including the U.S. Department of Education Committee on Measures of Student Success, the New York State Board of Regents, and the Commission on School Facilities and Maintenance Reform. He currently serves on the boards of the President’s Advisory Council at Teachers College, Columbia University, the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, Cambium Learning Group, Met Schools Inc., and Civic Nation’s College Promise Advisory Board. Levy received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in industrial and labor relations, a master’s in politics, philosophy and economics from the University of Oxford, and a law degree from Cornell Law School. Contact:, @HOLevy

Tyler Lewis

Tyler Lewis is the director of messaging and project management for The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund. In this role, he is responsible for helping to develop the strategic communications and messaging goals for The Leadership Conference and The Education Fund. He also manages brand identity in all public communications for the organizations and is a speechwriter. Before joining The Leadership Conference and The Education Fund, Lewis was a communications assistant at Pre-K Now, a public education and advocacy organization advancing high quality, voluntary preschool for all. While there, he helped to develop the organization’s online campaigns and media strategies. Lewis has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Carnegie Mellon University. Contact:, @civilrightsorg

L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy

R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy is an associate professor of sociology and black studies in the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York – City University of New York. He specializes in racial and ethnic relations with research and activism that concentrate on educational inequality, race-related public policy and gender justice. In the area of education, his research helps expand understanding and generate solutions to issues of educational inequality by going beyond discussions of achievement gaps. His book, “Inequality in the Promised Land,” published by Stanford University Press in 2014, uses original qualitative data to tackle the issue of suburban educational inequality. Contact:

Mark Lipsey

Mark W. Lipsey is the director of the Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt University. His research specialties are evaluation research and research synthesis (meta-analysis) investigating the effects of social interventions with children, youth and families. The topics of his recent research have been risk and intervention for juvenile delinquency and substance use, early childhood education programs, methodological quality in program evaluation research, and ways to help practitioners and policymakers make better use of research to improve the outcomes of programs for children and youth. Lipsey’s published works include textbooks on program evaluation, meta-analysis and statistical power, as well as articles on applied methods and the effectiveness of school and community programs for youth. Among other professional roles, Lipsey is a member of the advisory committee for the National Science Foundation Directorate for Education and Human Resources Science, the Advisory Board of the Evaluators’ Institute, and a recent member of the Science Advisory Board for the federal Office of Justice Programs. Contact:

Celia Llopis-Jepsen

Celia Llopis-Jepsen covers Kansas education for The Topeka Capital-Journal. She is a winner of the 2015 Kansas Press Association awards for investigative reporting and education reporting and the 2014 Kansas City Press Club award for general reporting. She is a former copy editor, editorial writer and reporter for the Taipei Times in Taiwan. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a master’s in bilingualism studies from Stockholm University in Sweden. Contact:, @Celia_LJ

Bridget Long

Bridget Terry Long is academic dean and professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is an economist who specializes in the study of higher education, particularly the transition from high school to higher education and beyond. Her work focuses on college student access and choice, and the factors that influence students’ postsecondary and labor market outcomes. Current projects examine the roles of information and assistance in promoting college savings, academic preparation and enrollment. Other work examines the effects of financial aid programs, the impact of postsecondary remediation, and the roles of instructor quality, class size, and support programs on student outcomes. Long is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research; a member of the board of directors for MDRC; a member and former chair of the National Board for Education Sciences, the presidentially appointed advisory panel of the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education; and has testified before Congressional committees. She has a doctorate from the Harvard University department of economics and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. Contact:


Jose Machado

Jose Antonio Machado lives in Miami. He was separated from his mother as a teenager after she was deported, but pushed forward by joining local, state and national immigrant-rights groups. These groups served as a catapult, propelling him into the national media for being one of many children with deported parents who were placed into the foster care system. He has been able to share his story with leaders in Congress, the tech community and even Donald Trump. Machado seeks to better the lives of immigrant families by one day practicing law. He currently studies at Miami Dade College.

Jason Manoharan

Jason Manoharan is the College Board’s vice president for Advanced Placement and instruction. He leads strategy, partnerships and early-stage initiatives in the AP program. In a previous role at the College Board, Manoharan was in charge of AP teacher support, developing innovative technology-based educational products and services for 150,000 educators across the country. Before joining the College Board, Manoharan was a member of the education practice at the Boston Consulting Group, advising public- and private-sector organizations on strategic, operational and transformation initiatives. He earned his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and holds a master’s in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate in English from Harvard University. Contact:

Kathleen Manzo

Kathleen Kennedy Manzo is the managing editor for Education Week, and Education Week Video, where she manages day-to-day digital and print coverage and content development for the PBS NewsHour and web video. Manzo also oversees Education Week’s web, art and photo departments and is a senior advisor on editorial strategy and reader engagement. Manzo has more than 25 years of experience in the journalism field. She started her career as an editorial aide and staff writer at The Washington Post, covering high school sports and local school boards. After serving as the editor of Community College Week newspaper and a senior writer at Black Issues in Higher Education, now Diverse magazine, Manzo became a reporter for Education Week, where for 13 years she covered curriculum, standards and education technology. In 2010 she left the paper to join a communications strategy firm, working with foundations on national campaigns to improve public education and child well-being. She returned to Education Week in 2012. Manzo studied education policy and foundations at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, where she earned a master’s degree. Contact:, @kmanzo

Scott Marion

Scott Marion is the president of the Center for Assessment, a nonprofit consulting firm. Marion’s current projects include creating validity evaluations for state assessment and accountability systems and designing and implementing high quality, locally designed performance-based assessments. He also is a leader in designing valid approaches for evaluating educators in non-tested subjects and grades. Marion serves on multiple state technical advisory committees for assessment – including serving as the chair of the PARCC Technical Advisory Committee – and accountability and educator evaluation. He has served on multiple National Research Council committees, producing seminal reports on assessment and accountability. Prior to joining the Center for Assessment in early 2003, Marion was the director of assessment and accountability for the Wyoming Department of Education. A former field biologist and high school science teacher, Marion received his doctorate in measurement and evaluation from the University of Colorado Boulder. Contact:, @ScottFMarion

Ryan Marquis

Ryan Marquis is studying chemistry and secondary education at Keene State College in New Hampshire. He attended school in New Hampshire’s Pittsfield School District from kindergarten through 12th grade and graduated from Pittsfield Middle High School in 2015 as class president and salutatorian. Marquis was also the Site Council co-chair, a student mentor, student ambassador, varsity soccer captain, and a drama club member. Currently, Marquis is a member of the Keene State College Building Excellence in Science and Technology Living Learning Community (BEST LLC), where he has been hired as a peer mentor for the 2016-17 school year. Contact:

Monica Martinez

Monica Martinez is an author, senior fellow to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, presidential appointee to the White House Commission of Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and education strategist and consultant for philanthropy and nonprofits. Her career encompasses major programmatic, management and executive leadership roles. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, she was the president of the New Tech Network and the vice president for education strategy at KnowledgeWorks. In Washington, D.C., she was a senior associate at the Institute for Educational Leadership, where she founded the D.C.-based National High School Alliance while developing and managing three other projects. Her book, “Deeper Learning: How Eight Innovative Public Schools Are Transforming Education in the Twenty-First Century,” published by The New Press, was released in June 2014. She has been a columnist for Phi Delta Kappan and a contributing author to other books and independent reports. She presents nationally and internationally on the topics of deeper learning, education innovation and reform, college readiness and the future of learning. Contact:, @drmonie

Madeline Mavrogordato

Madeline Mavrogordato is an assistant professor of K-12 educational administration in the College of Education at Michigan State University. As a former bilingual elementary school teacher in south Texas and northern California, Mavrogordato gained a deep understanding of the critical role that policy implementation plays in education reform. She utilizes quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate how district, state and federal policies and systems of school governance affect educational outcomes for underserved student populations, particularly immigrants and English-language learners. In addition, Mavrogordato studies the role that school leaders play in educational reform and policy implementation. Her research on school leadership examines principal evaluation systems, how principals respond to performance feedback, and leadership practices in traditional public and charter schools. Mavrogordato received the Outstanding Dissertation Award in 2013 from the policy and politics division of the American Educational Research Association. She received her doctorate in leadership and policy studies from Vanderbilt University in 2012. Contact:, @MaddyMavro

Shannon McAvoy

Shannon McAvoy is the coordinator of the Pantry @NCC, an on-campus student food pantry at Norwalk Community College in Connecticut. She is currently serving in the second year of a three-year AmeriCorp VISTA program. Previously, McAvoy was a student at NCC and part of the Family Economic Security Program (FESP), a grant-funded program to support student parents through academic, personal-growth and financial coaching. As a single mother and the sole supporter of her children, McAvoy struggled with food and housing insecurity and has a first-hand understanding of the difficult decisions students face when completing their education. While pursuing her degree, McAvoy also worked full-time in the nonprofit sector for social justice, environmental and philanthropic issues. She graduated from NCC in 2011 and then transferred to Trinity College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2015. She volunteers her time to sustainability issues in and around Fairfield County and is currently researching her options for the future. Contact:, @sdmcavoy

Barbara McKenna

Barbara McKenna is director of public outreach for the Regional Educational Laboratory West at WestEd. Previously, she was communications director for the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Other previous positions are director of communications for the national Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence and public information officer at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She began her career in journalism, reporting and editing at a range of daily and weekly newspapers, starting with The Washington Post, finishing with the Santa Cruz Sentinel, and with many now-defunct weeklies in between. On her own time, she does photography and graphic design, writes, bikes, obsesses about basketball, and volunteers as a mentor for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. She lives virtually at and @bxmckenna. Contact:

Audra McPhillips

Audra McPhillips is the mathematics specialist and coach for West Warwick (Rhode Island) Public Schools. She is a national trainer for the American Federation of Teachers’ Educational Research and Dissemination Program in all three of its Thinking Mathematics and Common Core professional development modules. McPhillips was a member of a national review team for the Common Core mathematics standards and currently serves on the Educator Leader Cadre from Rhode Island for the PARCC assessment. She is also part of the Teacher Item Review for PARCC. She is an adjunct professor at Johnson & Wales University’s School of Education. McPhillips serves on the board of directors for EdReports. Contact:

Jal Mehta

Jal Mehta is an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His primary research interest is in understanding what it would take to create high-quality schooling at scale, with a particular interest in the professionalization of teaching. He is working on two projects — In Search of Deeper Learning, a contemporary study of schools, systems and nations that are seeking to produce ambitious instruction; and The Chastened Dream, a history of the effort to link social science with social policy to achieve social progress. Mehta is co-editor of the Learning Deeply blog at Education Week and in 2014 was the top-ranked junior faculty scholar in the Rick Hess Education Week rankings. Mehta is also the winner of the Morningstar Teaching Award at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Contact:, @jal_mehta

Carmen Melendez-Quintero

Carmen Melendez-Quintero is the head of the guidance department at North Attleborough High School in Massachusetts, a job she started in 2015. Before that, she worked for 12 years at South High Community School in Worcester, Massachusetts, as the guidance department director and Advanced Placement coordinator. A native of Puerto Rico and a first-generation college graduate, Melendez-Quintero led the development of the Latinos Excelling in Advanced Placement program at South High. The LEAP program provides wrap-around support for students through parental involvement, tutoring, mentoring and community partnerships. Melendez-Quintero has presented at College Board conferences on the LEAP initiative and has served as a consultant to school districts looking to improve academic performance among Latino students. She has received numerous awards for her work with Latino youth. Melendez-Quintero is a graduate of Assumption College, where she obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study. Contact:

Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott is NPR’s supervising senior editor for standards and practices. In this role, he is a resource for NPR’s journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization’s standards. Previously, Memmott was one of the hosts of NPR’s The Two-Way news blog, which he helped launch when he joined NPR in 2009. Memmott also worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today, where he focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics and the media. Contact:, @MarkMemmottNPR

Ashley Messenger

Ashley Messenger is senior associate general counsel at NPR, specializing in First Amendment and media law issues. She previously served as editorial counsel to U.S. News & World Report and was the McCormick-Tribune fellow at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Early in her career, she was a radio talk show host at EG-FM in Albuquerque. She is an adjunct faculty member in the journalism school at American University and has previously taught media law at The George Washington University and George Mason University. Messenger is a member of the Media Institute’s First Amendment Advisory Council, chair of the D.C. Bar Media Law Committee, and is on the governing board of the American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law. She received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a doctorate of jurisprudence from Pepperdine University. Contact:, @ashmessesq

George Miller

George Miller serves as senior education advisor to Cengage Learning. In this role, he provides strategic counsel to the CEO and executive team on a wide range of issues, including public policy and business strategy. Prior to joining Cengage, Miller served as a member of Congress for 40 years, representing the 11th Congressional District that encompasses the East Bay of San Francisco and the majority of Contra Costa County, California. He was one of the longest-serving members of Congress in history and is highly regarded on both sides of the aisle for his passion and commitment to education equity, working families and the environment. Miller served for many years on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, including as chairman, and played a key role in many pieces of landmark legislation, including the No Child Left Behind Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Higher Education Opportunity Act, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and Affordable Care Act. At the time of his retirement, Miller was the ranking member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, as well as co-chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Contact:

James Minichello

James Minichello is the director of communications and marketing with AASA, The School Superintendents Association. In this role, he directs all external communications, media relations and marketing for the nation’s premier organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the U.S. and throughout the world. Prior to joining AASA, Minichello worked as an independent communications consultant in the Washington, D.C. area and also worked for more than 11 years with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, where he designed, managed and executed media outreach campaigns to promote National Board Certification and National Board Certified Teachers. Minichello also spent a number of years as a broadcast journalist, including 10 years as an anchor-producer-reporter with the United Press International Radio Network. Minichello is currently serving as the marketing and communications committee chair for the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and is on the Education Writers Association’s community member advisory board. Minichello is a graduate of the University of South Carolina College of Journalism. Contact:, @JimmyMinichello

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell covers the U.S. economy from The Wall Street Journal’s Washington, D.C., bureau. He previously covered transportation policy and the bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler. Prior to the Journal, he worked as a reporter for The Baltimore Sun and The Palm Beach Post. Contact:, @JMitchellWSJ

Ted Mitchell

Ted Mitchell is the U.S. under secretary of education. He oversees policies, programs and activities related to postsecondary education, adult, career and technical education, federal student aid, five White House Initiatives, and the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Mitchell is charged with planning and policy responsibilities to implement President Obama’s goal for the U.S. to have “the best educated, most competitive workforce in the world” as measured by the proportion of college graduates by the year 2020. Mitchell is the former CEO of the NewSchools Venture Fund and served as the president of the California State Board of Education. Mitchell has served as president of Occidental College, vice chancellor and dean of the School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, and professor and chair of the department of education at Dartmouth College. Mitchell received his bachelor’s degree, master’s, and doctorate from Stanford University. Contact:, @EDUnderSec

Scott Moore

Scott Moore is executive director of Kidango, the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest early learning organization. Previously, Moore was chief policy advisor for Early Edge California, where he designed the policy that established the new transitional kindergarten grade and the consolidated California State Preschool Program. These policy victories increased preschool access to more than 170,000 children a year. In 2014, Moore served as a senior fellow at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2011, he was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the executive director of the California Early Learning Advisory Council. Moore received his bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA and his master’s in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Contact:

Amanda Moreno

Amanda Moreno is an assistant professor at Erikson Institute in Chicago, the nation’s premier graduate school in child development. She has more than 20 years of experience in early child development, including direct service with children and families, curriculum and assessment development, social policy, community partnerships, program evaluation and original research. Moreno serves as Erikson’s lead researcher on a four-year, first-of-its-kind randomized study of 3,000 Chicago public school students in kindergarten through second grade to learn more about whether mindfulness strategies can help students manage the toxic stress often associated with socioeconomic disadvantage. Before joining Erikson, Moreno was the associate director of the Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy at the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education. She earned a doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of Denver, as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in child development from Tufts University. Contact:

Michael Morisy

Michael Morisy is a co-founder of MuckRock and manages the site’s general operations. He was named a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University for 2014-2015 and was previously an editor at The Boston Globe, where he launched the paper’s technology vertical, BetaBoston. He contributed to the New York Daily News’ Pulitzer Prize-winning series on the deadly health conditions of Ground Zero workers. He graduated in 2007 from Cornell University with a degree in English. Contact:, @morisy

Ina Mullis

Ina V.S. Mullis is the executive director of the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center (TIMSS stands for Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and PIRLS stands for Progress in International Reading Literacy Study — both assessments are ongoing.) Mullis played a leadership role in developing and reporting the results of the TIMSS assessments, conducted every four years from 1995 through 2015. Mullis pioneered the idea of steadily evolving assessments as the basis for measuring trends while keeping pace with educational change. The TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College directs the TIMSS and PIRLS programs on behalf of the International Association of the Evaluation of Educational Achievement. Prior to joining Boston College in 1994, Mullis was project director of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) at Educational Testing Service, and she serves on the NAEP Validation Studies Panel. Contact:

Maggie Mulvihill

Maggie Mulvihill is a professor at Boston University who has been using data in her award-winning work as a journalist and teacher for over two decades. Mulvihill’s data journalism students have been honored with 10 regional or national journalism awards since 2011, including the Philip Meyer Precision Journalism Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors and the David S. Barr Social Justice Award for student journalists. Mulvihill is a former media lawyer and a faculty fellow at the Boston University Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, where she is developing a computational journalism initiative. She is the co-founder of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and serves on the steering committee of the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press, the board of the New England First Amendment Coalition, and was a 2004-2005 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. In 2014, Mulvihill was named to the Federal Freedom of Information Act Advisory Committee. Contact:, @maggiemulvihill

Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is an associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University during the 2015-16 academic year. Her research focuses on understanding how people’s social identities and group memberships — such as their gender, race, and socioeconomic status — interact with the contexts they encounter to affect people’s thoughts, feelings, motivation and performance. Related to education, her research illuminates the situational cues that influence students’ academic motivation and achievement with an emphasis on understanding when those processes are similar and different for majority and minority students. In the realm of organizations and tech, her research examines barriers and solutions for increasing diversity in STEM fields. Her research has been profiled in The New York Times, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American, NPR, and other outlets. Murphy earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a doctorate from Stanford University. She completed a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University. Contact:


Nora Newcombe

Nora S. Newcombe is a professor of psychology and faculty fellow at Temple University. Her research focuses on how people learn and retain information. She specifically looks at spatial cognition and development and the development of episodic memory. She is currently principal investigator of the National Science Foundation-funded Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC), which aims to develop the science of spatial learning and use this knowledge to transform educational practice, supporting children and adults in acquiring the scientific, technical, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) skills. She is currently the chair of the governing board of the Cognitive Science Society, chair-elect of of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s psychology section, and chair-elect of the Federation of Associations of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. She joined Temple in 1981 after first teaching at Pennsylvania State University. Newcombe received her bachelor’s degree from Antioch College and her doctorate from Harvard University. Contact:, @NoraNewcombe

Amalio Nieves

Amalio Nieves is the Boston Public Schools assistant superintendent of social emotional learning and wellness. Previously, he was the director of the diversity, prevention and intervention department in Broward County (Florida) Public Schools, the sixth-largest district in the nation. There, Nieves authored, launched and oversaw major policies and initiatives in the areas of social and emotional learning. These included positive behavior intervention supports, racial equity, violence prevention, peer counseling, substance abuse prevention, LGBTQ inclusion, character education and sexual health. Nieves led Broward County to adopt one of the nation’s strongest and most inclusive anti-bullying policies and spearheaded efforts to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline, signing the historic Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline and developing the nationally recognized PROMISE initiative. In 2014, Nieves broke ground with Broward schools’ adoption of one of the most comprehensive family-life and human sexuality policies for grades K-12. Nieves is completing his doctorate in education with a major in organizational leadership from Nova Southeastern University. Contact:

Felice Nudelman

Felice Nudelman leads Antioch University in the core values of inclusiveness, social justice, experiential learning, and socially engaged, global citizenship. Prior to joining Antioch, she spent 12 years with The New York Times Company, where she was executive director of education and led the development of The New York Times Knowledge Network. She helped launch and was co-director of the American Democracy Project, a collaboration with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, to foster student civic engagement. At the 2012 ADP conference, the organization honored Nudelman with the Spirit of Democracy Award. In addition, she coordinated the CCSSO/Gates Foundation EdSteps project on behalf of the Times Company. Before joining The Times, Nudelman was executive director for Pace University’s School of Education and spent nearly a decade in academic affairs at Bloomfield College. She has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and philosophy from Allegheny College and a master’s in photography from Pratt Institute. She is an alumna of the 1995 Harvard Management Development Program. Nudelman is on the EWA Board of Directors, as well as many other boards and committees.


Denise-Marie Ordway

Denise-Marie Ordway is a reporter and editor at Journalist’s Resource, a website and project of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. She has been a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel and The Philadelphia Inquirer and wrote news for two radio stations and a newspaper in Central America. Ordway was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2013 for her work leading an investigative series that focused on hazing and other problems at Florida A&M University. She has received several national journalism awards, including first prize in education beat reporting from the Education Writers Association in 2014. She spent the 2014-15 academic year as a fellow at Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism. In 2015, Ordway began serving on the journalist advisory board of the Education Writers Association. Contact:, @DeniseOrdway

Kalise Osula

Kalise Osula is an alumna of the Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) and the founder of the new movement #blackwithapurpose. She has organized around current issues that face the state and country, including youth jobs, the school-to prison pipeline, racial injustice and more. Osula is a proud graduate of the Boston Public Schools system and is currently attending college for mechanical engineering. Over the years, Osula has developed a strong passion to change her community for the better, especially around educational, racial and gender equity. In the coming years, Osula hopes to receive a graduate degree in mechanical engineering and use her knowledge and experience to open a tutoring firm that focuses on engaging more black and Latino youth in the STEM field. Contact:

Ann Owens

Ann Owens is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on inequality in educational and neighborhood contexts, including causes, trends and consequences. Recent studies include an investigation of income segregation between neighborhoods among families with and without children; a complementary study looking at racial segregation between neighborhoods among children compared to all residents; and an examination of income segregation between school districts and between schools over the past several decades. Her current research looks at whether income segregation between school districts accounts for the achievement gap between high- and low-income students. She holds a doctorate in sociology and social policy from Harvard University. Contact:


Lindsay Page

Lindsay Page, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, focuses on quantitative methods and their application to questions regarding the effectiveness of educational policies and programs across the preschool to postsecondary spectrum. Recently she has implemented large-scale randomized trials to investigate potential solutions to “summer melt,” the phenomenon of college-intending students failing to transition successfully from high school to college. Page has co-authored a book on summer melt, which will be published by the Harvard Education Press in the fall of 2016. Page earned a doctorate in quantitative policy analysis in education, as well as a master’s degree in statistics and a master’s in administration, planning, and social policy, all from Harvard. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College. Contact:, @linzcpage

Jin Park

Jin Park is a sophomore at Harvard College concentrating in molecular and cellular biology with a secondary focus in government. He is the founder and director of HigherDreams, a nonprofit committed to making higher education more accessible for undocumented students. As a Korean-American undocumented immigrant, Park is passionate about the importance of making the movement more inclusive and expanding the number of stakeholders in the issue. Contact:

Heather Peske

Heather G. Peske is associate commissioner for educator effectiveness at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She manages a portfolio that includes educator preparation, licensure and educator development, including evaluation. Peske has spent her career committed to promoting policies and practices to support educator growth and development and ensure effective teachers, especially for low-income and minority students. Prior to her role at the department, Peske served as vice president of programs at Teach Plus, where she worked to increase the impact of effective early career teachers and managed program expansion from one site to six across the nation and from 20 teachers to over 3,000. She was also the director of teacher quality at The Education Trust, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising standards and closing achievement gaps in education. Peske began her career as an elementary teacher and Teach For America corps member in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Contact:

Glenn Pethel

Glenn Pethel is the assistant superintendent of leadership development for Gwinnett County Public Schools, the largest school district in Georgia with more than 174,000 students. He previously served as the chief human resources officer for Gwinnett and as the executive director of human resources for the St. Johns County School District in St. Augustine, Florida. He directs the activities of the Quality-Plus Leader Academy for Gwinnett County Public Schools and The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative with the district. The Quality-Plus Leader Academy’s programs include the Aspiring Principal Program, Aspiring Leader Program, District Leader Program, Just-in-Time Training for school leaders, the Leader Mentor Program, and the district’s annual Summer Leadership Conference. He coordinated the Race to the Top initiative for the school district, including all work related to teacher and leader evaluation. Contact:

Mike Petrilli

Mike Petrilli is president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and executive editor of Education Next. An award-winning writer, he is the author of “The Diverse Schools Dilemma” and editor of Education for Upward Mobility. Petrilli has published opinion pieces in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg View, and Slate, and appears frequently on TV and radio. Petrilli helped to create the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, the Policy Innovators in Education Network, and Young Education Professionals. He serves on the advisory boards of the Association of American Educators, MDRC, and the Texas Institute for Education Reform. Contact:, @MichaelPetrilli

Michelle Porche

Michelle V. Porche, is a clinical associate professor in counseling psychology and human development at Boston University. Throughout her career, she has studied socio-emotional correlates of academic achievement for young children and adolescents, primarily using mixed-methods approaches. Recent work has included the study of early and ongoing adversity on risk of high school dropout, school engagement and grade retention. As a member of an interdisciplinary team, she has also studied the association between trauma and substance use for adolescents, related to mental health and academic outcomes. Additional work has focused on immigrant children and families, with specific attention to the impact of trauma for resettled refugee youth. Contact:, @MichelleVPorche

Menah Pratt-Clarke

Menah Pratt-Clarke is vice provost for inclusion and diversity and vice president for strategic affairs at Virginia Tech. Previously, she held numerous roles at the University of Illinois, where she was affiliated with the Institute for Government and Public Affairs, the department of African-American studies, the department of gender and women’s studies, the Center for African Studies, and the College of Law and served as the Title IX officer. Her teaching and research interests include critical race studies, black feminism and critical race feminism, with a particular focus on issues of transdisciplinary analysis of diversity issues in higher education. She speaks and lectures nationally on issues of diversity, Title IX, higher education and leadership. She is the author of “Critical Race, Feminism, and Education: A Social Justice Model,” published in 2010. Pratt-Clarke received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in literary studies from the University of Iowa, as well as a law degree, master’s and doctorate in sociology from Vanderbilt University. Contact:

Becky Pringle

Becky Pringle is the vice president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest labor union and professional association for educators. A middle school science teacher with 31 years of classroom experience, Pringle has distinguished herself as a passionate advocate focusing on issues of educator empowerment and student success, diversity, and developing future leaders. Most notably, Pringle led the work group that produced the NEA’s Policy Statement on Teacher Evaluation and Accountability — the union’s first broad endorsement of the need for a student-centered, educator-led evaluation and shared accountability system. She has served as finance chair of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; on the Blue Ribbon Panel on Teacher Preparation for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; and on the Institute for Educational Leadership Task Force. Contact:,, @BeckyPringle 

Robert Putnam

Robert D. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin professor of public policy at Harvard University. He has received numerous scholarly honors, including the Johan Skytte Prize, the most prestigious global award in political science, and the National Humanities Medal, the nation’s highest honor for contributions to the humanities. He has written 14 books, translated into more than 20 languages, including “Bowling Alone” and “Making Democracy Work,” both among the most cited publications in the social sciences in the past half century. His 2010 book, co-authored with David E. Campbell, “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us,” won the American Political Science Association’s 2011 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award as the best book in political science. His latest book, “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis,” on the growing class gap among American young people was published in March 2015. Contact:, @RobertDPutnam


Trinidad Ramkissoon

Trinidad Ramkissoon is 21 years old and recently completed his last year in high school at Boston Day and Evening Academy. Ramkissoon began performing at age 8. His first theatrical production was done at his elementary school, Fletcher Maynard Academy, and he took on the role of Scar in The Lion King. Ramkissoon is currently taking an Artist In Training intensive program with Mssng Lnks, and he plans to do a string of productions with the company throughout the spring and summer of 2016. In addition to training, he is also on tour with Central Square Theater’s Youth Underground production of “Don’t Knock Opportunity.” Throughout his acting career, he has picked up assistant teaching roles educating elementary students and high school students at Generation Excel, Public Gardens, and Upward Bound Programs in Boston. Ramkissoon also enjoys modeling, rapping, singing, writing poetry, as well as spending time with family and friends. He plans to perform for the rest of his professional career. Contact:, @TrinidadsWorld

Cybele Raver

C. Cybele Raver serves as vice provost of research, faculty and academic affairs at New York University. She also maintains an active program of research, examining the mechanisms that support children’s self-regulation in the contexts of poverty and social policy. Raver and her research team currently conduct the Chicago School Readiness Project, a federally funded randomized control-trial intervention, and she regularly advises local and federal government agencies and foundations on promoting school readiness among low-income children. Raver has received several prestigious awards from organizations such as the American Psychological Association and the William T. Grant Foundation, as well as support from the Spencer Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. Raver earned her undergraduate degree in visual and environmental studies from Harvard-Radcliffe College and her doctorate in developmental psychology from Yale University. Contact:, @ccybeleraver

Sean Reardon

Sean Reardon is an endowed professor of poverty and inequality in education and a professor of sociology at Stanford University. His research focuses on the causes, patterns, trends, and consequences of social and educational inequality; the effects of educational policy on educational and social inequality; and in applied statistical methods for educational research. In addition, he develops methods of measuring social and educational inequality (including the measurement of segregation and achievement gaps) and methods of causal inference in educational and social science research. He teaches graduate courses in applied statistical methods, with a particular emphasis on the application of experimental and quasi-experimental methods to the investigation of issues of educational policy and practice. Reardon is a member of the National Academy of Education and has been a recipient of a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar Award, a Carnegie Scholar Award, and a National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellowship. He received his doctorate in education from Harvard University in 1997. Contact:

James Redford

James Redford has made nine documentaries, focusing on such issues as dyslexia and why and how chronic stress damages healthy childhood development. Inspired by his own life-saving liver transplant at the age of 30, his first HBO documentary, “The Kindness of Strangers,” explored the hidden heroism of donor families. Redford started his collaboration with Karen Pritzker on HBO’s “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia,” a film that gave hope to millions of families around the world who have struggled to educate their dyslexic children. From there, they turned their storytelling on the hidden menace of adverse childhood experiences with “Paper Tigers” and “Resilience.” “Paper Tigers,” currently on the festival and screening circuit, will air on PIVOT TV in 2016. Redford’s recent honors include 2015 filmmaker envoy for the University of Southern California/U.S. State Department’s American Film Showcase. Contact:, @jred5562

Steve Reilly

Steve Reilly is an investigative reporter and data specialist for the USA TODAY Media Network based in Washington, D.C., where he works collaboratively with Gannett newsrooms and partner organizations nationwide on joint investigative reporting projects. He previously worked as an investigative reporter and editor for Gannett Central New York Media and as a local government reporter for The Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, New York. He is a graduate of Vassar College. Contact:, @BySteveReilly

Paul Reville

Paul Reville is a professor of practice, administration and policy at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE). He is the founding director of HGSE’s Education Redesign Lab and recently completed nearly five years of service as the secretary of education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Gov. Deval Patrick’s top education advisor. Prior to joining the Patrick administration, Reville had chaired the Massachusetts State Board of Education, and served as executive director of the Pew Forum on Standards-Based Reform. Reville’s career, which combines research, policy, and practice, began with service as a VISTA volunteer and youth worker. He served as a teacher and principal of two urban, alternative high schools. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Colorado College, a master’s from Stanford University and five honorary doctoral degrees. Contact:, @PaulReville NG

Patrick Riccards

Patrick Riccards is chief communications and strategy officer for the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Riccards has previously served as CEO of ConnCAN, executive director of communications and public affairs for the American Institutes of Research, chief of staff to the National Reading Panel, and spokesman for members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. His Twitter feed has regularly been recognized by EducationNext as one of the most influential streams in education policy for the past five years. As a consultant, Riccards has helped dozens of nonprofit organizations build and expand their digital voice. PR News named him its 2015 Not-for-Profit Communicator of the Year and its 2013 Public Affairs Professional of the Year. Based in Princeton, New Jersey, Riccards is also the author of several books focused on public engagement and the role of parents. Contact:, @Eduflack

Emily Richmond

Emily Richmond is the public editor for the Education Writers Association. She coordinates programming and training opportunities for members, and provides individualized reporting and writing help to journalists. She also authors EWA’s “The Educated Reporter” blog. Prior to joining EWA, she was the education reporter at the Las Vegas Sun, where she covered local, state and national issues. Recognition of her work includes awards from the Associated Press News Executives Council and the Nevada State Press Association. Richmond was a 2011 Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a master’s in journalism from Stanford University. Contact:, @EWAEmily

Benjamin Riley

Benjamin Riley is the founder and executive director of Deans for Impact. Prior to founding Deans for Impact, Riley conducted research on the New Zealand education system, worked as the policy director for national education nonprofit NewSchools Venture Fund, and served as deputy attorney general for the State of California. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a law degree from Yale Law School. Contact:, @benjaminjriley

Vicky Rivera

Vicky Rivera assists students in preparing for their futures beyond high school graduation – from applying to colleges and for financial aid to exploring career options to discovering exciting summer opportunities, Ms. Rivera supports BGA students in attaining their dreams. Originally from Lynn, Massachusetts, Vicky returned to her roots in January of 2012 to join the Boston Green Academy community after having worked in College Counseling at Ransom Everglades School in Miami, Florida and previous to that being the Founding Director of College Counseling at Gateway High School in San Francisco, California. Vicky graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in American Civilization, concentrating on race relations in the United States, in particular to Latinos. Outside of BGA, Vicky adores spending time with her soccer-fanatic husband, playing with her daughter and running after her son.

Kristina Rizga

Kristina Rizga is a senior reporter at Mother Jones magazine, where she covers education, focusing primarily on how school reforms affect students in the classrooms and how policies contribute to racial disparities in schools. She is the author of “Mission High,” which tells the behind-the-scenes story of a public high school in San Francisco struggling to close its achievement gaps. As part of a reporting project for Mother Jones, Rizga embedded at the school for four years to investigate how successful, veteran teachers created some of the most effective classrooms in the country and helped other educators to improve their craft. Rizga’s writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and The Nation, among other outlets. She is a fellow of the Equity Reporting Project and an adviser to the National Writing Project. Prior to joining Mother Jones, Rizga co-founded the Baltic Center for Investigative Reporting in her homeland, Latvia, and published and edited WireTap, a political and cultural online magazine. Contact:, @KristinaRizga

Erik Robelen

Erik Robelen is deputy director of the Education Writers Association. He plays a key role in conceptualizing and developing seminars and other events, edits and writes for the EWA website, and shares in the organization’s strategic leadership. Before joining EWA, he worked for 15 years as a reporter and editor at the national newspaper Education Week. As an editor, he oversaw coverage of teaching, standards, assessment and curriculum. As a reporter, he wrote widely on K–12 issues, including federal and state policy; charter schools and school choice; standards and testing; and teaching and curriculum. Previously, Robelen was an education analyst and writer at ASCD, a national education organization, and worked as a reporter and editor at Inside Washington Publishers. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College and a master’s degree in English from the University of Virginia. Contact:, @ewrobelen

Walter Robinson

Walter V. Robinson is editor at large at The Boston Globe. For seven years, he led the Boston Globe Spotlight Team that won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its investigation of the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests. He returned to the newspaper in 2014 after seven years as distinguished professor of journalism at Northeastern University. In 2001 and 2002, the Spotlight Team’s groundbreaking investigation of sexual abuse by priests exposed a decades-long cover-up that, in Boston alone, shielded the crimes of nearly 250 priests. The team’s work sparked similar disclosures across the country and around the world, and the investigation was made into a 2015 film, “Spotlight,” starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams. Robinson is co-author of the 2002 book, “Betrayal: Crisis in the Catholic Church.” Before joining the Globe in 1972, he served four years in the U.S. Army, including a year in Vietnam as an intelligence officer with the First Cavalry Division. Robinson is a 1974 graduate of Northeastern University. He has been awarded honorary degrees by Northeastern and Emerson College and has been a journalism fellow at Stanford University. Contact:, @WalterVRobinson

Phillip Rogers

Phillip S. Rogers became executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification in 2012. Prior to joining NASDTEC, Rogers worked for the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board for 12 years, including seven as its executive director. Rogers served as the founding director of the Allen County Schools Family Resource Center, recognized in 1995 as Kentucky’s Outstanding Family Resource Center by the Kentucky Association of Guidance Counselors. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Rogers received a bachelor’s degree in counseling from Liberty University in Virginia, a master’s in child development from Western Kentucky University, and a doctorate in education evaluation from the University of Louisville. Contact:, @NASDTEC

Marten Roorda

Marten Roorda joined ACT as CEO in 2015. Roorda previously served as CEO of Cito, an international nonprofit assessment organization based in the Netherlands. During his 13 years at Cito, Roorda led the 600-employee organization to international recognition for its work in learning analytics and adaptive testing. Roorda is the longest-serving member of the Association of Test Publishers (ATP) Board of Directors. During his tenure, he was a founder of ATP Europe and ATP Asia. Roorda holds a master’s degree in Dutch language and literature from Utrecht University. Contact:, @MartenRoorda

Joel Rose

Joel Rose is the co-founder and CEO of New Classrooms Innovation Partners. Previously, he was the CEO of School of One, an initiative within the New York City Department of Education that uses a mix of live, collaborative and online instruction in order to provide students with instruction customized to their unique academic needs and learning styles. Prior to conceptualizing and leading School of One, Rose served as chief executive for human capital and as chief of staff to the deputy chancellor at the New York City education department. Rose has been involved in education for more than 15 years, first as a fifth-grade teacher in Houston and later as a senior executive at Edison Schools. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tufts University, a law degree from the University of Miami School of Law, and is a graduate of the Broad Urban Superintendents Academy. Contact:, @NCJoelRose

Lauren Roth

Lauren Roth has been senior manager of communications for the Orange County Public Schools Facilities Department for the past year. Before that, she was a journalist covering schools for the Orlando Sentinel, The Virginian-Pilot and the Scranton Times-Tribune in Pennsylvania. She won several statewide education reporting awards in Florida for reporting on topics including charter schools, English-language learners, special education. Today, she works to inform the public and media about school planning and construction in one of the fastest-growing school districts in the nation. With more than 197,000 students, Orange County Public Schools is the 10th-largest school district in the country, and adds about 5,000 students a year. Contact:, @RothLauren

Andrew Rotherham

Andrew J. Rotherham is a co-founder and partner at Bellwether Education Partners, a national nonprofit organization working to support educational innovation and improve educational outcomes for underserved students. Rotherham leads Bellwether’s strategic thinking and policy analysis work. He is also the executive editor of RealClearEducation, a contributing editor to U.S. News & World Report, writes the blog, teaches about education at the University of Virginia, and is co-publisher of “Education Insider,” a federal policy analysis tool produced by Whiteboard Advisors. Among other roles, Rotherham previously served at the White House as special assistant to the president for domestic policy during the Clinton administration, on the Virginia Board of Education, and was education columnist for TIME. Rotherham is the author or co-author of more than 300 published articles, book chapters, papers, and op-eds about education policy and politics and is the author or editor of four books on educational policy. Contact:, @arotherham

Shawn Rubin

Shawn Rubin is the director of blended learning at Highlander Institute, where he manages the institute’s personalized and blended learning initiatives. Rubin also leads the Fuse RI Fellowship and co-founded various programs including the EdUnderground, EdTechRI, and Metryx, a startup software company building flexible formative assessment tools for educators where he serves as CEO. Rubin served as a founding faculty member of the Highlander Charter School before joining the Institute in 2011. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and his master’s in education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Contact:, @ShawnCRubin

Dale Russakoff

Dale Russakoff spent 28 years as a reporter for The Washington Post, covering politics, education, social policy and other topics. From 1994 to 2008, she served in the Post’s New York Bureau. She covered the New York City metropolitan area and becoming fascinated by Newark, New Jersey, the setting for her first book, “The Prize,” excerpted in The New Yorker. Russakoff was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, where she attended public schools. She graduated from Harvard University. Contact:, @dalerussakoff


Kristina Saccone

Kristina Saccone is the vice president for local partnerships at Great Schools, the nonprofit national school information website. Her career is rooted in education, first covering it as a journalist and now engaging as a strategist. After getting her start at the PBS NewsHour, she went to Colorado Public Radio and Aspen Public Radio, covering the ins and outs of the classroom and the work of teachers and administrators as well as issues of policy, funding, and politics. When Saccone left journalism, she joined the team at The Donnell-Kay Foundation as its communications director. Most recently, she was vice president for strategy and communications at Colorado Succeeds, an education advocacy group. Saccone is also founder of Young Education Professionals-Colorado and sits on the board of the Downtown Denver Expeditionary School. She has a bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Contact:, @KristinaSaccone

Philip Sadler

Philip Sadler is the director of the science education department at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a senior lecturer in astronomy. He has co-authored pre-college curricula in astronomy and engineering, college calculus, and Apple Inc.’s first product training course. He has taught middle school mathematics and science, undergraduate astronomy, and graduate STEM teaching courses. His research includes assessment of student understanding in science, the effect of professional development on science teachers’ knowledge, and how advanced high school coursework affects student persistence and performance after they transition to college. Sadler won the Journal of Research in Science Teaching Award, the American Institute of Physics’ Computers in Physics Prize, the American Astronomical Society Education Prize, and the American Association of Physics Teachers’ Millikan Medal. He has founded three companies and holds five patents. Curricula and materials developed by Sadler are used by an estimated 15 million students every year. Contact:

Salim Salim

Salim Salim is a senior at Deering High School in Portland, Maine. He was enrolled in sixth grade a month after his arrival in the U.S. from Iraq, and has been a student in the Portland Public Schools system ever since. He currently serves as the student body president in his school’s student council. Throughout high school, Salim has been a part of leadership programs that focus on student voice empowerment in his communities such as Seeds of Peace, the Telling Room, the King Fellows, and Youth Engagement Partners. Most of Salim’s work in recent years has been focused on education reform and increasing student voice in the local communities. In the fall, Salim will be attending Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Contact:

Claudio Sanchez

Claudio Sanchez is a former elementary and middle school teacher and currently an education correspondent for NPR. He focuses on the “three p’s” of education reform: politics, policy and pedagogy. Sanchez’s reports air regularly on NPR’s newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. Sanchez joined NPR in 1989 after serving for a year as executive producer for the El Paso, Texas-based Latin American News Service, a daily national radio news service covering Latin America and the U.S.-Mexico border. In 2008, Sanchez won first prize in EWA’s National Awards for Education Reporting. He was a 2007 Nieman Journalism fellow at Harvard University. In 1985, Sanchez received one of broadcasting’s top honors, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, for a series he co-produced, “Sanctuary: The New Underground Railroad.” Sanchez is a native of Nogales, Mexico, and a graduate of Northern Arizona University, with post-baccalaureate studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Contact:, @CsanchezClaudio

Melissa Sanchez

Melissa Sanchez is the associate editor of Catalyst Chicago, where her beats include teachers, the teachers’ union, and early childhood education. Previously, Sanchez was in Miami, Florida, where she spent close to five years writing about politics and crime for El Nuevo Herald and the Miami Herald. She also covered immigration and crime for the Yakima Herald-Republic in eastern Washington state and spent a year in Nicaragua as a reporting fellow for the Inter American Press Association. Contact:, @msanchezMIA

Sonja Santelises

Sonja Santelises is vice president of K-12 policy and practice at The Education Trust. She provides strategic direction for the organization’s K-12 research, practice, and policy work, which includes focusing national attention on inequities in public education and the actions necessary to close gaps in both opportunity and achievement. Before joining The Education Trust, Santelises was the chief academic officer for Baltimore City Public Schools; assistant superintendent for pilot schools — a network of 23 schools with broad autonomy — in Boston; and assistant superintendent for teaching and learning/professional development for Boston Public Schools. Santelises also lectured on urban education for two years at Harvard University and spent six years as a senior associate with Focus on Results Inc. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, a master’s in education administration from Columbia University, and a doctorate in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard. Contact:, @SonjaSantelises

Stephen Sawchuk

Stephen Sawchuk is an associate editor at Education Week. He has more than 10 years of experience covering the teaching profession, including evaluation, pay and unionism. His work has also appeared in The Hechinger Report, the Harvard Education Letter, and on He holds degrees from Georgetown and Columbia universities. Contact:, @Stephen_Sawchuk

Jeffrey Selingo

Jeffrey J. Selingo is a best-selling author and award-winning columnist who helps parents and higher-education leaders imagine the college and university of the future and how to succeed in a fast-changing economy. His newest book, “There Is Life After College,” explores how today’s young adults need to navigate school for the job market of tomorrow. Selingo is also the author of “College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students,” a New York Times best-selling education book in 2013, and “MOOC U: Who Is Getting the Most Out of Online Education and Why.” Selingo is a regular contributor to The Washington Post, a special advisor and professor of practice at Arizona State University, and a visiting scholar at Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities. He is the former top editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education, where he worked for 16 years in a variety of reporting and editing roles. He has received awards from the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, and The Associated Press. Selingo received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ithaca College and a master’s in government from the Johns Hopkins University. Contact:, @jselingo

Charol Shakeshaft

Charol Shakeshaft teaches graduate courses in research design, policy research methods, and gender and race equity at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research focuses on gender and leadership, sexual abuse of students by adults employed in schools, and the effectiveness of technology for learning. Shakeshaft is the recipient of a $5.2 million grant to develop state-of-the-art principal preparation to include the first immersive, interactive and web-enabled computer simulation for school administrators. She previously completed a three-year national study of the relationships between a school-based risk prevention program and risk behaviors of sixth- to eighth- grade students. Shakeshaft was also the principal investigator on a three-year National Science Foundation project to promote interest in science careers among seventh and eighth grade girls, particularly girls of color from low-income families. Shakeshaft is the author of three books and over 200 articles and papers, many of which have received national and state awards. She was elected an AERA fellow in 2015 and received the 2015 AERA Distinguished Contributions to Gender Equity in Education Research Award. Contact:

Lee Sheedy

Lee Sheedy is a math teacher at Spaulding High School in Rochester, New Hampshire. Sheedy is certified in secondary mathematics and has taught algebra and geometry for the last 12 years at Spaulding High School. He is also the school course chair for geometry. In addition, he has played a major role in a New Hampshire Department of Education program called Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE). Sheedy has become a teacher-leader in this first-in-the-nation accountability strategy that offers a reduced level of standardized testing together with locally developed common performance assessments. He is also a mentor for the University of New Hampshire intern program and a collaborative teacher in the UNH Education 500 course. Before transitioning to public education, he served 20 years as a U.S. Air Force pilot and officer. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and later earned a master’s in human resources development from Webster University. <o:p></o:p>

Tony Siddall

Tony Siddall is a program officer at Next Generation Learning Challenges, an initiative of the nonprofit association EDUCAUSE. He is responsible for the selection and support of grantees through the Assessment for Learning Project, a national effort dedicated to fundamentally rethinking the roles of assessment in advancing student learning. Siddall has spent his career with one foot in education policy and the other in practice. As a school administrator in New York City and a coach in the Boston Public Schools, he built community partnerships to expand learning time and provide wraparound services for students. As a charter school authorizer at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and a network support staffer for the charter management organization Achievement First, he helped guide schools through performance-based accountability systems in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Siddall is the founder of Boston Leaders for the Future of Education, a grassroots network of innovative educators, and served from 2012 to 2014 as an elected County Committee representative for Election District 21 in Brooklyn, New York. Contact:

Mario Small

Mario Luis Small is a professor of sociology at Harvard University. Previously, he served as dean of the social sciences at the University of Chicago. Small has published books and numerous articles on urban poverty, personal networks and the relationship between qualitative and quantitative social science methods. His books include “Villa Victoria: The Transformation of Social Capital in a Boston Barrio” (2004) and “Unanticipated Gains: Origins of Network Inequality in Everyday Life” (2009), both of which received the C. Wright Mills Award for Best Book, among other honors. Small is writing a book on how people decide whom to approach when seeking confidants and studying the differences in the experience of ghetto poverty across American cities. He received his doctorate from Harvard in 2001. Contact:,

Dyan Smiley

Dyan Smiley is an assistant director in the educational issues department at the American Federation of Teachers. Her work focuses on key issues of teacher diversity, recruitment, preparation and retention. Smiley is a former elementary school teacher and English language arts program director for Boston Public Schools, where she supervised literacy coaches, wrote curriculum for grades K-5 and developed and led district-wide professional development in reading and writing. Smiley also conducted school performance evaluations as part of the Massachusetts Department of Education’s Learning Walk team. She was an undergraduate and graduate lecturer in education for more than 10 years, teaching at Boston College, Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts Boston. Most recently, Smiley was a master educator in the Office of the Chancellor for District of Columbia Public Schools, where she aided in the design of the Teaching and Learning Framework and conducted classroom observations. Contact:, @dyansmiley

Erroll Southers

Erroll G. Southers is an award-winning professor and director of the homegrown violent studies program at the University of Southern California and the managing director of counterterrorism and infrastructure protection for the international security consulting firm TAL Global Corporation. He is a former FBI special agent, assistant chief of police, presidential nominee for assistant secretary of the Transportation Security Administration and governor’s appointee for the California Office of Homeland Security. Southers has performed security assessments, developed policies and procedures, and provided emergency preparedness planning to educational institutions for more than 20 years, including as a consultant to the California Association of Independent Schools and the National Association of Independent Schools. He has testified before the full Congressional committee on homeland security as a subject matter expert and is the author of “Homegrown Violent Extremism.” He earned his undergraduate degree from Brown University and holds master’s and doctoral degrees in public policy from USC. Contact:, @esouthersHVE

Jim Sporleder

Jim Sporleder retired in 2014 as principal of Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, Washington. Under Sporleder’s leadership, Lincoln High School became a “Trauma Informed” school, gaining national attention due to a dramatic drop in out-of-school suspensions, increased graduation rates, and the number of students going on to postsecondary education. Sporleder is working as a trauma-informed coach and consultant, as well as a trainer with the Children’s Resilience Initiative, based in Walla Walla. He has coached individual schools, entire school districts, governmental agencies, and a variety of nonprofit institutions on how to become trauma informed. Contact:, @SporLin

Stacy St. Clair

Stacy St. Clair joined the Chicago Tribune as a general assignment reporter in 2007. Before that she covered local government for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. She has also worked for the Dayton Daily News and The Topeka Capital-Journal. Her work has been honored by Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation, the National Headliner Awards, and the Society for Professional Journalists and the Hearst Foundation, among others. St. Clair has a bachelor’s of journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, with minors in American politics and Spanish. Contact:, @StacyStClair

Joy St. John

Joy St. John is dean of admission and financial aid at Wellesley College. She originally joined Wellesley’s admission office in 2010 as its director and was attracted to the college because of its reputation as one of the country’s premier liberal arts colleges for women and its mission to develop young women who will make a difference in the world. St. John has spent the last 20 years dedicated to issues of access and diversity in college admission and higher education. She began her admission career at Occidental College in Los Angeles and then moved to the East Coast to work as associate director of admission at Tufts University. For a brief time in her career, she worked as a college counselor and director of scholarships at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, California. Immediately prior to Wellesley, St. John worked for seven years as associate dean of admission at Amherst College. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a law degree from UCLA School of Law. Contact:

Kat Stein

Kat Stein joined the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education as executive director of communications in 2012. There, she founded the first public relations department for the school, with the goal of amplifying the impact of researchers’ work outside the academic “bubble.” A versatile and articulate strategist with a reputation for creativity and quality, Stein began her career in television, where she spent 19 years in public relations and corporate communications. At NBC Universal, she moved up the ranks to senior vice president, initially managing a major executive transition under new owner Barry Diller for both USA Network and Sci Fi Channel, and eventually establishing the first stand-alone corporate communications department for what is now Sy Fy. More recently, she was director of corporate communications and public relations for Philadelphia’s The Franklin Institute science museum. Stein is a graduate of Barnard College and holds an master’s degree in media studies from the New School for Social Research. Contact:, @katstein

Katrina Stevens

Katrina Stevens works at the U.S. Department of Education, where she is deputy director in the Office of Educational Technology and leads the work of Future Ready. Stevens has served as teacher, administrator, startup cofounder, consultant, adviser, angel investor, journalist and community organizer in the ed-tech world. Stevens co-founded and moderates #edtechchat, a weekly Twitter conversation. Previously, Stevens worked in the central office of Baltimore County Public Schools and, before that, spent three years working with the Ministry of Education in Bermuda for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth to launch a lab school and gifted program for students from across the island. She holds a master’s degree in English literature and composition. Contact:, @KatrinaStevens1

Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart is director of outreach and external affairs for Education Post, a nonprofit advocacy organization. Previously, Stewart was the executive director of the African American Leadership Forum, a cross-sector network of black leaders working to develop and implement an urban policy agenda across five northwest states. In 2007, he was elected to the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education. In that role, he helped establish the Office of New Schools, an area of the Minneapolis Public Schools to implement school reform strategies. He was a 2014 Bush fellow and is the publisher of Citizen.Education, a weekly alternative blog on education. Contact:, @citizenstewart

Farah Stockman

Farah Stockman is a political reporter with The New York Times and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. After she graduated from Harvard University, Stockman moved to Kenya and established an educational program for street children. She worked freelance jobs with The Associated Press, Reuters and The Christian Science Monitor after interning with The New York Times while in Kenya and then moved to Tanzania to cover the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. She worked for four years as a general assignment reporter for The Boston Globe in New England and then traveled to Pakistan as the Globe’s foreign affairs reporter. Stockman’s stories identifying U.S. corporations that were using off-shore shell companies to side-step U.S. laws won the 2009 Scripps Howard national journalism award. In 2008, she was part of a team that won second place in the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting. In 2012, Stockman became a columnist focusing on foreign affairs, national and local politics, and investigations that examine conventional wisdom. She won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for commentary for her columns focusing on Boston’s busing legacy. Contact:, @fstockman

Michael Stratford

Michael Stratford covers federal policy for Inside Higher Ed. He joined the publication in August 2013 after a stint covering the Arkansas state legislature for The Associated Press. He previously worked and interned at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and The Chronicle of Higher Education. At The Chronicle, he wrote about federal policy and covered higher education issues in the 2012 elections. Stratford grew up in Belmont, Massachusetts and graduated from Cornell University, where he was managing editor of The Cornell Daily Sun. Contact:, @mstratford


Grace Tatter

Grace Tatter covers the Legislature and state education policy for Chalkbeat Tennessee and is based in Nashville. Long interested in education policy and journalism, she interned in 2012 at GothamSchools, now Chalkbeat New York. She studied history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Contact:, @GraceTatter

Diane Tavenner

Diane Tavenner is the co-founder and CEO of Summit Public Schools, a charter management organization serving California and Washington state. Summit employs a personalized learning plan model, which leverages technology to connect students’ long-term goals to their daily actions and empowers them to own their learning. Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report have ranked Summit among the top public schools in the nation. In partnership with Facebook, Summit is currently working to scale personalized learning by making its Personalized Learning Plan Platform available to schools across the country for free. Tavenner serves as the board chair of the California Charter Schools Association and on the board of Transcend Education and The Primary School. She is a member of the spring 2013 cohort of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship and a fellow in the Broad Academy. Prior to Summit, Tavenner was a public school teacher, administrator and leader in traditional urban and suburban public schools in California. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from the University of Southern California and a master’s in administration and policy analysis from Stanford University. Contact:, @dianetavenner

Kenneth Terrell

Kenneth Terrell is the project director for higher education at the Education Writers Association, responsible for the organization’s postsecondary programming. He previously was managing editor for education at U.S. News & World Report where he handled the America’s Best Colleges and America’s Best Graduate Schools rankings projects and launched the America’s Best High Schools and World’s Best Universities projects. He also has worked as a reporter for The Syracuse Newspapers, the Portland Oregonian, and Newhouse News Services. He has earned a bachelor’s degree in English, American Studies, and Afro-American Studies from Princeton University and a master’s from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Contact:, @KennethEWA

Thomas Toch

Thomas Toch is the founding director of the Center on the Future of American Education at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. He is a former senior partner at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and director of the foundation’s Washington, D.C., office. He is a founder and former co-director of the think tank Education Sector, a former guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, and has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Toch has been co-managing editor of Education Week, a writer and editor at U.S. News & World Report, and a contributor to The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal and other publications. He is the author of “In the Name of Excellence” and “High Schools on a Human Scale.” Contact:, @thomas_toch

Greg Toppo

Greg Toppo is the national K-12 education reporter for USA Today and author of “The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter.” A graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he taught in both public and private schools for eight years before moving into journalism. His first job was with the Santa Fe New Mexican, a 50,000-circulation daily. He worked for four years as a wire service reporter with the Associated Press, first in Baltimore then in Washington, D.C., where he became the AP’s national K-12 education writer. Contact:, @gtoppo

Paul Tough

Paul Tough is the author, most recently, of “Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why,” which will be published on May 24 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. His previous book, “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character,” spent more than a year on The New York Times hardcover and paperback best-seller lists and was translated into 27 languages. His first book was “Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America.” Tough is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and a regular contributor to the public-radio program “This American Life.” His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, GQ and Esquire. Contact:, @paultough

Kenneth Trump

Kenneth S. Trump is president of National School Safety and Security Services, a Cleveland-based firm specializing in school security, emergency preparedness, litigation expert witness support, and safety-crisis communications consulting. Trump served as an investigator and youth gang unit supervisor for the Cleveland City Schools’ safety division, and as a suburban school security director and assistant gang task-force director. As a leading school safety expert, he has spent 30 years advising school and public safety officials from all 50 states and internationally. Trump has authored three books and more than 400 articles on school safety issues. He serves as a resource for reporters and is one of the most widely quoted school safety experts. Trump is a four-time Congressional witness on school safety and testified on school bullying before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He also testified to the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, Oklahoma School Security Commission, Council of State Governments, Education Commission of the States, National Lieutenant Governors Association, and other policy agencies. Contact:, @safeschools

Cory Turner

Cory Turner edits and reports for the NPR Ed Team. He has led the team’s coverage of Common Core while also finding time for his passion: exploring how kids learn — in the classroom, on the playground, at home and everywhere else. Previously, Turner was senior editor of All Things Considered at NPR. There, he worked closely with the staff and hosts to make sure the right questions were asked of the right people at the right time. As the show’s editor, Turner was its narrative custodian: story architect, correction czar, copywriter and polisher, guardian of the show’s “voice,” and the person by the phone when the hosts had an emergency question. Before joining NPR, Turner lived in Los Angeles and, hoping for a way into public radio, answered phones at the network’s Culver City studios. In 2004, a two-week temporary assignment booking for The Tavis Smiley Show led to regular work on NPR News with Tony Cox and News & Notes with Ed Gordon. Contact:, @NPRCoryTurner


Peter VanWylen

Peter VanWylen is the research director for the Memphis Teacher Residency, which trains teachers in a residency model with a focus on six partner neighborhoods. A graduate of Hope College and a former high school math and science teacher, he loves data science and helping others analyze and visualize data. His most recent work in the area of visualizing the geography of the achievement gap down to a neighborhood level is Contact:, @petervanwylen

Shannah Varón

Shannah Varón is the executive director of Boston Collegiate Charter School, a fifth- through 12th-grade college preparatory public school in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester. Prior to joining Boston Collegiate Charter School in 2011, Varón was a principal with the Parthenon Group, a Boston-based strategy consulting firm, where she focused in the firm’s Education Center for Excellence. Varón previously worked in New York City for Teach For America, where she managed the team responsible for the support of corps members citywide. She also taught bilingual special education for three years in Mercedes, Texas. Varón chairs the Boston Charter Alliance and co-chairs the Boston Compact, both dedicated to leading collaboration for improved academic outcomes in all Boston schools. She also served on Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s Transition Committee on Education. Varón holds a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University and a master’s in business from Harvard Business School. Contact:

Michael Vasquez

Michael Vasquez is a veteran Miami Herald reporter who has covered both K-12 and higher education. His work has received both state and national awards. Vasquez’s recent year-long investigation of for-profit colleges, “Higher-Ed Hustle,” led to the closure of Miami’s most politically powerful for-profit college, Dade Medical College. Dade Medical owner Ernesto Perez was subsequently arrested for illegal campaign contributions, and, most recently, Tallahassee lawmakers passed a law to better protect students. “Higher-Ed Hustle” received a National Headliner Award for best news series. Contact:, @MrMikeVasquez

James Vaznis

James Vaznis has been writing about K-12 education for The Boston Globe since 2008 and previously covered crime, higher education, suburban issues and New Hampshire. Prior to joining the Globe in 2002, he worked as a reporter at the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire and The Daily News of Newburyport in Massachusetts. Contact:, @GlobeVaznis

Carla Velasquez

Carla Lucina Velasquez is a senior at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston. She grew up in the Boston neighborhoods of Dorchester and Mattapan and was accepted to Codman Academy Charter Public School in ninth grade through a lottery. Due to the school’s innovative partnership with The Huntington Theatre Company, where ninth and 10th graders study drama on site every other Friday, Velasquez had her first opportunity to attend theatre and receive training. In ninth grade, she competed in the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Out Loud competition at the classroom level. In 11th grade, she represented Codman Academy in the statewide English Speaking Union’s Shakespeare Monologue Competition. For two summers, she has performed in the Summer Shakespeare Huntington Theatre/Codman Partnership, winning roles in “As You Like It” and “Julius Caesar.” As a junior, she won the schoolwide August Wilson Monologue Competition and went on to win at the statewide level and then compete at the national level. Velasquez is currently trying to decide whether she will attend Fitchburg State College or Lasell College in the fall. Contact:

Debbie Veney

Debbie Veney is NewSchools Venture Fund’s director of communications. She leads communications and public policy and is responsible for managing the organization’s public profile and telling the story of how its investments create impact, and transform lives and communities. Veney has more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications, advocacy and media relations. She is also deeply passionate about equity in education and believes in the transformative power of a high-quality education. Contact:

Rebecca Villarreal

Rebecca C. Villarreal is a program officer for The Kresge Foundation’s education program, which works to improve postsecondary access and success for low-income, minority and first-generation students in the U.S. and South Africa. The program focuses on strengthening pathways to and through college, building capacity at institutions serving low-income and underrepresented students, and aligning and strengthening the urban higher education ecosystem by working to break down barriers between nonprofits, the K-12 system, higher education institutions, businesses, and the social services sector. Before joining Kresge, Villarreal worked in project management at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). Previously, she held administrative, teaching and research positions at the University of Maryland, College Park, the National Association of College Admission Counseling, and Oakland University. Villarreal earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Missouri, as well as a master’s and doctorate in higher education from the University of Maryland. Contact:, @Dr_RCV

Matthias von Davier

Matthias von Davier is a senior research director in global assessment in the research and development division at Educational Testing Service. At ETS, von Davier manages a group of researchers concerned with methodological questions arising in large-scale international comparative studies in education. His current work involves the psychometric methodologies used in analyzing cognitive skills data and background data from large-scale educational surveys, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s upcoming PIAAC and the ongoing PISA, as well as TIMSS and PIRLS. Prior to joining ETS, von Davier led a research group on computer-assisted science learning and was co-director of the Computer as a Tool for Learning section and associate member of the psychometrics and methodology department at the Institute for Science Education in Kiel, Germany. He has also taught courses at the University of Kiel. In 1997, he received a postdoctoral fellowship award from ETS and an additional research award from the German Science Foundation. He earned his doctorate in psychology from the University of Kiel in Germany, specializing in psychometrics. Contact:


Jane Waldfogel

Jane Waldfogel is a professor at Columbia University School of Social Work and a visiting professor at the London School of Economics. She has written extensively on the impact of public policies on poverty, inequality, and child and family well-being. Her books include “Too Many Children Left Behind: The U.S. Achievement Gap in Comparative Perspective”; “Steady Gains and Stalled Progress: Inequality and the Black-White Test Score Gap”; “What Children Need”; and “Securing the Future: Investing in Children from Birth to College.” She is also the author of over 100 articles and book chapters. Her current research includes studies of paid parental leave, improving the measurement of poverty, and inequality in school readiness and achievement. Waldfogel received her doctorate in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School in 1994. Contact:

Eric Waldo

Eric Waldo is the executive director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative, working to inspire students across the U.S. to complete their postsecondary education, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a two- or four-year college or university. His mission is to further the president’s North Star goal — that by 2020, the U.S. once again leads the world in terms of college graduates. Prior to joining the White House, Waldo was deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Education. Before that, he was deputy staff counsel for the Obama 2008 campaign. Waldo earned a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, a master’s from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s from Brown University. Contact:, @ewwaldo

Patrick Wall

Patrick Wall joined Chalkbeat New York in 2013 after covering the South Bronx for DNAinfo New York. He has also written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Crain’s New York Business, City Limits, and other outlets. He taught fourth grade in Chicago’s South Side through Teach for America. Wall earned a master’s degree from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. Contact:, @patrick_wall

Martin Walsh

Martin J. Walsh, a lifelong advocate for working people and a proud product of the city of Boston, was sworn in as the city’s 54th mayor in January 2014. Walsh’s vision is of a thriving, healthy, and innovative Boston—a city with equality and opportunity for all, where a revolutionary history inspires creative solutions to the world’s hardest challenges. Since taking office he has worked to create good jobs, great schools, safe streets, and affordable homes, while building a more responsive, representative, and transparent city government. He has won national recognition for expanding young people’s opportunities and breaking new ground in community policing. And he has invited the people of Boston to help build a blueprint for the city’s future in Imagine Boston 2030, the first citywide plan in half a century. Before taking office, Walsh served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1997 to 2013. Representing Boston’s diverse 13th Suffolk District, he was a leader on job creation and worker protections; substance abuse, mental health, and homelessness; K-12 education; and civil rights. He played a key role defending Massachusetts’ pioneering stand on marriage equality. Contact: @marty_walsh

William Ward

William Ward is a statistician at the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. At NCES he is the project leader for National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) sampling and data collection, the Technology and Engineering Literacy assessment, and socioeconomic status research activities. Prior work experience includes developing teacher certification tests and program evaluation for the Corporation for National and Community Service. He holds a doctorate in experimental psychology from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Methodist University. Contact:,

Randi Weingarten

Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. She was elected in July 2008, following 11 years of service as an AFT vice president. Weingarten served for 12 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, representing approximately 200,000 nonsupervisory educators in the New York City public school system, as well as home child care providers and other workers in health, law and education. For 10 years, Weingarten chaired New York City’s Municipal Labor Committee, an umbrella organization for the city’s 100-plus public sector unions, including those representing higher education and other public service employees. From 1986 to 1998, Weingarten served as counsel to UFT president Sandra Feldman. A teacher of history at Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights from 1991 to 1997, Weingarten helped her students win several state and national awards debating constitutional issues. She worked as a lawyer for the Wall Street firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan from 1983 to 1986. Weingarten holds degrees from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Cardozo School of Law. Contact:, @rweingarten

Rachel Weinstein

Rachel Weinstein is the chief collaboration officer for the Boston Compact. Weinstein has supported numerous efforts focused on improving outcomes for historically underserved populations. In addition to the Compact, her clients have included four public health departments collaborating to share services, numerous philanthropic initiatives, and a cross-sector network focused on strengthening STEM education. Previously, Weinstein served as district director for the state Senate president in Oakland, California. She graduated from Brown University, where she majored in American civilization with a focus on urban education. Contact:

David Welker

David Welker is a senior campaigns specialist in the National Education Association’s campaigns and elections department. He also is on the NEA charter schools policy team, working on federal policies such as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization, and advising NEA state affiliates on charter school policies and operations. He joined the labor movement as a researcher and campaigner at the Food & Allied Services Trades Department, AFL-CIO in 1994. He has worked in advocacy and organizing campaigns in various capacities at United Food and Commercial Workers, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, American Federation of Teachers, Amalgamated Transit Union and now the NEA. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Chinese language and linguistics. Contact:

Linda Wertheimer

Linda K. Wertheimer, a former Boston Globe education editor, is the author of “Faith Ed, Teaching About Religion In An Age of Intolerance.” Her book chronicles public schools’ efforts to teach about the world’s religions, often in the face of controversy. During her nearly 30-year journalism career, she has worked as an education reporter at The Dallas Morning News, the Orlando Sentinel, and other publications. Her work has appeared in USA Today, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe Magazine, Religion News Service, The Writer, and other publications. She has won many writing awards, including second prize in the National Awards for Education Reporting for a magazine article that led to “Faith Ed.” She teaches writing at Grub Street in Boston and has also taught journalism part-time at Boston University. She is a graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and lives in the Boston area. Contact:, @lindakwert

Martin West

Martin West is associate professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, faculty research fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research, deputy director of Harvard’s program on education policy and governance, and executive editor of Education Next. His research includes studies of public opinion on education policy, teacher labor markets, the effects of retention on long-term student outcomes, and the effects of charter schools on students’ non-cognitive development. His most recent book is “Teachers Versus the Public: What Americans Think about Schools and How to Fix Them.” In 2013-14, West worked for the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions as senior education policy advisor to the ranking member. He previously taught at Brown University and is currently a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is a founding board member of Rhode Island Mayoral Academies, an organization helping educators open economically diverse public charter schools in partnership with mayors. He has a bachelor’s degree from Williams College, a master’s from Oxford University and a doctorate in government and social policy from Harvard. Contact:, @ProfMartyWest

Elizabeth Willen

Liz Willen, a longtime education reporter, is proud to lead an award-winning staff at The Hechinger Report. After working at an array of New England newspapers, Willen spent nearly a decade at Newsday, where she won numerous prizes for covering New York City public schools. She won several more awards, including a Polk, while covering education for Bloomberg News. She’s an active New York City public school parent, bike commuter and a board member for the Spencer Education Fellowships at Columbia. Willen was recently honored with an “Above and Beyond” award by the media company City & State for showing exemplary leadership.

Rebecca Wolfe

Rebecca E. Wolfe directs Jobs for the Future’s Students at the Center initiative, which adapts current research on key components of student-centered approaches to learning and deeper learning outcomes. The ultimate goal is for all students – with a special focus on underserved youth – to have concrete opportunities to acquire the skills, knowledge and dispositions needed for success in college, the workforce and civic life. Wolfe’s recent publications include “Early College Can Boost College Success Rates for Low-Income, First-Generation Students” (Kappan 2016) and “Educator Competencies for Personalized, Student-Centered Teaching” (Jobs for the Future 2015). Previously, Wolfe was the education director at the Fairfield County Community Foundation. She has also worked as a middle school site coordinator for GEAR UP, a teacher in several college-readiness initiatives for low-income youth, and a community liaison in the Boston district attorney’s office for the first Youth Opportunity Area grant. Wolfe holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a focus in urban education from Harvard University and a doctorate in education policy and administration from Stanford University. Contact:, @rewolfeJFF

Jodie Woodruff

Jodie Woodruff directs the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center (a Big Picture Learning school) in Providence, Rhode Island. From concept to creation, Woodruff spearheaded the Met’s entrepreneurial programs, including the building of the nation’s first freestanding entrepreneurship center for a public high school. Under her tutelage, four students have been named Ernst & Young’s New England’s Youth Entrepreneur of the Year, and four students have qualified for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s national competition. Woodruff was recognized as the Global Educator in 2014 from the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and was the Alumni of the Year from her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Woodruff is passionate about educational reform and social justice work. Contact:


Holly Yettick

Holly Yettick directs the Education Week Research Center, which produces standalone studies as well as analyses for Education Week and special reports, such as Quality Counts. Yettick spent 11 years covering education and other topics for newspapers in Florida, Alabama, and Colorado. She began working at Education Week in 2014 after earning a doctorate from the University of Colorado at Boulder’s School of Education in 2013 and completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado at Denver’s School of Public Affairs. Contact:, @HollyYettick

Asanni York

Asanni York is a junior public policy major at Princeton University, with minors in African American studies, gender and sexuality studies, and American studies. He has served Princeton’s community in various capacities, including as president of the Order of Black Male Excellence and of the Black Student Union, chair on the Council of the Princeton University Community Task Force of Diversity and Inclusion, student representative on the search committee for the new dean of diversity, and member of the Black Justice League. York is passionate about addressing and redressing institutionalized marginalization, especially as it pertains to its manifestation in crime policy and education policy. He is set to begin working for the Correctional Association of New York in the summer. Contact:

Michelle Young

Michelle D. Young is the executive director of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) and a professor of educational leadership at the University of Virginia. Young conducts research on leadership preparation through UCEA, an international consortium of research universities with programs in educational leadership. Young’s scholarship focuses on how university programs, educational policies and school leaders can support equitable and quality experiences for all students and adults who learn and work in schools. She is the recipient of the William J. Davis Award for the most outstanding article published in a volume of the Educational Administration Quarterly. Her work has also been published in the Review of Educational Research, the Educational Researcher, the American Educational Research Journal, the Journal of School Leadership, the Journal of Educational Administration and Leadership and Policy in Schools, among other publications. She holds a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. Contact:, @MDYoungUCEA


Ann Zaniewski

Ann Zaniewski has been a reporter at the Detroit Free Press for nearly four years, spending the last two years covering education in Detroit. She has written several stories about Detroit Public Schools’ financial crisis, efforts in Lansing, Michigan, to aid the district, and the challenges and triumphs facing students, parents and teachers in Detroit. She has also extensively covered the Education Achievement Authority, the struggling state reform school district based in the city. Zaniewski grew up in metro Detroit and attended Oakland University. Contact:, @AnnZaniewski

Emmeline Zhao

Emmeline Zhao is the editor of RealClearEducation, which provides both original and curated content pertaining to the day’s most significant news, analysis and research in education. She previously led the education vertical at The Huffington Post and covered the economy for The Wall Street Journal. She has written for CWSJ, exploring the intersection of the American and Chinese economies, and Chinese students in America, and has also worked for She covered baseball and basketball for The Olympic News Service at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Raised in North Carolina, Zhao earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy and a certificate in policy journalism and media studies from Duke University and studied science, ethics and policy while at the University of Oxford. Contact:, @emmelinez

Todd Ziebarth

Todd Ziebarth is the senior vice president for state advocacy and support for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. In this role, he leads the organization’s work to improve state charter school laws. Ziebarth has helped numerous states enact laws to better support high-quality public charter schools. He also has authored many national- and state-level research and policy publications related to key charter school issues. Previously, he worked as a policy analyst both at the Education Commission of the States from 1997 to 2003 and at Augenblick, Palaich, and Associates from 2003 to 2005. He has a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University, a master’s of public administration from the University of Colorado Denver, and a master’s of urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado Denver. Contact: