Elizabeth Combs | Managing Director, Frontline Research and Learning Institute
Elizabeth Combs began her career as an elementary school teacher and Director of Administrative and Instructional Technology at Patchogue-Medford School District before moving to Imperial Software Systems, a professional learning services company, where she eventually served as President. She then held positions at My Learning Plan Inc. as President and Chief Strategy Officer.
Over the past two decades she has presented at many conferences throughout the United States and internationally on how school districts can best integrate technology throughout the community, and using technology to enhance professional learning. In addition, Ms. Combs has multiple publications regarding professional development for educators. Her professional affiliations include memberships with Learning Forward and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Ms. Combs holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from State University of New York at Geneseo, a Master of Arts in Technology in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a professional diploma in Education Administration from Hofstra University. She also holds certifications and licenses to serve as a teacher, school administrator and supervisor.
She brings a passion for leveraging technology to support educator growth and over two decades of experience developing solutions rooted in best practices for professional development to the institute. Elizabeth understands the value and critical insights that K-12 human resources and professional growth data can provide, not only for the development of industry-leading education software solutions, but for the knowledge and empowerment of the education community as a whole.
Skye Duckett | Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer for Atlanta Public Schools
Skye Duckett has over twelve years of experience in human resources for public school systems in Georgia and Texas. As the Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer for Atlanta Public Schools, she is responsible for recruitment, selection, staffing, compensation and retention for 7,000 employees across 90 urban schools in Atlanta, Georgia.
Previously, Skye was responsible for recruiting, hiring, and developing administrators for Austin ISD, the fifth largest school system in Texas. Skye received Masters of Management and Bachelors of Applied Arts and Science degrees from Texas A&M University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.
A true Gen-Xer, she is passionate about continuously improving HR processes through technology and innovation. She pairs her passion for the business of human resources with a strong value of public education from her parents, who are both educators, to improve the educational experience for students and teachers every day.
Alan J. Ingram, Ed.D. | Education Consultant
Alan Ingram is an education consultant with state and district level experience in policy creation, program implementation, and labor-management-community collaborations.
Most recently, he served for three years as Deputy Commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and helped lead efforts to advance the Commonwealth’s education agenda to prepare all public school students for success in college, career and life.
Previously, Dr. Ingram served for four years as Superintendent of Public Schools in Springfield, Massachusetts, a district serving nearly 26,000 students in 45 schools. He has also provided program leadership in a variety of roles in Oklahoma City Public Schools, including: human capital management, federal programs, college and career readiness, accountability and assistance.
Prior to transitioning to public education, Dr. Ingram served in the U.S. Air Force for over 22 years, where he attained the rank of Chief Master Sergeant, a rank to which only 1 percent of enlisted officers ascend. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland University College, a Master of Arts from Webster University and a Doctor of Education in Education Administration, Curriculum and Supervision from the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Ingram is sought as a presenter at state and national conferences and is also a Broad Superintendents Academy Fellow.
Joellen Killion | Senior Advisor, Learning Forward
Joellen Killion focuses on improving teaching quality and student learning in her work with Learning Forward. She served as director of Learning Forward’s Academy and Coaches Academy for school-based coaches and teacher leaders. She has led numerous other initiatives, including Transforming Professional Learning, Results-Based Staff Development, Results Skills for School Leaders, and evaluating professional development.
Killion is author of The Feedback Profess: Transforming Feedback for Professional Learning, Assessing Impact: Evaluating Staff Development and three-volume results-based What Works staff development series. She co-authored Taking the Lead: New Roles for Teachers and School-Based Coaches, The Learning Educator, Coaching Matters, three volumes of Standards into Practice, and Becoming a Learning School. Her examination of schools that received the U.S. Department of Education’s Model Professional Development Award resulted in Teachers Who Learn: Kids Who Achieve. She was featured in the School Improvement Network/Video Journal programs Instructional Coaching and Designing and Evaluating Professional Development.
Killion is a former school district staff developer, curriculum coordinator, and teacher in the Adams 12 Five Star School District in suburban Denver. She was a member of NSDC’s Board of Trustees and served a term as president.
Joellen Killion has led a number of initiatives related to examining the link between professional development and student learning, and led the revision process for the new Standards for Professional Learning. She has extensive experience in professional development planning, design, implementation, and evaluation both at the school and system level.
Raegen Miller, Ed.D. | Research Director, FutureEd, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University
Raegen Miller is the Research Director for FutureEd. Immediately prior to joining the center, Raegen served as vice president for research partnerships at Teach for America. Raegen also worked at the Center for American Progress on issues of human capital and fiscal equity in elementary and secondary education.
Earlier, Raegen was a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow affiliated with the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington. He holds a doctorate in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he taught courses on applied data analysis and the foundations of schooling and teaching.
Raegen’s work in education research and policy is grounded in many years of teaching high school mathematics. Raegen completed his teacher training at Stanford University, and holds an M.S. in mathematics from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Dr. Nikki Mouton | Executive Director, Gwinnett County Public Schools – Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Dr. Nikki Golar Mouton is a skilled educator with 18 years of experience in the field. Mouton currently serves as the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction in the nation’s 12th largest school district – Gwinnett County Public Schools, Georgia. In this role, she leads the district’s strategic efforts to Transform Teaching and Learning for Student Achievement. These efforts are undergirded by the district’s commitment to (a) continuous quality improvement, (b) leader and teacher development, (c) civic engagement, and (d) innovative practices.
Dr. Mouton began her career as a science teacher in Macon, GA at her high school alma mater followed by two years at the middle school level in her current school district. After leaving the classroom, she served as a Model Teacher Leader/Facilitator at the district level in Atlanta Public Schools. A critical part of this role was to provide professional learning to mathematics and science teachers (K-8) who were experiencing difficulty with meeting the needs of their students (a position that ignited a passion for staff development). Her commitment to the power of professional learning on the performance of teachers and subsequently students was evident as she transitioned into the role of school consultant for a for-profit school improvement company. She spent three years traveling to struggling schools in the southeast working to improve teacher and student performance through the lens of project based learning. Dr. Mouton returned to Gwinnett County Public Schools in 2003 as the Director of Science (K-12), a position she held for five years.
Mouton earned a B.S in Natural Science with a concentration in chemistry from Spelman College (Atlanta, GA). She also holds a M.ED in secondary science education and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Mercer University (Atlanta, GA). Her doctoral studies centered on factors which influence large district superintendent longevity.
Dr. Mouton is married to her college sweetheart, Terry, and has two children, Miles and Sydney.
Alisia Moutry, Ph.D. | Regional Director of Technical Assistance for the University of Kansas
Alisia Moutry, Ph.D., is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is a proud product of the Milwaukee Public School system. She received her Bachelor of Science in Special Education with an emphasis on Learning Disabilities (K-9) from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1990. She has earned a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction and a Master in Educational Leadership both from National Louis University in 1996 and 2006.
In September 2010, Dr. Moutry became the President of her own company, 4AM Educational Consulting, LLC. The following month, she obtained a Doctorate Degree in Leadership in Educational Administration from Capella University based in Minnesota. She holds four Wisconsin licenses: 10 Director of Instruction, 51 Principal, 80 Director of Special Education and Pupil Service, and 811 Learning Disabilities and is eligible to apply for the Wisconsin license 03 Superintendent.
As of July 2016, Dr. Moutry accepted the position of Regional Director of Technical Assistance for the University of Kansas working with the School-wide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) federally funded grant. Dr. Moutry also stays close to her passion for teaching, learning and leadership by taking on independent consulting roles as technical assistance support, adjunct professor and guest lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Cardinal Stritch University, Mequon-Thiensville School District, Milwaukee Area Technical College, and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Aside from academic pursuit, Dr. Moutry writes and co-hosts Ask the Blaquesmith with her brother Dr. Ramel Smith, a local TV show seen weekly on MATA Public Access Milwaukee Community Media (MCM). In whatever spare time she finds, Dr. Moutry does video, radio, print ads and TV commercial spots for Jennifer’s Talent and Modeling Agency
Susan O’Hara, Ph.D. | Executive Director of Resourcing Excellence in Education (REEd), University of California Davis
Susan O’Hara, Ph.D., is Executive Director of Resourcing Excellence in Education (REEd) at the University of California Davis. Co-founder of the Academic Language Development Network, she has collaborated nationally with schools, districts and departments of education implementing practices associated with improved learning outcomes of English learners.
Susan has authored more than fifty publications related to English learners, innovative uses of technology, and professional development for teachers. Most recently she has led a team in the development and testing of Essential Practice Frames that articulate high leverage practices to meet the learning needs of all students. She is a principal investigator on two large federal grants, one investigating best models for improving outcomes for English Learners and one focused on the development of Integrated Professional Learning Systems.
Prior to her current position, Susan was an Associate Professor and Executive Director of the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching at Stanford University, as well as a professor of education at Sacramento State University. She received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and mathematical physics from University College Dublin and a master’s degree in applied mathematics from the University of Southern California. In addition, Susan earned her doctorate in education with an emphasis on math, science, and technology education from UC Davis. Susan has called Dublin, Ireland, and Lesotho, in southern Africa, home.
Dr. Steven Ross | Professor, Educational Research – Johns Hopkins University
After receiving his doctorate in educational psychology from Pennsylvania State University, Steven M. Ross, PhD began his professorial career at the University of Memphis; serving as assistant professor (1974-1979), associate professor (1980-1985) and finally a professor of educational psychology (1985-2008). During his time in Memphis, Dr. Ross spent seven years (2001-2008) as Director of the Center for Research and Educational Policy at the University.
Dr. Ross is the author of six textbooks and over 120 journal articles in the areas of educational technology and instructional design, at-risk learners, educational reform, computer-based instruction, and research and evaluation. He is a noted lecturer on school programs and educational evaluation, editor emeritus of the research section of the Educational Technology Research and Development journal, and a member of the editorial board for four other professional journals.
Dr. Ross has testified on school restructuring research before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth, and Families, served as a consultant to the National Science Foundation on project evaluation design, and is a technical advisor and researcher on current federal and state initiatives regarding the evaluation of out-of-school learning, technology usage, evaluation of principals and supplemental educational services.
Dr. Ross is currently a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Education in the Center for Research and Reform in Education. As a senior research scientist and professor at the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Ross’ projects include the evaluation of principal preparation and professional development programs, a city-wide turnaround initiative in Syracuse and Buffalo, and after-school mentoring and experiential learning programs for children and adolescents in multiple states.
Dr. Ross was initially intrigued by the sheer size of the data sets available through the Frontline Research and Learning Institute. He shares a mutual passion for exploring the data to discover actionable insights for the education community and brings extensive expertise in research methodology and analysis to the institute.
Dr. James Stronge | Founder, Stronge & Associates
Dr. James H. Stronge is President of Stronge and Associates Educational Consulting, LLC, an educational consulting company that focuses on teacher and leader effectiveness with projects internationally and in many U.S. states. Additionally, he is the Heritage Professor of Education, a distinguished professorship, in the Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership Area at the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia. He teaches Master’s and doctoral courses within the School of Education’s Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership (EPPL) Program, with a particular focus on human resource leadership, legal issues in education, and applied field research. Stronge has garnered more than $20 million in grants and contracts since joining the faculty of the College of William and Mary.
Dr. Stronge’s research interests include policy and practice related to teacher quality and effectiveness, teacher and administrator evaluation, and teacher selection. He has worked with numerous state departments of education, school districts, and national and international educational organizations to design and implement evaluation and hiring systems for teachers, administrators, and support personnel. Recently, he completed work on new teacher and principal evaluation systems for American international schools in conjunction with the Association of American Schools in South America and supported by the U.S. Department of State. Stronge has made more than 350 presentations at regional, national, and international conferences, and conducted workshops for educational organizations extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally. Among his current research projects are: 1) international comparative studies of national award-winning teachers in the United States and China, and 2) influences of economic and societal trends on student academic performance in countries globally.
Stronge has authored, co-authored, or edited 30 books and more than 150 articles, chapters, and technical reports. He was a founding member of the board of directors for the Consortium for Research on Educational Accountability and Teacher Evaluation. He was selected as the 2012 national recipient of the Millman Award from CREATE in recognition of his work in the field of teacher and administrator evaluation.