Dr. Maria Akinyele is a lifelong learner. Reader of philosophy, lover of museums, and author of a chapter in the forthcoming Teaching Black History in Schools, she continues to deepen and share her own knowledge.
Dr. Akinyele specializes in leadership development and literacy instruction within urban schools. For the past fifteen years, she has helped numerous school leaders envision and implement equitable literacy practices that empower youth with cultural competence and critical thinking tools. She continues to collaborate with school and district leaders, designing professional learning experiences that support both teacher and student growth.
Her teaching career began in The Bronx and her deep New York roots afford an understanding of the city’s education network.
Dr. Akinyele holds bachelors degrees in History and Women Studies with a concentration in African American Studies from Williams College; a Ph.D. in Urban Education from the CUNY Graduate Center; a certificate in Organizational Development and Change Leadership from Georgetown University.
With a background consisting of operational support and program collaboration with private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and cultural agencies such as Human Rights Watch (HRW), the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Alexis Brocchi has worked alongside consciously-aware creators and professionals committed to sharing resources and moving forward together. A member of various arts organizations and communities over the last eight years, she has had the privilege to contribute to creative methods of engagement and knowledge sharing. As a process-driven administrator, she is an advocate and resource for educators as they provide students with opportunities for discovery and exploration. Alexis holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.
Dr. Jim Furman, Executive Director. Jim began his career as an English teacher at Fannie C. Williams Middle School in New Orleans. He later served as a faculty member in English Education at the University of Delaware and the University of New Orleans before returning to the classroom as a teacher and teacher leader at North High School in Denver.
He has coached future, novice, and veteran teachers from Kindergarten through 12th grade in literacy, social studies, math, and science; supported school leaders in urban schools to build and improve systems of teacher professional development; redesigned teacher preparation programs, field experiences, and assessments; and conducted research focused on teacher preparation and adolescent literacy.
He earned a Ph.D. in Teaching & Learning and M.Ed. in Reading Education from Vanderbilt University, and is a graduate of DePauw University (English Literature).
A lifetime advocate for education, Brian brings his passion to work every day. His career began with 11 years as a teacher in New York City classrooms, and he continues to stay connected with past students and teachers to provide resources and support.
During his time teaching, he was selected for several prestigious teaching awards and accolades. Brian was a semi-finalist for the U.S. Department of Education Classroom Teaching Ambassador Fellowship. He won the Sontag Prize in Urban Education where he studied pedagogy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and taught at-risk students in Boston.
Brian enjoys being active, participating in obstacle course races and practicing Bikram yoga.
Brian holds a BA in Marketing from University of Kentucky, MST in Adolescent Education from Pace University and an advanced certification in Special Education from St. Rose College.
With over a decade of experience in administrative operations in academic settings, Rena brings expertise in data management, academic processes, and best practices in student support. Rena’s recent role in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Augusta University translates well to the Danielson Group’s work in educational equity. Rena pursues a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration at the University of Maryland, Adelphi. Originally from the Virgin Islands, Rena’s family now calls Georgia “home.” She is a program coordinator with the Danielson Group.
Lee’s career in education cuts across practice and policy at all levels of the education sector. In her 18 years as a classroom teacher, Lee lived out her belief that all students deserve highly-effective teachers. She went on to serve as a union president, staff developer, school leader, coach, and mentor, culminating in a position as a senior academic leader in an urban school district.
Not one to turn away from a complex problem, Lee facilitated a cross-grade level committee of teacher leaders and central office staff to redesign the district’s assessment program for grades K-2 from a grade-based approach to a student-centered, artifact-based portfolio system.
In her time away from work, Lee enjoys long distance cycling, and spending time with her family.
Lee holds a BS in Elementary and Special Education from College Misericordia, MA in Educational Technology from Long Island University, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Management and Policy from Seton Hall University.
With management experience in small to mid-sized organizations, both private and non-profit, Dara Stigdon understands the kind of process-driven efficiency that defines the Danielson Group operation and underpins our organizational growth. A former small business owner, Dara brings an entrepreneurial spirit to the Danielson Group that is consistent with our culture and ethos.
After her early career in events marketing and production for the international aerospace and defense industry, Dara pursued her passion for education through service in Chicago’s non-profit community where she has worked to improve college persistence rates among urban public school students and promoted early childhood literacy.
Dara holds a MA in philosophy from Indiana University.
An educator for more than 30 years, Karyn brings a wealth of experiences to her work, including nation-wide consultation with schools, districts, and systems implementing The Framework for Teaching. During her career in the Clark County School District, Las Vegas, Karyn’s continued work designing, delivering and scaling professional development for both administrators and teachers, earned her recognition in the Clark County School District Excellence in Education Hall of Fame. Through her tenure, she’s worked as a teacher, curriculum specialist, school-level administrator, and HR Director, providing opportunities for professional learning for educators at every level.
Karyn enjoys calling Las Vegas home, and enjoys traveling when time permits. She continues to grow her work with the Framework for Teaching and is the co-author of the Action Tool, Implementing the Framework for Teaching in Enhancing Professional Practice.
Karyn holds a BS in Elementary Education from Southern Illinois University, MS School Counseling from Southern Illinois University, and an Administrative Endorsement – Educational Leadership and Organizational Development from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Ron Anderson is a Framework Specialist at the Danielson Group who has served in Ohio as a classroom music teacher, curriculum director, director of professional development, and director of organizational development. He has taught numerous graduate level courses and is a seasoned workshop presenter. Ron specializes in K-12 fine arts, instructional improvement, mentor and assessor training, and program development. He is a graduate of Kent State University, Wright State University, and Miami University.
Wendy Anderson has served as an educator for over 30 years and was introduced to the Danielson Framework for Teaching (FFT) in the 1980s while a teacher in Richmond, Vermont. Wendy is an experienced in-person and online Danielson Framework Specialist serving both public, private and higher education schools. While recently serving as Associate Superintendent for the Archdiocese of Washington, Wendy collaborated with the Danielson Group to introduce and adopt the FFT at more than 55 schools. Wendy spearheaded the development of strategies to successfully implement the Framework in faith-based and independent schools. Additionally, Wendy is an adjunct professor at Notre Dame of Maryland, where she teaches graduate students in the school leadership MA program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from St. Michael’s College in Vermont and a master’s degree in Education Administration from Keane University.
Kathy Andreasen has served in education for over two decades in Milwaukee and Baraboo, Wisconsin. Currently, Kathy serves as an Elementary Principal and District Educator Effectiveness Coordinator with the School District of Baraboo. She supports the Framework for Teaching to advance teacher practice and student learning. She created an alternative pathway for special education and elementary education licenses in partnership with The Danielson Group, Inc through a Department of Workforce Development Fast Forward grant. Kathy earned her Principal and Director of Instruction Certification from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and her Masters of Arts in Education from Viterbo University, Wisconsin.
Dr. Shelly Arneson is a Framework Specialist whose experience ranges from teaching to counseling to administration to teaching administration courses at the university level.
Shelly’s first book, entitled Communication and Motivation: The School Leader’s Guide to Effective Communication focuses on effective communication techniques. Her expertise as a school principal has spurred her interests into helping schools and districts build collaborative communities of inquiry and trust. She presents keynotes and workshops on her latest book Building Trust in Teacher Evaluations. Shelly holds her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction and her dissertation focused on teacher trust in school administrators, specifically determining which factors impact trust in principals.
Bridgette is currently an Employee Effectiveness and Evaluation Specialist in the Prince George’s County Public Schools Office of Employee Performance. In this capacity, she serves as the lead for the school-based administrator evaluation process and the teacher evaluation process that is based on the Danielson Framework for Teaching. Bridgette has specialized in K-12 Mathematics Education, mentoring, and supports in facilitating professional learning opportunities on teacher professional growth using Danielson’s Framework for Teaching, calibration, and the administrator and teacher evaluation management system. Bridgette holds a Master of Science degree in Mathematics Education from Towson University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Boston University.
Marlinda Boxley’s career spans from K12 to higher education. In the K12 sector, she has served as a Director of Education, Assistant Principal, Special Education Administrator, Project director, Compliance Specialist, and Classroom Teacher. In the higher education sector she has served as an Assistant Professor, Self-Study Coordinator, and Instructional Designer. Her areas of expertise include leadership coaching, teacher professional development, special education, and curriculum and instruction. Marlinda earned an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Administration and Higher Education Administration from the George Washington University.
Crystal Brice is currently Acting Executive Director for the Juvenile Services Education System within the Maryland State Department of Education. She serves as the leader of instruction and school support and supervises the principals of 12 schools. Crystal has specialized in instructional leadership, coaching, and teacher professional development. Crystal holds a Master’s of Arts degree in Education from The Notre Dame University and a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Secondary Education from Goucher College.
James Edler is a Framework Specialist at the Danielson Group. He worked as an elementary and a middle school teacher before taking on a leadership role with the Milwaukee Public Schools. Currently serving as the Educator Effectiveness Coordinator, his work focuses on the implementation of an Educator Effectiveness System aligned to both teaching and leadership practices to positively influence a culture of trust, and adult learning as a critical aspect of improving outcomes for all students. James is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with an emphasis on urban education
Jorie Ellis is a Framework Specialist and Curriculum Designer for the Danielson Group. Jorie taught regular and special education and retired as executive director supervising K-12 principals. She held directorships for special education, curriculum, and school improvement/staff development. She teaches graduate level courses and consults on: leadership, teacher evaluation; the Framework for Teaching; inter-rater reliability; and effective instructional strategies. Jorie holds her PhD in educational policy and leadership at the University of Oregon.
Linnea Garrett currently serves as the Associate Principal of Rich township high School Fine ARts and Communications Campus in the south suburbs of Chicago, IL. She began her career almost 20 years ago and has served as a science teacher, instructional coach, district support personnel, and school director. Her passions focus on adult learning, equity, real-world learning, and project-based learning. Linnea received her Masters of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University and completed various fellowships within her education career including New Leaders for New Schools, Chicago Principals Fellowship, Deeper Learning Equity Fellowship, and the Education Leadership Academy and High Tech High.
Naté Hall is a Framework Specialist and Curriculum Designer for the Danielson Group. Throughout her career she has held several positions such as Biology teacher, Teacher Development Liaison, Science Department Chair, Professional Learning Communities team leader, Secondary Science Resource Teacher, Teacher and Paraprofessional Development Facilitator, and currently serves as a Facilitator in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the central office level. Nate’ utilizes the Framework to build capacity with all teachers in her district and facilitate conversations around its connection to culturally responsive teaching. She also serves as an Instructional Mentor where she uses the Framework as a tool for assessing new teacher practice and as a guide for their continued professional growth. Nate’ holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Delaware State University and a Masters of Science in Administration and Supervision from Johns Hopkins University.
When asked to oversee the pilot of The Framework for Teaching for the School District of Philadelphia, Shirley leveraged her experience as an elementary teacher, teacher of the blind and visually impaired, elementary principal, and central office administrator. Up for the challenge, her work resulted in the training of more than 200 principals and peer observers.
Her understanding of and effective use of the Framework has continued as she trains educators in the United States and abroad, specializing in teacher practice, school leadership and formative assessment of student learning.
Shirley’s leadership extends through her family, with one of her four children also trained as a skilled facilitator of the Framework.
Shirley holds a BS in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Temple University; MA in Elementary Education from Antioch University; Masters of Education in Education of the Blind and Visually Impaired from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry; and a Certification in Elementary Educational Administration from Pennsylvania State University.
Kathleen Hanson is a Framework Specialist at the Danielson Group. She has served as a classroom teacher, administrator and consultant. She led the development of a supervision and evaluation model in three districts as well as developing and implementing a mentoring program in her local district that led to writing a state-wide curriculum for mentoring. Her background includes Administrative Service Human Resources Administrator, Curriculum and Instruction Administrator, principal, and consultant, and supervisor of pre-service teachers. Her work as a building administrator afforded her the opportunity to work closely with the Special Education programs in her district, directly supervising the broad spectrum of classes at the elementary level as well as revamping the program for the Behavior Disorder district program.
Dr. Hassler has served as a superintendent, assistant superintendent, director of curriculum, principal and teacher during his public school tenure. Recently, he’s given up Pennsylvania weather for sunnier Arizona skies, but hasn’t given up his focus on bringing leadership and effectiveness to teachers and classrooms.
A career launched with thirteen years of classroom experience, Dr. Hassler’s resume includes student- and educator-focused success. He led eight consecutive years of district-wide improvement in math, co-authored the comprehensive school improvement book, Performance is Key: Connecting the Links to Leadership and Excellence, and continues to specialize in leadership and excellence for educators and students.
Dr. Hassler holds a BS in Economics and Accounting from Mulhlenberg College; Ed.D. and Masters of Education from Lehigh University.
Virginia R. Hill is a Framework Specialist at the Danielson Group who has 27 years of experience in Pennsylvania as a teacher, school administrator, science supervisor, as well as a curriculum and professional development executive director. She is a seasoned workshop presenter. Virginia specializes in school improvement efforts, student achievement, equity, and diversity. She is a graduate of Geneva College, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Pittsburgh.
When Teresa typed “how to talk about teaching” into an Internet search engine, she didn’t know it would be the start of her work with The Danielson Group. One simple search led her to tools and confidence in her conversations with teachers.
With thirty-five years of special education classroom experience, Teresa leverages her knowledge of the Framework as a Direct Instructional Facilitator and participant in the Teach to Lead conference. Her leadership earned Promising Program Awards from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for the Baraboo School District mentoring program and Professional Development Plan Support.
Teresa holds a BS in Elementary Education and Special Education from Winona State University and a Masters of Education – Professional Development from UW-La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Melissa Linton is a Framework Specialist at the Danielson Group and spent over 25 years serving as a teacher, school and district level administrator, principal, and instructional coach. She began using the Framework as an administrator in 2000 focusing on mentoring programs, teacher evaluation, observation and school improvement using data driven decision-making processes. Her current focus is using the Framework to support personalized learning and social/emotional initiatives in schools and districts. She teaches graduate level courses for teachers, focusing on strategies that support personalized and blended learning and provides teachers, schools and districts comprehensive school improvement support on the use of the Framework for Teaching for evaluation, observation calibration and effective instructional practices. Melissa is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University.
Dr. Juliette Longchamp, a 30-year veteran teacher, who spent the last 25 years as a middle school teacher, at Williston Central School, in Vermont. Juliette left the classroom to serve as Director of Professional Programs at Vermont-NEA, where she works with school districts and educators in Vermont in a variety of ways including conducting classes and workshops, teaching classes through Castleton University, coordinating and working with National Board Candidates, serving on state-level committees, and supporting aspiring educators in both teacher training programs and those who are pursuing alternate routes to certification. Recent workshops and courses include Differentiation and the Brain, Assessment Practices to Support Student Learning, Mentoring and Coaching, Accomplished Teaching, Project-based Learning, Proficiency-based learning, and Certification through the Peer Review Process.
Juliette is a National Board Certified Teacher, and holds Vermont Certification in Elementary Education (k-6), Special Education (k-8) and Middle School (5-9) in English Language Arts, Science, Math and Social Studies. This broad base of expertise allows her to connect with teachers in her courses and workshops.
She earned her Ed.D. in Education Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Vermont, M.A. in Curriculum and Teaching from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, and a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from the University of Vermont.
Dr. Cheryl Lundy Swift is the Chief Academic Officer of EduPower, an education consulting firm that aims to improve student academic and behavioral outcomes by empowering school leaders, teachers, and parents. Cheryl has served as a classroom teacher, administrator, executive and consultant. She leverages her expertise to improve instructional practices, transform culture and climate, and strengthen school to home connections. Cheryl earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia, a Master of Education in Administration & Supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Kean University.
Zipporah has served in several roles in the K-21 Education System locally and nationally. She has served as a classroom teacher, adjunct professor, school administrator and the leader for science in two districts in Maryland. She currently serves as a leader in professional development efforts in a public school system. Nationally, she led the National Science Teachers Associations efforts in providing professional development and e-learning opportunities to science teachers across the country. Zipporah earned her Bachelor’s degree from Chadron State College in Chadron Nebraska, Master’s degree from Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland and a Doctorate degree from the University of Maryland College Park in Maryland.
Peggy Olcott is an internal Curriculum Designer for the Danielson Group. She has over 30 years experience ranging from elementary and middle school teaching to district level coordination of curriculum and instructional programs. In her role at the central office, she developed successful professional development programs to address the changing needs of staff due to educational reform efforts at the state level, including developing and implementing teaching standards based on Danielson’s Framework for Teaching. Currently, Peggy presents various seminars including facilitating data-driven dialogue and learning-focused conversations. Peggy holds a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara and M.Ed. from City University.
Joanie Peterson is a Framework Specialist at the Danielson Group whose 30 year career span includes classroom teacher, counselor, central office Human Resources and Professional Development administrator, Board of Trustee in the K-12 education system and consultant; faculty member, counselor and administrator at the community college and university level. She has specialized in recruitment and the hiring process, mentor and induction programs and teacher evaluation based on the Danielson Framework for Teaching since 2002. Peterson provides support in facilitating professional growth on teacher effectiveness, data-driven decision-making processes, observation, calibration, and teacher evaluation design using the Framework for Teaching at the school, district and state level. Joanie is a graduate of the University of California at Davis and holds advanced degree from College of Idaho.
Rhonda is currently a Principal on Assignment with Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland. This assignment followed her position as director of a pay-for-performance initiative that utilized the Framework for Teaching as the research based model for assisting administrators and teachers in improving their practice in an effort to increase student achievement. Rhonda has been a teacher, assistant principal, principal and a director during her career. She currently provides professional development training for teachers, administrators and central office staff.
Rhonda received her B.S. Degree in Elementary Education from Northeastern University in Boston and her M.S. Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Bowie State University in Maryland.
I am a Mathematics Teacher Educator and founder of TeachEDX, a professional learning provider for teachers in Jamaica and the Caribbean. My career in education spans the past 15 years. I have served at various levels of the Jamaican education system including classroom teacher, instructional coach, test developer, and training officer. I specialize in Mathematics education and classroom assessment. I hold a BSc in Mathematics and Economics and a Master of Arts degree in Teacher Education and Teacher development from the University of the West Indies. I am currently a PhD candidate in Curriculum Development at the University of the West Indies. My current research interest is the development of pedagogical content knowledge in mathematics teachers.
Dr. Lindsay Prendergast has served schools and districts across the globe for nearly two decades as a leadership coach, principal, counselor, and Special Education teacher. She currently supports leaders in one of the largest districts in the nation to elevate educator capacity and effectiveness across the system. As a Framework Specialist for The Danielson Group, Dr. Prendergast is humbled to work with teachers and leaders around the world in their pursuit of educational equity, teaching excellence, and growth-focused professional cultures. Outside of her work with the DG, Dr. Prendergast enjoys leading professional learning and publishing works in support of the advancement of teaching and educational leadership with ASCD, Learning Forward, AAIE, NWEA, EARCOS, Cognia, Edutopia, and other organizations. She holds Master’s degrees in Ed. Administration and School Counseling and received her Doctorate in Ed. Leadership at Wilkes University.
Lynn Sawyer is a Framework Specialist at the Danielson Group. She has lead school districts in developing comprehensive systems for professional development and teacher evaluation based on the Framework for Teaching. Her publications include: “Revamping a Teacher Evaluation System,” Educational Leadership, Feb 2001 and “Integrating Cognitive Coaching with a Framework for Teaching,” in Cognitive Coaching: Weaving Threads of Learning and Change into the Culture of an Organization, 2003 (Christopher-Gordon).
Crystal Wash began her teaching career in ChicagoPublic Schools teaching elementary and middle grades. Crystal eventually became a demonstration classroom teacher, where she opened her classroom for others to observe her practice. Subsequent roles included district instructional coach, director of instruction and a district calibrator in which Crystal supported a cohort of principals to understand the Framework for Teachingbased Teacher Evaluation System. Crystal specializes in culturally responsive practices and how to best integrate such practices in math and science classrooms Crystal holds a BA in English and Philosophy from Indiana University and a M.Ed. in education from DePaul University and an M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from National Louis.
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