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Our Board

At LDC, we’re passionate about helping teachers enable their students to succeed. We are honored to partner with educators across the country, collaborating with them to create classroom resources that will help them in their important work: preparing students for success in school—and in life.

Tanya Baker

Director, National Programs National Writing Project

As Director of National Programs at National Writing Project, Tanya oversees a wide range of cooperative research and program development initiatives involving NWP’s university-based local sites. An author of Strategic Reading: Guiding Students to Lifelong Literacy 6-12 (Heinemann, 2001), Tanya has direct Board reporting responsibilities for this national organization.

Shelia Banks

Priority Program Design Specialist, Orleans Parish School Board

Shelia Banks is a Priority Program Design Specialist for the Orleans Parish School Board in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she works with educators to implement and sustain LDC and literacy practices throughout her network of schools in New Orleans, and state-wide as a trainer. A former science teacher, Shelia is the author of an exemplary LDC module and several exemplary mini-tasks. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Louisiana State University and her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Xavier University. Shelia is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Xavier.

Gene Bottoms

Senior Vice President, Southern Regional Education Board

With 50 years experience in professional learning and training, Dr. Bottoms continues to ensure SREB works closely with the Governors in its 16 member state consortium to implement teacher training throughout the country.  Dr. Bottoms oversees a multi-million dollar annual budget while he reports to an active Board of Directors.

Jean Desravines

Chief Executive Officer, New Leaders

Jean Desravines serves as the Chief Executive Officer of New Leaders, a national non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure high academic achievement for all children, especially students in poverty and students of color, by developing transformational school leaders and advancing the policies and practices that allow great leaders to succeed. As CEO, he has expanded the organization to approximately 200 staff supporting leaders in more than 15 urban school districts and over 100 charter schools across the country. Recognizing that there are more than 16,000 schools serving more than 7 million high poverty children in the United States, Jean recently initiated the organization’s first scale strategy to design and launch a program to improve the practice of sitting principals and their instructional teams with the goal of preparing 1 million students for success in college, careers, and citizenship by 2020. Before joining New Leaders, Jean served as Senior Counselor to Joel Klein, the Chancellor of New York City's public school system under Mayor Bloomberg. Jean serves as a board member for America Achieves, 100Kin10, his alma mater St. Francis College, and St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, NJ. He also served as a member of Governor Cuomo’s Education Reform Commission. Jean has been named to Forbes’ “Impact 30,” recognizing the world’s leading social entrepreneurs and has been featured in the New York Times “Boss” column. 

Kelly Galbraith

Curriculum & Instruction Consultant for Literacy, IU 13

Kelly Galbraith is Curriculum and Instruction Consultant for Literacy at Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, a national LDC partner, where she began her work with LDC during the 2010-2011 pilot year.  Prior to her current role at IU13, her varied experiences in education included serving as a high school English teacher, literacy coach, and assistant principal.  Kelly provides comprehensive LDC professional development for K-12 teachers from IU13’s twenty-two local school districts and also serves as the PA State LDC Content Lead for Keystones to Opportunity, Pennsylvania’s Striving Readers Grant. 

John Katzman

Chief Executive Officer, Noodle Education

John Katzman is an education entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of The Noodle Companies, an education startup whose search engine helps students and parents find educational resources and schools. Prior to that, he founded and ran 2U, which works with research universities (including USC, Georgetown, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Wash U) to create high-quality online degree programs. Prior to that, he founded and ran The Princeton Review, which helped over 50% of students applying to U.S. colleges and universities each year find, get into, and pay for school. Katzman is the co-author of five books, and a frequent lecturer and panelist, and a director of several other for- and non-profits, including the National Association of Independent Schools, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools. Most importantly, he is married to Alicia Ernst; they have a son (20) and daughter (18).

Randy Mastro

Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Randy M. Mastro, a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, is Co-Chair of the Firm’s Litigation Practice Group.  He also serves on the Firm’s Management and Executive Committees.  He routinely ranks among the nation’s leading litigators and trial lawyers in surveys of corporate counsel and other practitioners.   As NYC firm head, Randy represents numerous Fortune 500 (and several 100) corporations. Randy sits on numerous national corporate and charitable boards and foundations. 

Baba Olumiji

7th & 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher, Baltimore City Public Schools

Baba Olumiji has been teaching middle school Social Studies for the past 10 years. A product of a family of educators, Mr. Olumiji earned a bachelor's degree in Social Science from Towson University and a Masters of Arts in Education from Johns Hopkins University. He has served the district as a curriculum writer and a facilitator of systemic professional development.  He has been working with LDC modules for the past 4 years, having written and taught modules, conducted coaching with teachers on how to implement modules, and participating in Jurying Sessions. He is a passionate believer in LDC modules as he thinks it helps students become strong writers, which is a universal learning skill that is integral for the long-term success of children.

Amy Spicer

Director, Professional Learning, The Colorado Education Initiative

Amy Spicer joined The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) in 2012 as a director in Professional Learning. She leads the statewide scaling of the Literacy Design Collaborative and Math Design Collaborative, directs the Common Assignment Study, and staffs the State Council for Educator Effectiveness.

A fourth-generation educator, Amy taught fourth grade in Baltimore as a Teach For America corps member and third through eighth grade special education and literacy intervention classes in Jefferson County (Colorado) Public Schools. She was also the policy director for an education advocacy organization, influencing the implementation of key state education initiatives and testifying frequently in front of legislative committees and the State Board of Education. While a graduate student, Amy completed internships in Gov. Bill Ritter’s Office of Policy and Initiatives and with a Colorado state senator.

Originally from Grove City, Ohio, Amy has a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Denver, a master’s degree in teaching from Johns Hopkins University, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and art history from the University of Notre Dame.

Marla Ucelli–Kashyap

Assistant to the President for Educational Issues, American Federation of Teachers

Marla Ucelli-Kashyap is Assistant to the President for Educational Issues at the 1.6 million member American Federation of Teachers, where she leads a team of professionals working on key areas of policy, practice and professional development aimed at helping teachers and their unions improve education quality and their profession. Previously, she was Director of District Redesign and Leadership at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University and a senior program officer at the Rockefeller Foundation. Ms. Ucelli-Kashyap has also been an independent consultant in education policy, a political press secretary, and a reporter. She holds a B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa graduate) from New York University and an M.P.A. from Rutgers. Among her professional service activities, Ms. Ucelli-Kashyap was chair of the board of Editorial Projects in Education, Inc. (publisher of Education Week) and was a founding co-chair of Grantmakers for Education.

Chad Vignola

Executive Director

Chad maintains a deep, abiding interest in public education. Prior to joining LDC, he served as a vice president at New Visions for Public Schools, where he had responsibility for overseeing all instructional and operational supports including Common Core and teacher effectiveness implementations for 75 New York City public schools. Chad also served as a vice president at The Princeton Review, and as general counsel and executive director to the New York City Department of Education for many years. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Wharton School and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed coursework toward a doctorate in education leadership at New York University. When not working tirelessly to support educators, Chad is an avid bicyclist who leaves a lean, green footprint as he fearlessly navigates New York City streets.

Sarah Woodard

ELA Teacher & Instructional/Teacher Leader, Denver Public Schools

Sarah Woodard teaches Advanced Placement Language and Composition through the lens of social justice at Collegiate Prep Academy in Denver Public Schools. Sarah holds a BA in Secondary English Education with a minor in Intercultural Communication from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, and an MA in Language, Literacy, and Culture: English Education, from the University of Colorado Denver.  She earned her National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification in 2010, serves as a co-director of the Denver Writing Project, and is an adjunct instructor in the Teacher Education Program at the University of Denver. Her work with Literacy Design Collaborative tools began in 2011 with a cohort of National Writing Project teachers and LDC helps Sarah ensure that her students are held to high expectations and developing the skills they need to become college and career ready.

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