Cathy Mincberg, President and CEO

Cathy Mincberg is the president and chief executive officer of the Center for Reform of School Systems.  She has worked at the forefront of public education reform both as a long-term school board member in the Houston Independent School District and as a high-level administrator in two urban districts. Mincberg served four years as the chief operations officer for Portland (Oregon) Public Schools,

where she led a massive reconfiguration of the district’s schools designed to improve student achievement and deal with budget constraints.  She also completed four years as chief business officer of the Houston ISD, transforming the business operations of the country’s seventh largest school system into a high-performing operation.  In addition, Mincberg has worked as the chief academic officer and vice president of KC Distance Learning in Portland, as founder and president of the Center for School District Effectiveness, and as a biology teacher in Houston.

Mincberg was a member of the Houston ISD Board of Education from 1982-1995, serving as president in 1987 and 1990.  During her tenure, she co-authored the board’s A Declaration of Beliefs and Visions, with fellow board members Don McAdams and Rod Paige.  The reforms defined in this policy document led to Houston ISD’s winning the first Broad Prize in 2002.

Over the years, Mincberg has served on the boards of various organizations, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston and Portland, the American Leadership Forum, Communities in Schools—Houston, the American Jewish Committee, and the SPARK city-school district collaborative for parks.

Mincberg earned her Doctor of Education in educational leadership from the University of Houston.

Don McAdams, Chairman and Founder

Donald R. McAdams started CRSS near the end of his 12 years of service on the Houston Independent School District Board.  During his board tenure, McAdams co-authored the board’s A Declaration of Beliefs and Visions, which has guided district policy for more than a decade.

As a Houston trustee, McAdams was a board leader in school accountability,

district decentralization, charter schools, and the outsourcing of many district business functions to private contractors. He also led the development of more flexible personnel management policies, an academic core curriculum for high school students, a new elementary school reading curriculum, promotion standards, and other improvements to education and management.  He served two years as president of the board.

McAdams has been a research professor at the University of Houston and an independent quality management consultant, with national and international clients in manufacturing, mining, travel, financial services, healthcare, and education.  Previously, he served as executive vice president of the American Productivity and Quality Center, president of the Texas Independent College Fund, president of Southwestern Adventist College, and professor of history at Andrews University.

In 2002, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige appointed McAdams to the National Advisory Council on Institutional Quality and Integrity.  In 2003, Texas Governor Rick Perry appointed him to a Select Committee charged with preparing legislative proposals for a new public school finance system for the entire state.  He has also served as a member of the National Commission on Governance, Education Commission of the States, Educational Leadership Advisory Council of the Wallace-Readers Digest Funds, and as a consultant to the Annenberg Institute for School Reform.  Additionally, McAdams has served on the boards of a major hospital, two private schools, and many other academic and civic organizations.

McAdams is the author of Fighting to Save Our Urban Schools . . . and Winning! Lessons from Houston (Teachers College Press, 2000), and What School Boards Can Do: Reform Governance for Urban Schools (Teachers College Press, January 2006).  He has also had numerous articles published in academic journals and editorials on education reform published in major newspapers.

McAdams holds a Doctor of Philosophy in British History from Duke University.


Julia Bernath

Julia Bernath has been a member of the Fulton County Board of Education in Atlanta, Georgia, since 2000, serving as president and vice president.  During her tenure, Bernath and fellow board members successfully worked to pass three Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) initiatives to fund capital improvements to the school system.  Fulton County became a charter system under Georgia law in 2012

allowing their 100 diverse schools to have more autonomy while continuing to improve student achievement.

Bernath is past president of the Georgia School Boards Association and served on the steering committee for the Vision for Public Education in Georgia (  She has presented at the National School Boards Association conferences and served as a mentor for new school board members at the national, state, and local level.  She is a member of NSBA’s Federal Relations Network and has worked with the Georgia School Boards Association and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education to train candidates for local school boards and the state legislature in education issues.  She has made education presentations to organizations such as the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and The Performance Institute Balanced Scorecard Masters Seminar.

Bernath is vice chair of the Georgia Professional Standards commission and has served on a number of statewide study committees dealing with education.  She is a graduate of the University of Georgia, with an ABJ in Broadcast News, Magna Cum Laude.  She is also a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, Leadership GSBA, Regional Leadership Institute, Leadership Sandy Springs, The Marcus Jewish Community Center’s Erwin Zaban Leadership Program and Max Kuniansky Senior Leadership Program, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s Linking Leadership to Community, and she served as co-chair of the Zaban Leadership Program.  She is a mentor for Leadership Atlanta’s LEAD program and works every year on Education Day (co-chairing in 2013) for both Leadership Atlanta and Leadership Sandy Springs.

As a volunteer in the community, Bernath serves as chair of the Sandy Springs Education Force, a non-profit group that supports at-risk students in the 11 public schools in Sandy Springs.  She is also on the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education Advisory Committee and the board of directors for the Georgia Music Educators Association, as well as the Sandy Springs Tennis Association that serves youth in the city.  She is a past board member for the Georgia Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).  Bernath brings expertise in the areas of leadership development, consensus building, collaboration, effective communication, board development, and connecting organizations and community.

Bernath has been honored as a National School Boards Association Distinguished School Board Member, a Woman of Distinction by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Children’s Legacy, a Woman of Achievement by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, and a Leadership Sandy Springs Outstanding Alumni.  She also holds PTA Lifetime Membership and Volunteer of the Year awards.

Nancy Broner

Nancy Broner is a former member and past chairman of the Duval County School Board, Jacksonville, Florida, having served on the board from 2002-10.  She has a Master of Arts in Teaching from Jacksonville University and a Bachelor’s degree in English from Stetson University.  Broner has served on the faculty of CRSS since 2006, working with large urban school districts across the country on

governance and policy-making, including the School District of Philadelphia, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Durham Public Schools, Springfield (MA) Public Schools, Fulton County Public Schools, and others. She has experience working with school boards and superintendents in areas such as board/superintendent relationships, school board self-evaluations, superintendent evaluations, superintendent searches, communications and school  district strategic planning.

Broner is also an independent educational consultant providing educational policy, governance training, group facilitation and other services to clients such as the United Way of Northeast Florida, Duval County Public Schools, and Jacksonville Public Education Fund.

Active in the Jacksonville community, Broner serves on the Board of Directors of Baptist-Beaches Medical Center, the Social Responsibility and Community Health Committee of Baptist Health Systems, Community Foundation’s Forum on Quality Education, United Way’s Education Committee, and Beaches Education Foundation.  She has served on the Florida TaxWatch Center for Educational Performance and Accountability and the Duval County Early Learning Coalition and on the boards of directors of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Alliance for World Class Education, the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership and the Jacksonville Symphony.

Broner taught English at Jacksonville University and in Duval County Public Schools.  She has worked in medical business management for over 25 years and has served as a Personnel Management Specialist in federal civil service.

Betty Burney

Betty Seabrook Burney is a member of the Duval County School Board where she represents School Board District 5.  She holds an undergraduate degree from University of Miami and a Master of Arts in public administration from Northern Illinois University. Burney is the former director and owner of Kidsville Learning Center, Inc., where for 14 years she devised a cutting-edge curriculum that ingrained in students

the notion that they were “smart, intelligent, and good.”

In 2000, she collaborated with Jimmie Johnson to create the Project Reach Foundation, Inc., a non-profit corporation designed to assist 33 academically challenged schools in empowering and motivating students to achieve excellence.  As executive director of the Project Reach Foundation, she developed several signature programs that produced citywide participation. Two of the programs were Project PASS (Parents and Students Succeeding), which trained parents to understand the state’s benchmarks for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) while tutoring children on those benchmarks, and the CHAMPS program, which encouraged civic and community leaders and school officials to walk door-to-door and empower parents with tools to assist their children.  Currently, Burney is a Governance Solutions trainer for the Center for Reform of School Systems and an education consultant whose sole mission is to empower, motivate, and inspire all children to unleash their inner greatness.  In 1999, she started the first transition camp in Jacksonville, Florida, to prepare students for middle school success.

Burney is an active volunteer in the Duval County jail where she serves as a motivational mentor for youth 13-18 years old who have been incarcerated as adults.  She is the author of “If These Chains Could Talk,” which is a compilation of letters from juvenile inmates that offers an action plan to prevent teenagers from entering the criminal justice system.  Burney also volunteers as a tutor and mentor to children throughout the city.

In her role as a consultant for Transportation Planning Group (TPG), Inc., Burney travels the country motivating students at risk for failure and unmotivated to learn.  She also serves as a motivational speaker for parents and teachers.

Burney’s latest project was the creation of the SOLDIERS (Success Oriented Students who are Driven, In-control, Empowered and Ready to Serve) Clubs in three high schools in Duval County.  The SOLDIERS Club provides leadership training for young men who aspire to transform their high school’s culture and to transform their lives.

Burney is the recipient of numerous awards from schools and community associations for her commitment to bettering the lives of young people.

Sarah Glover

Sarah Glover is a founding member of the Center for Reform of School Systems, where she led the development of the Texas Institute of School Boards and partnered in the development of the Broad Institute for School Boards. She led the Denver, Fresno and Christina School District school boards through two-year leadership development programs,

including assisting them in drafting and passing reform policies to improve student results. Glover also served as an elected board member of the Bozeman Public Schools Board of Trustees.

Glover was Vice President of Client Success at Panorama Education, where she led a 45-person team to deliver services to over 600 clients and nearly 9 million students. Panorama helps schools improve student outcomes by collecting and analyzing student social emotional learning data and other feedback from students, teachers and families.  Prior to this, Glover spent five years at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she served as the Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships and was the founding executive director of the Strategic Data Project, a national effort to transform the use of data in education.  Based at the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University, SDP grew from six to 37 partnerships and from serving 20 to over 110 Fellows under Glover’s leadership.  Before coming to Harvard, Glover founded and ran her own education policy consulting business wherein she worked extensively with superintendent and board leadership teams of some of the nation’s largest districts on governance, goal-setting, and planning.  She also worked with large education-focused foundations, including The Broad Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, on implementing their core programs and identifying potential areas for investment.

Glover holds a Master’s in Public Affairs and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a BA in political science from Tufts University. She is an intermediate Spanish speaker, an avid bike commuter, and mom of a teenager. 

Skip Jenkins

Skip Jenkins recently completed 11 years of service as a board member in the Plano Independent School District.  His professional career includes more than 30 years of experience working in the financial services industry as a CPA, CFO, and auditor.   Jenkins spent 20 years as president of Lloyd F. Jenkins, P.C.

His additional work experience

includes working as chief financial officer of Hela, Inc., a systems analyst for Computer Language Research, and an auditor for Arthur Andersen & Co.

Jenkins has served as president of the Plano Rotary Club, Plano ISD Education Foundation, and Plano Futures Foundation.  He has been an active member on the boards of the Plano Rotary Foundation, Plano Children’s Medical Clinic, Camp RYLA, Plano Citizens Police Academy Graduate and a mentor at Carlisle Elementary School.  Additionally, Jenkins was a member of CRSS’ Charter Class of Texas Fellows and held the distinction of Leadership TASB Master Trustee.

Jenkins holds a Master of Business Administration in finance and a Bachelor of Arts in finance from Michigan State University. 

Kathi Littmann

Kathi Littmann brings over 25 years of senior management leadership skills in her position as president of 2RDS Inc., an advisory and consulting firm founded to develop and advance blended learning public school design, strategic planning, and implementation support.  2RDS Inc. has provided support to clients such as Open Ed Solutions (Tom Vander Ark) with strategic planning, development

and implementation for public schools and charters.  She led the Open Ed efforts to design and launch both a new diploma-issuing blended learning high school and an alternative options secondary program for Newark Public Schools.

Littman provided transition management as interim CEO for LA’s Promise, capital planning for Glendale Public Schools, and is currently supporting the CRSS team in moving DoDEA schools to 21st Century Teaching and Learning, and as a faculty trainer for Reform Governance ® in Action.

Littmann taught middle school English for four years upon graduation from college, and then utilized the skills from that experience to develop a successful 25-year career in commercial construction and project management.  She served as SVP, Western Region and board member for Lehrer McGovern, and worked with leading industry firms such as Lehrer HNTB, Gensler, and Jones Lang LaSalle. A community volunteer position with New Schools Better Neighborhoods lead to Littmann taking on the turnaround role for the Los Angeles Unified School District’s $3 billion New Construction bond program in late 1999.  As a result of her  team’s success, the LAUSD new construction program has grown to over $19 billion in voter approved bonds, over 175 completed new school campus sites and modernization/expansions, numerous design and planning awards, revision in the state regulations changing facility funding from first come/first served to highest need, and a significant impact on the neighborhoods of Los Angeles.  Littmann was recognized for this work as Engineering News Records 2003 Award of Excellence winner.

Littmann transitioned her career focus to education as a result of her interactions with LAUSD with her own strategic planning and development firm, now known as 2RDS Inc..  Littmann returned to LAUSD for a two year assignment to launch the Mayoral-led initiative for non-traditional partnering in a public school district, involving alternative union contracts and external partner contracts for 19 schools and over 30,000 students in LAUSD.  Littman’s work within LAUSD included leadership for two superintendent transition teams, a district-wide organizational audit evaluation, management of three Gates Foundation grants, and the development of a restructured corporate headquarters facility for LAUSD.  Most recently, she served as VP, Operations for Knowledge Corporation Distance Learning with accountability for 10 statewide virtual secondary programs, as well as curriculum delivery and support to more than 600 school districts.

Littmann holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership for Social Justice and a Master of Education from Loyola Marymount University, and a California Administrators credential.  She is a 2005 graduate of the Broad Urban Superintendents Academy.

Mike Moses

Dr. Mike Moses has been an educator for over thirty years.  Currently he serves as the senior educational advisor for Raise Your Hand Texas and the Center for Reform of School Systems. He served as the general superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District from 2001 until 2004.

From 1999 through 2001, he served as

the deputy chancellor for Systems Operations at the Texas Tech University System.  Dr. Moses was the Commissioner of Education for the state of Texas from 1995 through 1999.  Prior to that service, he was the superintendent of schools in three Texas school districts including Lubbock, LaMarque, and Tatum.  He also served as a teacher and principal in the Duncanville and Garland Independent School Districts.

Additionally, Dr. Moses serves in a variety of other roles.  He has served as a member of the board of directors for the Trammell Crow Company, one of the largest real estate and property management companies in the world.  He currently sits on the board of two publicly traded companies, Southwest Securities Services Group and Scientific Learning.  Dr. Moses also serves as special advisor and consultant to corporations and entities interfacing with elementary, secondary, and higher education.  His unusual blend of business and education experience gives him a unique perspective regarding matters of public policy.

Among awards that Dr. Moses has received are the Texas Business and Education Coalition’s “Distinguished Service Award” and the “Golden Deeds in Education Award” from Texas A & M University. The Texas School Public Relations Association awarded Dr. Moses the 1999 “Key Communicator for Public Education Award.”  Both the national and Texas PTA organizations have presented him with lifetime memberships. Dr. Moses has been named distinguished alumnus in two of the state’s universities. He was also selected “Superintendent of the Year” in two Texas education service center regions and was one of the four national finalists for “Superintendent of the Year” in 2003.

Dr. Moses holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Doctor of Education degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce. 

Rick Ogden

Rick Ogden has been a member of the Aldine Independent School District Board of Trustees since September 1990, serving as president, vice president, secretary and assistant secretary.  Before joining the Aldine board, he served on the Aldine Project 2000 Committee, championing the district’s first bond proposal in decades.  This initiative, as well as two subsequent bond initiatives, was


During his school board tenure spanning two decades, Ogden has been an active participant in a plan of action to build and sustain a governance team designed to promote academic achievement in one of the nation’s largest urban school districts.  His courage of conviction in the early 2000s as he and fellow board members pursued unitary status for Aldine ISD following a 40-year court-mandated desegregation order framed the next 10 years of his journey as a reform leader.  He has long been a proponent of governance by policy.  And his  unique perspective of the intricate challenges that school districts face in their determination to set high academic standards, build a framework for success, and then sustain achievement, positions him to lead by example and demonstrate student success as both an individual and corporate priority.  He is now a Governance Solutions trainer for the Center for Reform of School Systems.

A past president of Texas Association of School Boards, Ogden was appointed to the TASB board in December 1994 and elected at Delegate Assembly in September 1995. He also has served as president-elect, vice president, secretary-treasurer, and immediate past president of the organization.  Ogden was appointed to TASB’s Risk Management Fund board in May 2003 and continues as a director of that board today.  He is a graduate of the Charter Leadership TASB class and has served as a member of the Texas Learning Technology Group board, the TASB Legal Assistance Fund board, and has served as chair of the Lone Star Investment Pool and Texas School Cash Management Program boards.  He is active in TASB’s School Board Advocacy Network and participates in Delegate Assembly. In June 2012, Ogden was appointed by Houston Mayor Annise Parker as a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Sharpstown Management District.

Ogden retired as owner of Ogden Manufacturing and Machine, Inc., in 1996.  He received his Bachelor of Arts in communication and sociology in 1998 from Houston Baptist University, where he currently is the assistant vice president and director of foundations, denomination, and community relations.  While in school, Ogden was trained in intervention strategies and served as an interventionist for organizational conflicts.  He also was appointed to the state Tri-Partnership Initiative, which was designed to promote conflict resolution in school districts.  In 2002, Ogden wrote “Funding Your Vision Using Someone Else’s Money,” a step-by-step grant seeker’s guide in development of grant proposals.  Ogden’s work as a school board member and trainer for the Center for Reform of School Systems is supported by his wife, four adult children, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Rod Paige

Rod Paige is a lifelong educator who served as U.S. Secretary of Education during President George W. Bush’s first term, from 2001 to 2005.  During his tenure, he spearheaded the implementation of the historic No Child Left Behind Act, with its goal of reinvigorating America’s education system.  Before accepting the cabinet post, Paige held leadership positions in the Houston Independent School

District, first as a school board member and then as superintendent.

In 2001, he was named National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators.  He also served as dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University, where he established the university’s Center for Excellence in Urban Education.  In addition, he has served as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  Paige is an active member of numerous boards, including the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, The Broad Foundation, the American College of Education, the New England College of Finance and Business, and the National Council on Economic Education’s Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce.

Paige holds a doctorate in health and physical education with a minor in education from Indiana University, a master’s degree in health and physical education from Indiana University, and a Bachelor of Arts in health and physical education from Jackson State University.

Tim Smith

Tim Smith is a Reform Governance® trainer and currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for RES Energy Solutions.  Prior to joining RES, Smith served as the principal of The Plaid Group, a consulting group serving mid-sized organizations in transition.  Throughout his career, he has designed and guided organizational efforts to increase enterprise focus, productivity, and profitability through

efforts such as restructuring business operations, developing programs for measuring and managing both enterprise and workflow performance, increasing enterprise capacity, developing and implementing growth strategies, and increasing cash flow and profits.

Smith has extensive experience troubleshooting operational problems and guiding performance turnaround efforts. Over the years, he has specialized in enhancing the design, performance, and monitoring of business processes and the knowledge and skills of the people who work through those processes. Prior to founding The Plaid Group, Smith held senior management positions in multiple start-up businesses, including vice president of operations for Intelligent Diagnostics/, senior business advisor for the accounting firm of Mann Frankfort Stein & Lipp, and director of business engineering for SalvageSale, Inc.  In each organization, he was responsible for designing and developing the business infrastructure necessary to deliver effective performance and consistent results.

His professional career also includes employment with American General Corp., where he served as director of internal consulting and guided the performance management efforts for one of the corporation’s largest operating companies.  In his early career, he managed software development and system implementation projects for a leading provider of planning and supply chain management solutions for the process industries.

Smith is the former chairman of the Board of Directors for the Texas Business Alliance, and has also served in board positions for Crisis Intervention of Houston and the Texas Chamber of Electronic Commerce.

Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA in finance from the University of Houston.

Ingrid Taylor

Ingrid Taylor is a results-driven, creative professional with over 15 years’ experience in delivering, evaluating and creating educational programs, crafting long-term strategies and engaging with community leaders to address critical issues.

She has spent most of her professional life working on strategic planning, board governance, communications,

policy and budget development and project management.  She’s consulted for fifteen years with a focus on non-profit organizations, foundations and school-related entities, and has worked at the federal, state and local levels of government, including the Texas Performance Review, the United States Senate Budget Committee and the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C, where she was a Presidential Management Intern.  She was elected to the Austin School Board in 2000 and served as vice-president from 2002 to 2004.

Taylor’s experiences as a staff member in high-profile organizations and as an elected official have given her a strong foundation in understanding the dynamics of decision-making in the boardroom and the public arena. Taylor has unique perspective on the elements of strong leadership, effective governance models, dynamic project management, and the importance of successful communication.  As both a board and staff member, Taylor has helped organizations develop better accountability systems, and more meaningful reporting mechanisms and process improvements. She has also served on a number of boards in Austin, Texas, including The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, and Ballet Austin, and she is involved in community organizations including Breakthrough Austin, and the Helping Hand Home.

She is a member of the Leadership Texas class of 1999 and holds a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Behavioral Sciences and Law from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Julian Treviño

A visionary leader, advocate, and creator of sensible solutions that address the changing face of America’s student populations and the evolution of our educational system, its infrastructure and school board leadership, Julian Treviño offers a unique perspective and proven strategic guidance, customized for educational communities across the country.

With a philosophy that educational opportunities create great communities that prosper, Treviño has committed a half century to strengthening our country’s educational infrastructure and school board leadership.  Working with diverse populations from coast to coast, and from our southern to northern borders, it is this passion for commitment that makes Treviño an effective leader and one of the country’s leading trainers and teachers in the areas of effective school board governance, urban education, the politics of education, and the foundations of educational leadership.

Treviño has worked with major school systems across the United States and with diverse multicultural populations.  An experienced educator, Treviño has been a teacher at all levels and served as middle and high school principal and a central office administrator.  Treviño served on the Board of Trustees for the San Antonio Independent School District for 12 years, six of those as board president.  Under his leadership as president, the board was recognized nationally twice and awarded the distinction of “Texas Honor Board” for exemplary board governance.

A true visionary, Treviño founded the Bexar County School Board Coalition, which promotes excellence in education for all students by improving the governance and collaboration among the 17 independent countywide school districts.  The coalition was a first in the country’s eighth largest city.  Treviño’s focus was to develop a mechanism for school board members to collaborate through professional development and identify an effective governance process to improve the educational welfare of all public school students.

Treviño is a Senior Lecturer of educational leadership and policy studies for the University of Texas at San Antonio and was previously a lecturer at Trinity University. Treviño has been a resident faculty member for the Center for Reform of School Systems (CRSS) since 2002 and is a certified trainer in the Strategic Planning and DuPont Leadership Development Program.

Treviño holds a doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University and has participated in executive education programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Graduate School of Business.

Treviño’s business acumen is valued in many civic and community efforts focused on improving our city, our schools and generating innovative opportunities for the communities in which we live.  Treviño resides with his family of educators in San Antonio, Texas.

Carol Turner

Carol Turner is the founder and principal of Leadership for Action, where she specializes in facilitation, organization development, and strategic planning with public sector and nonprofit organizations. She likes the complexity of policy issues, is comfortable working with diverse populations, and is creative in helping local and statewide teams, elected officials, and legislative groups

develop change that is sustained. Her clients range from work on the federal level with the National Governors Association to facilitation with statewide/regional associations or committees and to leading training, planning processes, and conflict resolution interventions with local school districts/boards, cities, and counties.

Turner draws on her experience of serving 12 years on the school board of Portland Public Schools, which is the largest school district in the Pacific Northwest. She was chairperson for three terms, and is proudest of her work that resulted in increased academic standards with a focus on instructional accountability and more effective family involvement.   As board member and president of the Oregon School Boards Association, she led the association’s proactive response to the state’s severe funding crises following passage of a property tax limitation and was involved in the development of Oregon’s comprehensive standards-based reform effort.

Following her local board service, Turner was the educational advocate in the Office of the Mayor for the City of Portland for seven years. As policy advisor, she was the liaison to local school districts and related education efforts to ensure that strong, successful public schools were a critical part of Portland’s viability. Turner coordinated regional planning efforts to respond to the education funding crisis; developed and monitored collaborative work with local civic and elected officials focusing on school success; and was part of a small team, led by the mayor, that successfully averted an impending strike by negotiating a settlement between the Portland school district and the Portland Association of Teachers.  Also for several years, she worked for the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), where she supported work of local staff linking services of DHS with schools and community to more efficiently and effectively serve children and families.

Turner is certified as a professional facilitator with the International Association of Facilitators and is a trained mediator. She holds a Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College in Ohio.

Vickery photo

Ron Vickery

Ron Vickery recently served nine years as a Trustee of the Tyler Independent School District, serving as President for three years (2008-2011).  During his service on the board, the Tyler community successfully passed two bonds totally $220 million, rebuilding or remodeling over one-half of the schools in the District.

Vickery is the founder and owner of the Vickery Law Firm in Tyler, where is serves clients with general civil litigation, probate, and mediation needs.  He has practiced law in the Tyler area since 1992. 

In addition to his law practice, he enjoys serving in various community service roles in the Tyler community.

Vickery holds a BBA degree from Baylor University, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Baylor School of Law.

Susan Wilkinson

Susan Wilkinson served two terms on the Duval County School Board from 1994 to 2002 and was the only individual elected to serve as chair for a second term. During her tenure on the board, she was heavily involved in negotiating with the local NAACP, moving the district to unitary status. She led the board in settling lawsuits regarding sex education and prayer in school.

In addition, she led the board in establishing reading and literacy standards for all students. As a result of her leadership and consequent board action, the district began an enduring upward trend in test scores.

Wilkinson was successful with building permanent stakeholder relationships within the local business community. This resulted in the creation of the Alliance for Worldclass Education, which became the Jacksonville Public Education Foundation. Wilkinson also chaired a task force that resulted in the district focusing on the alignment of staff development to student achievement.

Following her tenure on the Duval County School Board, Wilkinson served as the CEO of the Schultz Center, providing oversight and vision for the development of highly effective staff development in literacy, math, and leadership.  The students of teachers trained in the area of literacy showed an average gain of 130 points on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Gains were even higher for free and reduced-lunch students—144 points. She guided the staff in the development of a “Lead 360 Degree Feedback” aligned with Florida Principal Standards.  She led the development of the Leadership Institute, training school principals to become highly effective instructional leaders. Principal graduates of this program are leading schools to higher levels of student academic achievement.

Earlier in Wilkinson’s career she served as the executive director for Episcopal Children’s Services, Inc., building the program to serve over 8,500 children annually and expanding the budget from $1 to $14 million. In this position, she focused on early literacy, which became nationally recognized. She served on the Stanton Magnet School Development Team responsible for the design of a comprehensive college preparatory program. Stanton has consistently been ranked in the top 10 public academic high schools in the country.

Wilkinson has had extensive experience in the development, design, and delivery of broad-based training programs and has been sought out by numerous educational and nonprofit organizations.  She is currently a trainer for CRSS. She has also served in informal roles as an advisor and mentor to current school board members as well as past and current superintendents in Duval County.

Wilkinson completed a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, a Master’s Degree from the University of North Florida, and a Doctor of Education from the University of Florida.

Kate Willis

Kate Willis has over 15 years’ experience leading or providing internal consulting for global operational and strategic change initiatives.  She has worked across regional, functional, and organizational boundaries to design, develop, and implement new or improved operational capabilities, including in the areas of supply chain, finance, risk/crisis management and business continuity, and government affairs.  Willis focuses on the “people” part of change initiatives, including preparing leadership and impacted parties for change, building momentum, aligning the stakeholders, assessing readiness, and supporting the transition from current to future state.

Since 2006, Willis has been actively involved in system reform initiatives, including in business, education, and economic development.  Some of those education-related projects include, facilitating a 21st century school planning session for superintendents from 19 Oregon districts and a national nonprofit to identify shared pain points; using various methodologies to focus on “customers” (child/student), diagnose problems, and create a state-level advocacy agenda.  She was instrumental with working with the principal and staff on a year-long NIKE School Innovation fund project.  Willis has participated in a 70-person “think tank” session in Washington, DC, for the US Department of Defense Department of Education $3 billion 21st centurty re-design initiative. She is currently working with Portland Public Schools and community leaders on initiatives related to long term strategy and redesign. Willis has introduced and built momentum around a Climate Prosperity initiative focused on cost savings, talent (including K-12 and higher ed), and job creation through green investment and innovation.  This involved recruiting early adopters to attend a Silicon Valley “Greenprint” launch, including NIKE, Portland Development Commission, Metro, Greenlight Greater Portland (business alliance), and the City of Portland.  Her work also involved securing a Rockefeller grant for a pilot project (1 of 8 in the nation).  Generating public│private partnership involvement in the creation of a Portland Metro Greenprint (regional economic development plan), which launched in 2010.

Kate is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and a certified practitioner and facilitator in a variety of best practices, including scenario planning, change management, team performance management, Lean, and project management. She holds a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and an A.B. degree from Smith College.