Board of Trustees
Mr. Phil Jacobs (Chair)
Founding Partner, The Pendleton Consulting Group
Mr. Phil Jacobs is a founding partner for The Pendleton Consulting Group, an Economic Development Consulting business in Atlanta, GA. He spent 34 years working for BellSouth/AT&T in various roles such as corporate officer, president of operations for BellSouth-Georgia, president of business services for AT&T Southeast, and president of BellSouth business services. He also worked for two years on an international assignment of Optus Communications in Sydney, Australia, as Chief Operating Officer. Jacobs also has distinguished himself as a leader among civic organizations, serving as former board chair for the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement, Georgia Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, Georgia Early Learning Initiative, and Metro Atlanta United Way. He completed his undergraduate work at Denison University.
Dr. Denise Borders (Vice Chair)
Vice President, SRI International, Education Division
Menlo Park, CA
Dr. Denise Borders serves as Vice President of SRI International's Education Division, a multidisciplinary group of researchers focused on improving education and learning and outcomes from early childhood through college and into the workforce. Most recently, Borders was senior vice president and director of the U.S. Education and Workforce Development (USEWD) Group at FHI 360, which acquired the technical and managerial experts and programs of The Academy for Educational Development (AED) in 2011. At AED, Dr. Borders served for 10 years as a senior vice president where she oversaw program operations covering a broad spectrum of projects, such as birth-adult education, early child development, gender equity, youth, disabilities, workforce/economic development, research/evaluation, and education policy and practice. Prior to joining AED, she was president and chief executive officer of The McKenzie Group where she focused on research, assessment, accountability, and K-12 reform in urban school districts. She also has been a senior administrator and teacher in many school systems. Her experience spans multiple areas—academia, for-profit, nonprofit, federal government, and public sectors. She holds a Doctorate of Education in Psycholinguistics and Research, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Teaching, and a Master of Arts in Urban Education all from Columbia University, Teachers College. She also earned a Master of Science in Elementary Education from SUNY Cortland/Cornell University.
Dr. Stephanie Hirsh
Executive Director, Learning Forward
Dr. Stephanie Hirsh is the Executive Director of Learning Forward—a professional learning association solely devoted to advancing professional learning for student success. Hirsh joined Learning Forward (formerly the National Staff Development Council) in 1988 as Associate Executive Director. Under her leadership, Leaning Forward is a strong advocate for collaborative professional learning for educators from teachers to school system administrators. As Executive Director, Hirsh has overseen new projects aimed to support educators implementing Common Core State Standards (CCSS) such as the Transforming Professional Learning to Prepare College- and Career-Ready Students: District, State, & Affiliate Networks initiative. This initiative was started to strengthen the capacity of large urban school systems, state education agencies and Learning Forward state affiliates to advance CCSS implementation through transformed professional learning systems. Hirsh earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies Education and a Secondary Education minor from the University of Texas as well as a master’s degree in Education Administration from the University of North Texas. She also holds a Ph.D.in Curriculum and Instruction and an Education Administration minor from the University of North Texas.
Dr. Jeff Keller
Superintendent, American School Foundation of Monterrey
Dr. Jeff Keller has served as the Superintendent for the American School Foundation of Monterrey (ASFM) since 1994. The American School Foundation of Monterrey is a private, non-profit, independent, international day school. Founded in 1928, the school provides a U.S.-type education to international and Mexican students with student enrollment at approximately 2400 from Nursery through Grade 12. Dr. Keller previously served as the Assistant Superintendent at ASFM from 1991 to 1994. He also has served as Assistant Director for the Inter-Regional Center for Curriculum and Materials Development in Barranquilla, Colombia. He began his education career as an Elementary Teacher in Tallahassee, Florida. Currently he is a member of AdvancED’s Council on American International Schools. He has over 37 years of experience working in SACS CASI accredited schools including chairing and serving on dozens of SACS CASI Quality Assurance Review teams. Dr. Keller is fluent in English and Spanish. He has a Doctorate in Educational Administration and a Masters in Instructional Leadership from the University of Alabama as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Colorado.
President and CEO, Primrose Schools
Ms. Jo Kirchner, President and CEO of Primrose Schools, leads more than 230 schools nationwide. She oversees strategic direction for the company, manages its vision to maintain service excellence and brand leadership strategy, while guiding new business development to drive quality, sustainable growth, and profitability. Kirchner first began her career with Primrose Schools over two decades ago. Working with Primrose Schools' founders, she developed the concept of franchising a research-based educational environment for preschool children. At Primrose, she serves as a member of the Primrose Schools Advisory Council and oversees the Primrose Schools Board of Directors. She founded the Primrose Children's Foundation, which provides financial support to not-for-profit organizations supporting young children. Kirchner also serves on the AdvancED Corporation and Distance Education Council and the AdvancED Accreditation Commission. Before joining Primrose, she was the president and founder of Creative Logistics, an Atlanta-based marketing firm offering strategic planning, advertising and public relations. She previously served as vice president and publisher at two Atlanta-based magazine publishing companies and as a sales executive for Proctor Silex Corporation. Kirchner graduated with an associate degree in marketing from Ohio Career College.
Dr. Monica Martinez
San Francisco, CA
Dr. Monica Martinez is a leading national expert in secondary and post-secondary education with experience directing and researching major education innovation and reform initiatives. She has worked across multiple sectors in education including philanthropy, non-profits that support p-16 initiatives and school redesign, and higher education institutions. Martinez currently is an independent educational strategist for foundations and non-profits, such as the Carnegie Corporation, Hewlett Foundation, and Kamehameha Schools. Most recently, she was the CEO of New Tech Network where she directed the organization’s strategic direction and growth strategy. Prior to this, she was the Vice President of Education Strategy for KnowledgeWorks and a senior associate at the Institute for Educational Leadership. She has been a columnist for Phi Delta Kappan and a contributing author to Double the Numbers for College (Harvard Press), Saving America’s High School (Urban Institute) and independent reports. She also serves on the board of the Youth Leadership Institute and has been appointed to the White House Commission on Excellence in Hispanic Education. Martinez earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education from New York University and her B.A. from Baylor University.
Mr. Jerry Peacock
Principal, Baker High School
Baker City, OR
Mr. Jerry Peacock has been Principal of Baker High School in Baker City, Oregon for the past 20 years. He began his career as a high school teacher of multiple subjects in a small eastern Oregon community. He then served as an assistant principal at the high school level before taking a position as an elementary principal for seven years. He also has served on the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and was president-elect prior to NWAC joining AdvancED as an accreditation division. In addition to his involvement in education, he has served on numerous boards and committees in his community and at the state level. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Auburn University in Health and a Masters in Health Education from Oregon State University.
Dr. Stewart D. Roberson
Superintendent Emeritus, Hanover County Public Schools
Chairman, President/CEO of Moseley Architects
Dr. Stewart Roberson is the Superintendent Emeritus of Hanover County Public Schools in Virginia. Following his retirement in June 2011, he was named Chairman and President/CEO of Moseley Architects, one of the nation's leading architecture/engineering firms devoted to the public sector. Roberson also is a professor at the University of Virginia. While at Hanover County, he led the school system's effort, the first in Virginia, to earn AdvancED District Accreditation. He previously was Superintendent of Schools for Falls Church (VA) Public Schools and was Assistant Superintendent of Finance for Fredericksburg (VA) Public Schools. His experience also includes service as a middle school teacher and middle school and high school principal. Roberson has been the recipient of several honors, including Virginia Superintendent of the Year, awarded by the American Association of School Administrators and the first national AdvancED Excellence in Education award. He also is a member of the Board of Governors of International Baccalaureate. Roberson earned a bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctoral degree from the University of Virginia. He also holds postgraduate certificates from Harvard and Oxford Universities.
Dr. David Steiner
Dean, Hunter College School of Education
Founding Director, City University of New York Institute for Education Policy
New York, NY
Dr. David Steiner is the Klara and Larry Silverstein Dean of the Hunter College School of Education and founding Director of the new City University of New York Institute for Education Policy at Roosevelt House. He previously served as Commissioner of Education for New York State. In this capacity, he also served as the President of the University of the State of New York, the state of New York's governmental umbrella organization that acts as a licensing body, setting standards for both public and private institutions in the state. He has achieved national recognition for his work at Hunter, including innovation in video analysis of pre-service teachers and partnerships with charter schools. As Commissioner, he took a lead role in the State’s successful $700 million Race to the Top application to support the redesign of state standards, assessments and teacher certification requirements. Steiner earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics and a master’s degree from Balliol College, Oxford University. He also holds a Ph.D. in political science with a specialization in political philosophy from Harvard University.
Dr. Eugene White
President, Martin University
Dr. Eugene White is the Superintendent of the Indianapolis Public Schools. He is an educational pioneer in Indiana with over 30 years of experience in education. He was the first African American High School Principal in the Fort Wayne Community Schools and in the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township’s North Central High School; the first African American Superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township; and the first African American President of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents (IAPSS). He has achieved numerous honors including Outstanding Superintendent of the Year and has served in leadership roles with several organizations including as President of the Board of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. He also is an accomplished author having written a book for colleagues and practitioners on leadership and co-written a book on school diversity. He completed his doctoral work at Ball State University, graduate work at the University of Tennessee, and undergraduate work at Alabama A&M University.
Dr. Jay Cummings (Ex-Officio, Past Chair)
Distinguished Professor, College of Education, Texas Southern University
Dr. Jay Cummings has 45 years of experience in educational leadership and has held prominent positions in schools, school districts, state education agencies, national educational organizations, and higher education institutions. In his current position as Dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University, he has successfully led the college to earn both state and regional accreditation. In his prior position as the Executive Deputy Commissioner for the Texas Education Agency, he played a pivotal role in crafting the state's accountability system that incorporated the use of disaggregated data and equity and growth measures, as well as performance standards. In addition, Cummings has served as the Chair for the National Alliance of Black School Educators' Demonstration Schools/Communities Initiative for 10 years. He earned a bachelor's degree in Industrial Technology from Central State University, Ohio, a master's degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Cleveland State University, Ohio, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Cultural Anthropology from the Ohio State University.