Dr. Dana Diesel Wallace is the President and CEO of Schools That Lead where she and her team leverage leadership development for teachers, principals and school teams committed to advancing powerful student learning. Previously Dana served as a teacher, principal, central services administrator, superintendent, and lead for school development in a statewide educational intermediary. Throughout her career, she has acted as a change agent for the sole purpose of improving academic performance for all students. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from Old Dominion University, a master’s in educational leadership from Harvard University, and a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Sofi Frankowski is the Chief Learning Officer for Schools That Lead where she designs, leads and supports professional development for network schools focused on advancing powerful student learning. In her previous role, she provided organizational leadership for the development and expansion of an instructional coaching model that served over 100 schools. She has taught elementary, middle school and high school students in Connecticut, Washington, DC, Japan, California and North Carolina. Her leadership has been shaped by a belief in the power of adult collaboration and a commitment to improving outcomes for all students. A National Board Certified teacher, Frankowski holds a bachelor’s in public policy studies from Duke University and a master’s in education from Stanford University.
Robert retired from the Red Clay Consolidated School District in June 2001 with forty years of experience. Eighteen of those years encompassed teaching kindergarten through twelfth grade and twenty-two years as a school administrator. Since retirement, Robert continues to be involved with school administrators to assist them with their goal of maximizing their effectiveness as educational leader.
Dr. Eliz Colbert joined the team at NC Virtual Public School in 2013 and currently serves as the Executive Director. She has over twenty years in service to NC public schools including twelve years as a school administrator and six years leading professional learning initiatives at the state and local level. These roles have allowed Eliz the opportunity to study and deploy best practices in learning for students of all ages through the online classroom.
Liz guides the design, implementation, and management of programs affecting the Foundation’s mission and activities to strengthen public education reform. Prior to joining the NEA Foundation, she was a Lead Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, focusing primarily on organizational development and change issues for private- and public-sector clients. Liz has also served as the Director of Programs for the Higher Achievement Program, a DC nonprofit focusing on academic enrichment for middle school students, and as a Training Consultant for NeighborWorks America, designing community economic development curriculum for practitioners. She received a Masters of Business Administration from Yale School of Management, with concentrations in Strategy and Nonprofit Management, and a Bachelor's degree from Kenyon College.
Paul Herdman is President and CEO of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware, which he joined in 2004. As Rodel’s leader, he strives to bring Delaware’s public schools to world class prominence. He is a founding member of Vision 2015, Delaware’s plan to transform its public schools to world class; an Aspen Institute-New Schools Fellow in entrepreneurial leadership; and 2010 recipient of the New Schools Venture Fund “Change Agent of the Year” award. He has served as a senior manager at New American Schools; consulted with Brookings Institution, RAND, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and The World Bank. Paul has taught K-12 in the U.S., South Africa, and Australia; and co-founded an Outward Bound-based school-within-a-school in New York City. He assisted the Secretary of Education for two governors in Massachusetts during the wholesale redesign of the state’s policies on standards, choice, and finance in the 1990s. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Delaware and Master of Arts and a Doctorate in Education Administration and Planning from Harvard University.
Kae Keister has been a Thought Partner with Schools That Lead since 2009 when she began with the Millsboro Middle School, in the Indian River School District. In 2011, she added Milford Central Academy, and in 2012 in the Milford Middle School – both in the Milford School District. Kae works directly with the school principal on advancing his/her personal leadership goals related to school improvement. She is integral in assisting the principal and the school’s leadership team on building school improvement. Her mentorship as a “thought partner” helps these schools and their school leaders stay focused on improving student learning in a rapidly changing world.
Dr. Kilgore was appointed Superintendent of Newport News Public Schools in May 2007 -- the first woman ever to lead the 29,000-student school division. An early leader in youth development, Dr. Kilgore established a comprehensive district-wide youth development initiative to assist students in growing their skills in leadership, citizenship and teamwork. Service learning is now part of the curriculum in NNPS She has over 35 years of experience in public education as a teacher, principal, college professor and deputy superintendent.
Paul LeMahieu is the senior vice president of the Carnegie Foundation, where he manages all of its programs. Previously at Carnegie, he directed the work of the Carnegie Hub, which supports the networks the Foundation convenes to engage problems of education practice in the field. LeMahieu came to Carnegie from the National Writing Project (NWP) at the University of California, Berkeley where he was director of research and evaluation. He has also served as superintendent of education for the state of Hawaiʻi, the only state in the nation that is a single unitary school district with operating and capital budgets totaling over $1.8 billion.
Austin Obasohan serves as superintendent of Duplin County Schools in North Carolina, where he has led the implementation of a district-wide Early College High School design and advanced STEM education K-12. A native of Nigeria, Austin earned a marketing degree from Sussex College of Technology in England and his doctorate in educational leadership from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. In his 30-year career in education, he has worked in public schools in Alabama, Virginia, and North Carolina.