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Presenter Bios

Page history last edited by Roland O'Daniel 13 years, 12 months ago







Dr. Deann Stivers Allen

Dr. Deann Stivers Allen is currently an Instructional Supervisor with the Clay County Public Schools in Manchester, Kentucky. In addition to working with curriculum development, she has established the Alternative School program which includes an alternative to suspension program. Clay County’s suspension rate is one of the lowest in the region. Working with community partners, she has developed a Youth Leadership Program for secondary students. Dr. Allen has taught science at the secondary level in Tennessee and Kentucky and developed an Anthropology course for Clay County High School. She also serves as an advisory to Eastern Kentucky University’s Educational Leadership Doctoral Program. Dr. Allen received Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 


Amy Awbrey

As CTL's Vice President for Program Design and Implementation, Amy Awbrey’s responsibilities include program and general organizational development, grants development, and staff supervision. Formerly CTL’s Director of Literacy Initiatives, Amy is an experienced K-12 clinical reading specialist who designed and supervises a Lumina Foundation grant for development of critical thinking instruction in the Kentucky Community and Technical College system, and designed and oversees professional development for Kentucky's Striving Readers grant—one of only eight federal grants in the nation to implement and conduct large-scale research on promising adolescent literacy initiatives. She holds a Master of Education degree with emphasis in K-12 reading from the University of Louisville, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Transylvania University.

Sherri Beshears-McNeely

Sherri Beshears-McNeely

Sherri Beshears-McNeely is a coach, artist and educational consultant with CTL. Sherri brings to her work a love of the arts, a thorough understanding of literacy in service of learning, and the expertise to help teachers weave it all together in ways that ignite both learning and the joy of teaching. As a mentor coach for the federal Striving Readers project, and designer of professional development for both GEAR UP Kentucky and GEAR UP & SOAR, Sherri uses creative approaches to help teachers understand and achieve standards through hands-on practice. She helped to develop the Right in the Middle CD to spotlight lessons learned about reform at the middle level, and has led teachers in concentrated dance and drama work to boost learning in the content areas.  


Ann Lyttle Burns

Ann Lyttle-Burns has been employed in the Fayette County Public Schools system since 1991 and has served in her present position as Principal of Home/Hospital & Special Programs for over a decade. During her time with the district she has been a teacher and coach, serving and chairing committees for Equity, School Climate and Budget and served on the Site Based Decision Making Council and in the Kentucky Leadership Academy. -A long-time supervisor of programs for at-risk students, Ann is also a KECSAC administrator, serving as a liaison with the Department of Juvenile Justice. Born in rural Appalachia, she received her undergraduate degree from the University of the Cumberlands and her graduate degree and certifications from Eastern Kentucky University, where she is currently a doctoral student.


Dr. Sue Cain

Dr. Sue Cain is the Coordinator of the College Readiness and Developmental Education Initiative at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. She serves as a representative of the Council on the implementation of Senate Bill 1 (2009) efforts to align content and assessments from K-12 to postsecondary and developing unified strategies to reduce college remediation rates of recent high school graduates and to increase college completion rates of students entering postsecondary institutions not meeting college readiness benchmarks. Dr. Cain serves as the Director of Transition and University Services (College Readiness, Developmental Education, and Academic Testing) at Eastern Kentucky University. She is a tenured faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at EKU and chairs the University Developmental Education Advisory Committee. Her research interests include the development of a scientific basis for curriculum structures, assessment of developmental education programs and services, and student persistence, retention and graduation. She served on the Kentucky Developmental Education Task Force, Committee for Mathematics Achievement, and statewide committees to develop English and mathematics college readiness benchmarks. 


Alex Chough

Alex Chough is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at ACT, Inc. an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides services in the broad areas of education and workforce development. Prior to joining ACT, Alex was the Director of External Relations at the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships where he led policy and advocacy efforts for the federally-funded Gaining Early Awareness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) initiative. In addition, Alex served as a Program Officer at the U.S. Department of Education where he managed a grant portfolio of approximately $100 million to strengthen the capacity of minority-serving colleges and universities to serve low-income and minority students.


Summer Copley

Summer Copley is the GEAR UP Kentucky Site Coordinator for Fleming County and East Carter high schools. She is a graduate of Morehead State University, where she received B.A. and M.A. degrees. Summer’s work with educational outreach programs includes Associate Director for Morehead State University’s The Little Company theater group; instructor for the Upward Bound Programs at Pikeville College and Morehead State University; and most recently, Assistant Director of the GEAR UP Summer Academy held at Eastern Kentucky University. Summer also serves on the University Outreach College Access Committee at Morehead State University.


Angela Cunningham

Angela Cunningham has been a social studies teacher at Bullitt Central High School for 10 years. In addition, she has worked with the Office for Civic Engagement & Excellence in a partnership between the University of Louisville and the Kentucky Department of Education to build rigorous standards-based units of study for a high school civics course and has presented at the annual KCSS conference on building a more democratic classroom. In 2010, she will be participating in a panel discussion at NCSS on building a personal learning network.


Angie Frazier

Angie Frazier currently serves as Guidance Counselor at Barren County High School, located in Glasgow, Kentucky. She has also taught Special Education and worked as a Mental Health Counselor within the district. Mrs. Frazier received a Bachelor of Arts from Western Kentucky University, Master of Arts from Georgetown College, and a Rank I from Western Kentucky University. Angie resides in Barren County with her husband, Anthony, an elementary principal in Barren County and their two sons who also attend Barren County Schools.


Omari Gletten

Omari Gletten has worked for the Council on Postsecondary Education since January, 2005 as the Project Specialist for Kentucky’s second GEAR UP grant. He has worked with GEAR UP initiatives and programs such as the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), parent engagement programs, college expos, high school summer workshops and leadership institutes, mentoring and online instruction programs. Prior to coming to CPE, Omari worked at Hazard Community and Technical College as a Program Coordinator for the first state GEAR UP grant. In that position he worked directly with students, staff and parents in middle and high schools in the southeast region of the state for three years. Omari also has worked briefly with the Hazard Independent City Schools as a substitute teacher and graduated with a degree in Public Health from Cumberland College located in Williamsburg, KY.


Danny Goodwin

Danny Goodwin teaches inquiry at his alma mater, Danville High School. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Anthropology, suffered through the working world for a couple of years and decided to return to school at EKU to study physics. He earned a Master’s Degree in Teaching, Secondary Physics and has been teaching ninth grade physical science for the past four years.


Keith Hale

Keith Hale is beginning his sixteenth year working for Barren County Schools. He spent his first two years as a technology instructor at Barren County Middle School. He then moved to Barren County High School where he spent seven years as a technology instructor, one year as an assistant principal and one year as an associate principal before taking on the role of principal at Barren County High School. He is originally from Martin County and did his under graduate work at Morehead State University earning both an A.A.S. and a B.S. He did his Graduate work at WKU.


Dr. Linda Hargan

Dr. Hargan’s story is one of a lifetime of commitment to the improvement of education for all. A former public school teacher, Linda has taught at the elementary and high school levels, as well as at the college and graduate levels. She went on to serve as Associate Commissioner for the Office of Learning Programs Development of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), where Linda directed the divisions of preschool education, primary education, professional development, school-based decision making, and student/family support services. She also served as Kentucky’s Associate Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Director for Special Education and Regional Consultant in Reading and Special Education. Linda was also Executive Director of the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, a regional service agency comprised of 13 school districts. 


Wendy Holtman

Wendy Holtman is the Project Associate for the GEAR UP Kentucky - Northern Kentucky region serving both Newport and Covington schools. She has been a part of GEAR UP for four years and provides oversight to regional grant activities. Wendy is a Licensed Social Worker and Certified School Social Worker, and received her Master’s Degree in 1998 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.


Hutch Hoskins

Hutch Hoskins is an algebra teacher at Clay County High School in Manchester, Kentucky. He graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in computer electronic networking. In 2005, Hutch entered an alternative certification program at Union College which enabled him to teach algebra. He has since completed the program and is finishing his fifth year of teaching. His technology background along with his mathematical knowledge provides an excellent canvas to explore just how far the relationship between the two areas can go.


Kriss Johnson

Kriss Johnson is a former teacher and passionate Newspaper in Education promoter. Johnson was the first and only person in her family to graduate from college and has a Master’s Degree in education. Johnson has received local, national and international awards for developing an annual and unique reading project for Kentucky and continues to promote using newspaper in the classroom to enhance learning retention. Johnson is a past-president of Kentucky Press Association. 


Barbara Myerson Katz

Barbara Myerson Katz is Communications Specialist at CTL, where she works on all aspects of communications and marketing, and assists with the development and writing of grant proposals and print and multimedia materials, including the GEAR UP Parents’ College Toolkit and DVD. Barb began her career developing and writing for educational media projects in her native Philadelphia and as a high school English teacher, and has worked on national and international projects for the producers of Sesame Street in New York, and as a writer for Kentucky Educational Television's nationally broadcast GED Connection series and Arts Toolkits. She is also an award-winning writer for Louisville Magazine. Barb has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Certificate of Advanced Study (post-Master’s) in Human Development from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.


Beth Lawson 

Mary Beth Lawson graduated from MSU in 2001 and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Adult and Higher Education-Counseling. She began her career with GEAR UP KY in January 2008 and enjoys assisting the students from her area in obtaining their educational goals. She strives to encourage a college going culture in all of the schools, students, and parents she serves through GEAR UP KY and beyond. 


Dr. Mitchel Livingston

Mitchel Livingston is Vice President for Student Affairs, Chief Diversity Officer and Professor of Educational Studies at the University of Cincinnati. He joined UC in 1994 after serving as Vice President for Student Affairs at the University at Albany, State University of New York, and Dean of Students at Ohio State University. Earning his Ph. D. in Higher Education Administration at Michigan State University, he received his Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Education from Southern Illinois University. With his broad knowledge and experience, Dr. Livingston is often engaged as a speaker on issues of diversity, leadership, organizational culture, access, and community building. Dr. Livingston has received many honors and awards, including the Governor’s Educator of the Year award, State of New York; Dr. Martin Luther King Award for distinguished community service, and Award for Excellence in Administration, University at Albany; Educator of the Year Award, Anti-Defamation League, Albany, New York; national spokesperson for INROADS, Inc. from 2004-06; Educational Excellence Award from the League of United Latin American Citizens; and Prince Hall Humanitarian Award from True American Lodge #2. 


Yvonne Lovell 

Yvonne Lovell currently is the executive director of the statewide GEAR UP project for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Ms. Lovell has administered both GEAR UP grants awarded to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education by the U.S. Department of Education. Since November 2000 she has guided the strategic vision of GEAR UP Kentucky, and directs the development of educational strategies to meet program objectives. Ms. Lovell came to the Council after a brief stay with Kentucky State University and a career with the New York State Education Department (1987-2000). Ms. Lovell is a graduate of the University of Rochester and completed her graduate education at the University at Albany in New York.


Amanda Lunsford 

I am currently a Mathematics teacher at Clay County High School, which is located in South Eastern Kentucky.    I teach Algebra I and Algebra II to Freshman and Sophomores.  I have been teaching for 7 years, all within the same school.   I graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a B.S. in Secondary Mathematics Teaching, a Rank II in Administration (Principal), and a Rank I in Educational Leadership/DPP/Instructional Supervisor.  I have been married for 11 years and have one son that is my world.  I love my job and the clients I work for.  


Kim Meddings

Kim has taught middle school for 24 years, the last 15 focused on Language Arts. An avid reader, she has participated in numerous multi-state research sessions on literacy with a focus on promoting reading, writing and vocabulary instruction standards in classrooms, and professional development in technology integration. Kim has also conducted summer training sessions for the Kentucky federal Striving Readers project. As a member of the literacy team at Belfry Middle School, she also served as a Writing Cluster Leader.


Michael Miller 

Michael Miller is the Director of the Division of Curriculum Development for the Kentucky Department of Education. The division includes the eight content areas (mathematics, reading, writing, social studies, science, practical living/vocation studies, arts and humanities, and world language) as well as programs that support various student populations (gifted and talented, English language learners). Michael spent the first ten years in education as a primary and 4th grade teacher. He served as a “highly skilled educator” for three years and was assigned to work in the field assisting schools that were performing at the lowest levels of the state’s accountability system. Prior to becoming Division Director, he served as manager of the Department’s Early Childhood branch.


Audrey Neal

Audrey Clark Neal serves as the GEAR UP Site Coordinator for five high schools (Logan County, Russellville, Hopkinsville, Mayfield, and Webster County), hosted at the College of Education at Murray State University. Audrey also taught middle and high school English for six years, and served as the gifted and talented resource teacher and program coordinator for grades K-12. She is a Purchase Area Writing Project fellow and has led numerous PD sessions on reading and writing in the content areas. Audrey has also presented at state and national conferences on topics including ACT data analysis.


Roland O’Daniel

Roland O’Daniel works for CTL as Instructional Technology Coordinator and Educational Programs Consultant-Mathematics Specialist. He spends most of his time mentoring/coaching teachers in content literacy, and supporting teachers teaching math in a blended environment, while pursuing his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction in mathematics education at the University of Louisville. 


Christine Powell


Presently the Director of Secondary and Virtual Learning, Christine Powell manages the work of two branches: Secondary Education and Virtual Learning. Her division is focused on college readiness initiatives, dropout prevention, and expanding virtual learning opportunities for students and educators. The virtual learning programs include online professional development, Kentucky Virtual School, open educational resources and hybrid learning. Secondary programs include the Individual Learning Plan (ILP), Credit-Based Transitions, Extended School Services (ESS), Title IV/Safe Schools, Alternative Education Programs, Secondary GED, Secondary Interventions, and Advanced Placement/IB. Chris functions as a KDE liaison to the Council on Post-Secondary Education, Kentucky P-16 Council, and applicable legislative committees.


Chris was an employee of Anderson County Schools for twenty-two years; she worked as a teacher, department chair, curriculum director, and associate principal responsible for curriculum, instruction, professional development, and school improvement. Chris earned her K-12 Principal’s Certification from Eastern Kentucky University, her M.A. in English and Secondary Education from Georgetown College, and her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from EKU. As a Policy Advisor for Assessment and Accountability at KDE, Chris helped lead the implementation of Senate Bill 130. Recently, Chris was appointed to the Governor’s Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children and serves as the Military Family Education Liaison for KDE. 


Angela Roberts

Angela Roberts was born and raised in Paris, Kentucky. She is a 1987 graduate of Bourbon County High School and graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science. She completed her Masters at Eastern Kentucky University in 1995 in Counseling/Human Services. Angela has been with the Fayette County Public School system for the past 17 years and loves working with children. Currently, she is the Project Associate for the Gear Up Kentucky program with the district. Angela enjoys reading and loves exercising and shopping. She has been married to Myrin Roberts for 15 years and mother to Brionna and Aidan Roberts.


Dr. Aaron Thompson

Dr. Aaron Thompson is the Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Council on Postsecondary Education and a Professor of Sociology in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. He has a Ph.D. in sociology with a focus on organizational behavior/race and gender relations. Dr. Thompson has researched, taught and consulted in areas of assessment, diversity, leadership, ethics, research methodology and social statistics, multicultural families, race and ethnic relations, student success, first-year students, retention, and organizational design. He is nationally recognized in the areas of educational attainment and academic success, African American fatherhood, divorce in the Black family, and Black and White differences in marital expectations. In addition to numerous publications and peer-reviewed presentations, Dr. Thompson’s books include “Diversity and the College Experience and the upcoming “Humanity, Diversity, & the Liberal Arts: The Foundation of a College Education.” He has traveled throughout the United States, presenting more than 400 workshops, seminars and invited lectures on race and gender diversity, overcoming obstacles to gain success, creating a school environment for academic success, and many other topics. Dr. Thompson has been a consultant to educational institutions, corporations, non-profit organizations, police departments, and other government agencies, and his research has been cited in Cosmopolitan, the Baltimore Sun, the Orlando Sentinel and other publications. Dr. Thompson’s current research includes building culturally relevant models for student success, transition to college from high school, and Pre-K-12 persistence to graduation.


Carol Blunt-White 

Carol Blunt-White is the President and CEO of CBW Associates, a training, coaching and facilitation consulting firm established in 1997, and the Director of the New York State K-16 Alliance, which in September 2009 merged with the State University of New York at Oswego's Projects SMART and BLEND. For the past 12 years, Carol has worked with schools, colleges and universities, state agencies, and other organizations across the United States. Carol is a former Acting Executive Coordinator for the Office of Equity and Access, and Chief of the Bureau of Professional Career Opportunity Programs for the New York State Education Department. As Executive Coordinator and Bureau Chief, she was responsible for oversight of New York’s K-16 initiatives and the administration of programs designed to increase the participation of historically underrepresented populations in higher and professional education. Carol was also a member of the department’s Quality Council, a group committed to the establishment and development of teams, tools, and processes to carry out the agency’s vision and mission. Carol has also worked in administration and student service at two New York State colleges. She holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Education, and has spent her professional life working to achieve educational excellence for all students. 



























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