Leadership

Dr. Tom Reed

Grant Manager
Responsibilities: 

Dr. Reed will be in charge of project oversight.  He will work closely with OSU Lead Team to ensure all project outcomes are completed on time and within budget. Dr. Reed will meet regularly with OSU Lead Team to review progress, address barriers and support them in ensuring project success.  Dr. Reed will participate in Project Leadership Team meetings  and assist central Ohio districts as they work through project.  Dr. Reed will ensure all districts and partners adhere to Assurances. 

Qualifications: 

The Educational Service Center of Central Ohio (ESC) has a long, successful history designing, deploying, and monitoring district-specific innovations, Race to the Top initiatives, and both online and face-to-face professional development. The ESC team is led by Dr. Thomas G. Reed, Executive Director, who will serve as the ESC’s primary support for the project. 

Experience: 

Dr. Reed has served at the ESC for eight years first as the director of the Regional School Improvement Team (RSIT) and then as director of the State Support Team, Region 11 (SST 11) assuming his current role. Dr. Reed's leadership experiences include superintendent and high school principal and he has taught educational leadership courses at both Ohio Dominican University and The Ohio State University.

Michael Hofherr

OSU Project Senior Officer
Responsibilities: 

Mr. Hofherr will provide leadership and vision for Ohio State’s participation in the College Ready Ohio project. He will serve as the liaison between the project implementation team and the President and Provosts of The Ohio State University. Mr. Hofherr will also provide strategic oversight to the development of OSU’s College Credit Plus opportunities, as well as visionary design leadership around the mobile technology components of College Ready Ohio.

Qualifications: 

Michael Hofherr joined Ohio State in 2011 and was named Ohio State’s Chief Information Officer and Vice President for Distance Education and eLearning in March of 2014. As CIO, he oversees enterprise services for Applications, Data Warehousing, Infrastructure, Architecture, and Security. As Vice President, Hofherr oversees all forms of distance education and eLearning at Ohio State, including degree offerings, credit courses, non-credit certificates, iTunes U offerings, and hybrid as well as pure distance programming. He is also responsible for supporting the delivery of classroom technology and eLearning efforts.

Experience: 

Prior to his current roles, Hofherr served for nearly two years as the senior director for learning technology in the Office of the Chief Information Officer, where he helped transform the educational technologies offerings on campus. He spearheaded the Digital First initiative, expanded the Impact Grants program, and led a classroom technology transformation that resulted in more than $2 million in savings while improving services. As Senior Director for Learning Technology, Hofherr also oversaw Carmen, the University’s learning management platform, and the Digital Union. Hofherr came to Ohio State in 2011 from Penn State, bringing an extensive background in managing and leading all aspects of learning technology projects. Earlier, he had served as a training consultant for Arthur Andersen. Hofherr holds a Bachelor of Science in communications media from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in instructional systems from Pennsylvania State University.

Liv Gjestvang

OSU Project Director
Responsibilities: 

Liv Gjestvang will lead Ohio State’s design and implementation team for College Ready Ohio. She will support communication among all consortium partners, will guide the development of the online portal to house College Ready Ohio digital materials including teacher PD, supplementary digital course content and College Credit Plus opportunities, with a focus on back-end predictive analytics development. She will provide high-level oversight of digital general education content generation at Ohio State and will coordinate the involvement of all 10 participating districts in the development of Ohio State’s College Credit Plus programs. She will also lead the statewide documentation and communication about the project’s goals and successes through digital media production. Gjestvang will lead sustainability initiatives for Innovation Center and K12 Innovate Conference.

Qualifications: 

Liv Gjestvang joined Ohio State’s Learning Technology team in 2007 and became Director of Learning Technology in 2012. Most recently, she served as the Interim Associate Vice President for the Office of Distance Education and eLearning starting in July 2013. Ms. Gjestvang leads Ohio State's Digital First initiative, recognized nationally for the development of digital content to transform teaching and learning in higher education. She currently oversees Ohio State's iTunes U initiative, along with the Digital Bookstore, the development and piloting of low-cost digital texts, U.OSU.EDU, a campus-wide professional blogging platform with more than 3,000 users, as well as three (soon to be five) Digital Unions, high-end multimedia production labs at Ohio State. Her team produces “Innovate” an annual national conference on exemplary Teaching and Learning with Technology. She oversees a budget of 1.8 million dollars annually.

Experience: 

Gjestvang was a co-founder of Ohio State’s Digital Storytelling Program, designed to share the academic work of the University with a broad public audience through digital media/content creation. This program became a national model for the use of digital media to build greater public understanding of the research and teaching missions in higher education. For more than a decade, Liv has taught student and teacher professional development courses in storytelling and digital media through the Wexner Center for the Arts. Prior to coming to Ohio State, she worked with youth and community media at a PBS affiliate in New York and has taught young filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival, Taos Talking Pictures and throughout Ohio. She is the Founder and Director of Youth Video OUTreach, a community project that brought together 9 students and a host of local artists to produce the acclaimed documentary, 20 Straws: Growing Up Gay. This project received major funding through the Ohio Arts Council and the Legacy Fund of Central Ohio and has been screened at schools, universities and human rights conferences in the United States, Canada, Europe and South America. Gjestvang has presented her work with youth, social justice, and multimedia education at national and statewide conferences including the Ohio Digital Commons for Education, the Educause Learning Initiative, and the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture. Her work with Youth Video OUTreach was one of ten featured projects internationally at the New Media Consortium in 2007. She is the recipient of Ohio State’s 2014 Distinguished Staff Award, for outstanding leadership and accomplishments in service to the university.

Cory Tressler

OSU Project Lead
Responsibilities: 

Mr. Tressler will lead and oversee multiple aspects of OSU’s participation in College Ready Ohio including, but not limited to, the following; coordination of OSU digital resource and online course creation, coordination of professional development for OSU and district faculty, communication with districts and participating teachers, partnership with professional team to develop an online College Ready Ohio portal with significant predictive analytic capabilities, development of OSU College Credit Plus online courses, and management of project staff.

Qualifications: 

Cory Tressler has a Masters of Teaching from the University of South Carolina and is currently pursuing a PhD in Educational Technology from the College of Education & Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. He joined The Ohio State University Learning Technology team in 2012 to assist and facilitate online course design and eLearning professional development. He previously served as a classroom teacher, Technology Coach, Instructional Technology Coordinator, and Director of Virtual Learning in Beaufort County School District, a large public K12 school district in South Carolina.

Experience: 

Since joining the Learning Technology team at OSU, Tressler has led the development of 40+ public iTunes U courses, developed a Digital First Impact Grant program for OSU Faculty, facilitated numerous eLearning faculty development workshops, and overseen the development of General Education online courses for OSU undergraduate students. While working in Beaufort County School District in South Carolina, Mr. Tressler created an eLearning professional development plan for over 1500 teachers, spearheaded an award winning Virtual Summer School Program, implemented over 8000 mobile devices into middle & high school classrooms, revised district policy to allow for Bring Your Own Technology for students and teachers, revised Acceptable Use Policies for staff and students, managed a yearly budget of $1.2 million dollars, and created a virtual high school program.

Benjamin Scragg

Program Manager
Responsibilities: 

Mr. Scragg will plan initiatives, programs, and projects within the deliverables scope for College Ready Ohio. This includes engaging with Ohio K12 districts and schools to provide opportunities to connect with Ohio State in the areas of College Credit Plus, distance education, teacher professional development, mobile learning, and other aspects of educational technology. Ben will manage various projects and a staff to ensure the success of College Ready Ohio, and manage and facilitate instructional design for Ohio State undergraduate courses and K12 teacher professional development (both in person and online). He will work closely with a staff of instructional designers and educational technologists and communicate with district staff across Ohio.

Qualifications: 

Scragg has master's degrees in educational philosophy and psychology and in business administration, both from The Ohio State University. He is currently pursuing a project management certification. He joined Office of Distance Education and eLearning team in 2013 to lead instructional design on distance education courses, including undergraduate General Education and graduate program courses. Prior to his time at Ohio State, Scragg taught high school social studies with Chicago Public Schools. 

Experience: 

Since joining the Office of Distance Education and eLearning team at OSU, Scragg has led the development of both graduate and undergraduate distance education courses. He developed processes and streamlined documentation related to ODEE strategic initiatives, including MOOCs, distance education programs, and grants. Ben also worked in the Student Athlete Support Services Office at OSU, where he served as the Senior Learning Specialist responsible for providing academic support strategies and programming for developing learner student athletes. Scragg also led Kinesiology classes in the College of Education and Human Ecology focused on student athlete personal and career development, and contributed his leadership on a department-wide iPad deployment for student athletes.

Dr. Kui Xie

OSU Project Evaluation Lead
Responsibilities: 

Dr. Kui Xie will be responsible for conducting research and evaluation related to the proposed project. Specifically, he will oversee all evaluation components, coordinate IRB submission, assist in instrument design, monitor the data collection by various stakeholders, manage expert consults, manage the evaluation data, conduct statistical analysis, report the statistical results to the project manager, and lead the publication of results and conference presentation proposals for the project.

Qualifications: 

Dr. Kui Xie is an associate professor of Learning Technologies in Department of Educational Studies in College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Instructional Psychology and Technology from University of Oklahoma.  He directs The Research Laboratory for Digital Learning, where he strives to understand how students learn in technology-supported learning environments and how to design, develop and integrate innovative technology capable of promoting students’ motivation and cognitive engagement in digital learning to achieve a positive impact on student success. . Dr. Xie has extensive teaching and research experience in areas related to e-learning and online education, instructional design, technology integration for learning, students’ engagement, motivation and human cognition, digital content evaluation, as well as project evaluation, which are closely related to the scope of this project. 

Experience: 

Dr. Xie has successfully managed numerous funded research projects related to students’ engagement and motivation in digital learning settings. Those projects utilized appropriate learning technologies and strategies in college courses and were grounded upon motivation and learning theories. He has published numerous papers in top peer-reviewed research journals and has presented regularly at national/international conferences. He was also featured in a recent article on TIME magazine. The driving question behind Dr. Xie’s current research is how to design, develop and integrate innovative technology capable of promoting students’ motivation and cognitive engagement in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) activities to achieve a positive impact on human learning. By integrating advanced computing technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, web2.0 techniques, and etc.), he believes collaborative learning can be more pertinent and manageable in authentic teaching and learning practice.

Suzanne Allen

GCESC Project Liaison
Responsibilities: 

Mrs. Allen will be in charge of project oversight for northeast Ohio districts. She will work closely with OSU Lead Team to ensure all project outcomes are completed on time and within budget. Mrs. Allen will meet regularly with OSU Lead Team to review progress, address barriers and support them in ensuring project success.  Mrs. Allen will participate in Project Leadership Team meetings and assist northeastern Ohio districts as they work through project.  Mrs. Allen will ensure her ESC and northeastern Ohio partner districts adhere to Assurances. 

Qualifications: 

Suzanne Allen has held the following positions in education: school psychologist, Special Education Director, Pupil Personnel Director, Curriculum Consultant, and currently Assistant Superintendent at the ESC. She has supervised a staff of teachers, school psychologists, guidance counselors and related service personnel. She has implemented K-12 Response to Intervention systems, formative and summative assessment systems and provided trainings in data driven decision making. As lead applicant in consortium grants addressing student achievement, she has lead districts to re-schedule daily classes to provide teachers collaboration time within the school day, three times per week, align assessments, content and instruction to state standards, and establish intervention assistance systems to address student academic and behavioral needs. Mrs. Allen is the director of Geauga County’s P-16 Initiative and as such has worked to bring key stakeholders together to leverage resources focused on student success. This initiative has established good working relationships with local higher education institutions, businesses, chambers of commerce, governmental agencies and nonprofit entities. The P-16’s Shared Services committee has resulted in 3 Local Government Innovation Fund Grant Awards, involving townships, police departments, school districts, County Engineer, Ohio Dept. of Transportation and County Commissioners. Mrs. Allen has written, submitted and managed several state and foundation grants: ODE - ACCESS, ODE - OISM, ODE/OBR High School Higher Education Alignment, Cleveland Foundation P-16 Grant, ODE-Alternative Challenge Grant.

Experience: 

Allen serves on the Board of the Greater Cleveland Educational Development Center. The Greater Cleveland Educational Development Center (GCEDC) is a consortium of area school districts, educational agencies and the Cleveland State University College of Education and Human Services brought together to exchange ideas, discuss common concerns, and consolidate resources. This partnership strives to serve the needs of all members in the area of professional development. Currently the GCEDC serves 60 school districts and educational institutions. The GCEDC hosts timely and topical workshops, facilitates networks and provides personalized consultation for area educators. Ms. Allen is an OPES trainer and has worked closely with Lake Erie College's Teacher Prep Program, as class speaker on current topics and facilitator of student/K-12 teacher discussions.

David Burns

BattelleEd/BSIN Project Director
Responsibilities: 

Mr. Burns will supervise and oversee all BattelleEd/OSLN supports and activities related to enhancing the educational experience and opportunities for students attending consortium schools. Burns will leverage his experience in school design, education reform and spreading innovative school models, to improve consortium capacity to disseminate and replicate the described project via the BSIN. 

Qualifications: 

David Burns is currently Director of Battelle STEM Innovation Networks and an officer of BattelleEd, which manages a portfolio of STEM networks including the 20-state STEMx network, the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) and the Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN). Burns brings private and public sector knowledge and experience to his position at BattelleEd/BSIN. Before entering the education arena, Burns spent 15 years in the hospitality business, developing multi-million dollar restaurant designs and executing a wide variety of business plans. Prior to that, he worked with the Disney Corporation, specifically on the EPCOT (Experimental Community of Tomorrow) project. For 3 years prior to joining Battelle, David Burns was Executive Director of the Office of Workforce Development and Secondary Education at the Ohio Department of Education, comprised primarily of the offices of Career-Technical Education and Middle and High School Transformation Initiatives. His work while leading this office included state policy efforts that pioneered credit flexibility, STEM schools, STEM networks and stackable certificates.  David Burns has a bachelor's degree in educational leadership from University of Kentucky and has a master's degree in english language and literature. 

Experience: 

As Chief of Staff of Cincinnati Public Schools, David Burns was instrumental in the district’s high school restructuring project that resulted in a dramatic increase in the state’s third largest urban district. Since joining OSLN/BattelleEd in 2008, Burns has been primarily focused on the start-up and sustainability of ten statewide STEM schools in Ohio, ensuring creativity and innovation in school design, and connecting those schools through a state STEM network design. The success with Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) led the State of Tennessee to ask Burns to aid them in starting their own state STEM network of schools. Essentially, David Burns supported Tennessee in replicating the OSLN, taking the lessons learned from Ohio and creating the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN). Through the TSIN he has facilitated the start-up and launch of another ten STEM schools, in Tennessee. By leading the charge in Ohio and Tennessee, David Burns has been influential in the creation of the 20-state STEMx network of state-based STEM networks focused on supporting STEM innovation in classrooms in states like North Carolina, New York, Texas, and Washington. 

Dustin Pyles

BattelleEd/OSLN Project Manager
Responsibilities: 

Mr. Pyles will support College Ready Ohio leadership in the implementation of projects. On a day-to-day basis, he will coordinate and manage professional development contracts on behalf of ESCCO and partners. Dustin will assist project leadership team and consortium members in expanding partnerships that will enhance and increase opportunities for students. He will ensure connectivity and collaborations with the Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) schools, regional hubs and regional training center sites located throughout Ohio. Pyles will facilitate project team’s participation in the larger state STEM networks as well as the multi-state STEMx network. 

Qualifications: 

Dustin Pyles is the BattelleEd/Ohio STEM Learning Network Director of Operations. In this capacity he cultivates strategic STEM partnerships and collaborations throughout Ohio and nationally, ultimately enhancing STEM opportunities for students and educators. He manages operations and advocacy of the statewide STEM network impacting more than 30 schools and training center sites, including technical assistance, contracts/grants administration, development, policy-making and relationship management. Pyles facilitates and generates content for internal and external funding proposals and reviews other stakeholders' funding requests. Most recently, he has overseen the $4.9 million Priority 2/STEM Area of Ohio's Race to the Top (RttT) project/contract(s) including equipping eight regional training centers sites in Ohio STEM demonstration sites, collaborating with network partners to provide intensive technical assistance and professional development within schools identified as persistently lowest-achieving (PLA) and/or being school improvement grant (SIG) funded or eligible. This work has also garnered partnerships with Ohio’s public universities related to pre- and in-service teacher preparation programs. Pyles has been influential in advocating for STEM-related initiatives and changes to current policy and legislation enabling for the growth and maturity of STEM education in Ohio. Prior to OSLN, Dustin Pyles held top-management, program leadership and support positions at the Ohio Auditor of State, the Ohio Department of Education, Tri-Rivers Educational Computer Association (TRECA)/TRECA Digital Academy and the Ohio Historical Society. Pyles holds a Bachelors of Arts with concentrations in public administration, political science and HR management as well as master's degree in public and business administration. 

Experience: 

Pyles has supported the implementation and spread of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported College Ready Tools (CRTs) - leveraging the network infrastructure to deploy the tools in Ohio and other states (NY, TX, NC, TN, ID, PA). Through a grant from the Ohio Department of Education, Office of Career Technical Education, he manages the Ohio Equity in STEM grades 7-8 project, seeking to leverage the OSLN training center infrastructure to train educators on strategies that improve non-traditional participation in STEM career pathways. He represents OSLN and Ohio stakeholders on inter-agency committees, national advisory boards and boards of directors as well as through presentations and panel discussions at regional, state and national convening(s). Dustin manages relationships and projects with local, state and federal government agencies and organization partners and coordinates technical assistance for designing and starting new STEM schools, programs and initiative as well as the Ohio STEM school designation process via the network and expertise. Since joining OSLN in 2011, Pyles has partnered with, advocated for, and actively supported the development of nine of the state’s most recent STEM schools and all eight regional training center sites throughout Ohio. 

Heather Sherman

Battelle Education/OSLN Relationship Manager
Responsibilities: 

Heather will work closely with College Ready Ohio program leadership and act as a liaison to school district leadership to provide support for school district implementation of the grant deliverables.  She and the team at Battelle Education’s Ohio STEM Learning Network will help the partner districts identify needs and barriers to project implementation and provide support to help overcome those challenges.  Heather will assist in the creation and delivery of the Innovative Leader Institute, designed to increase the capacity of school leadership to expand and enhance digital learning environments and successfully implement the College Credit Plus program.  In addition, she will coordinate the dissemination of stipends and honoraria for teachers and schools, and help coordinate visits to innovative schools throughout the state. 

Qualifications: 

Heather is a Project Manager for Battelle Education’s Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN).  In this capacity, she leverages the expertise and experience of the network in support of ongoing STEM projects in Ohio, and helps connect schools and district leadership to these resources.  Prior to joining Battelle Education, Ms. Sherman worked at Franklin University as the Assistant Director of the Student Learning Center. She also holds an MBA from Franklin University, and a Bachelor’s degree in English from Roanoke College. 

Experience: 

Since joining Battelle Education in October, Ms. Sherman has represented Battelle Education/OSLN on the day-to-day tasks related to the College Ready Ohio project.  Although new to Battelle, she offers nine years of experience working in higher education, managing academic support and scholarship programs for non-traditional students.  In addition, Ms. Sherman has experience designing, developing and delivering classes and academic support in an online environment.  Ms. Sherman is also an adjunct faculty member in Franklin University’s developmental education program.