Customized ConsultingSchoolRise USA

Our Team

SchoolRise® consultants are ‘Experts with Heart’ who boost the expertise of teachers and leaders alike. Our consultants are experienced presenters and teacher educators – professors, curriculum leaders, principals – who know the needs of schools and classroom teachers, as well as current research. With a team of over 40 consultants nationwide, SchoolRise has served over 150 schools throughout the United States, with ongoing efforts in Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and New York.

  • Kathryn Au Ph.D. | National Consultant & Chief Executive Officer

    Kathryn H. Au, Ph.D. is Chief Executive Officer of SchoolRise, LLC. Her research interests are school change, culturally responsive instruction, and the literacy achievement of students of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Dr. Au established her reputation as a literacy researcher while working at the Kamehameha Elementary Education Program (KEEP), a widely cited research and development project investigating the successful schooling of Native Hawaiian students. In collaboration with Taffy Raphael, she has engaged in long-term research on turnaround efforts in approximately 150 schools. She is the first person to hold an endowed chair in education at the University of Hawaii. She has published extensively, and her latest book is Literacy Achievement and Diversity: Keys to Success for Students, Teachers, and Schools (Teachers College Press, 2011). In 1999 she received the Oscar Causey Award for Outstanding Contributions to Reading Research and was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame. She has been recognized as a distinguished graduate by the education alumni associations of the University of Hawaii and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She received the Kamehameha Schools Native Hawaiian Education Award for her role as founder of the non-profit Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture (INPEACE). She has been president of the International Reading Association (2009-10) and the Literacy Research Association (formerly, National Reading Conference, 1996-97), as well as vice president of the American Educational Research Association (1992-94).
  • Audrey-Amrein Beardsley Ph.D. | Manager of the Program Evaluation Division

    Audrey-Amrein Beardsley, Ph.D., is an Arizona-based SchoolRise Manager of the Program Evaluation Division. She specializes in research and program evaluation methods, and educational measurement, instrumentation, and validation. She is also currently a professor of educational policy, with an emphasis in research and program evaluation methods, at Arizona State University. She received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University in Education Policy, with an emphasis in research and program evaluation methods. She likes having the opportunity at SchoolRise to engage with and help others who are working to improve the education of America’s children and youth.

  • Laura Beltchenko M.A. | Consultant

    Laura Beltchenko is an Illinois-based SchoolRise English/Language Arts Consultant who specializes in the area of literacy development for striving and gifted readers, and administrative curriculum, instruction, and assessment literacy. She recently retired from the position of Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for a K-12 grade school district in Illinois. She received her M.A. as a Reading Specialist from Eastern Michigan University and her Educational Leadership and Administration Certification from Loyola University, Chicago. She began her doctoral studies in Reading and Language Arts from National-Louis University in Skokie, Illinois. She is an avid collector of children’s picture books and presents on the “Historical and Hysterical Perspective of the United States Through the Lens of Golden Books.” Her favorite quote comes from O.W. Holmes: “A mind that is stretched to a new idea, never returns to its original dimension.”
  • Fenice Boyd Ph.D. | Director, Higher Education Services

    Fenice B. Boyd, Ph.D., is a New York-based SchoolRise Director of Higher Education Services and Project Leader of the SchoolRise Teacher Education Fellows. She specializes in Common Core State Standards, writing genres, topics of diversity writ large, and adolescents’ literacy learning and practices in and out of school. She is an Associate Professor at University at Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education. She received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy. Fenice enjoys the opportunities at SchoolRise because of the high professional and intellectual expectations for classroom teachers. One of her favorite quotes related to education is from Nelson Mandela: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
  • Pamela Brunskill M.Ed. | Consultant

    Pamela Brunskill is a New York-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in language arts with a focus on writing instruction. She is the founder of Authors and Educators, LLC, where she works with authors to develop educational resources for their books. Previously she taught pre-service teachers at Bloomsburg and Bucknell Universities, as well as 3rd and 6th grade students in Clarence Central Schools. She received her master’s degree from the University at Buffalo in Education, and is currently working towards her literacy specialist certification there. One of her favorite education quotes comes from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”
  • Jackie Carroll M.Ed. | Consultant

    Jacquelin H. Carroll is a Hawaii-based SchoolRise Lead Consultant who specializes in language arts, indigenous education, and special education. She works with the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture (INPEACE) on teacher education and college programs and was formerly an instructor with the University of Hawaii College of Education. Carroll received her M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii. She has extensive experience K-12 in the role of classroom teacher, curriculum developer, professional development provider, evaluator, and school improvement consultant. She is interested in issues of literacy, struggling learners, and indigenous education. Jackie enjoys the opportunities at SchoolRise to support classroom teachers in their challenging work with students. She likes the collaborative nature of their work together.
  • Michelle Doherty M.Ed. | Manager & Lead Consultant of the West Division

    Michelle Doherty is an Arizona-based SchoolRise Manager & Lead Consultant of the West Division. She has led professional development for the Standards Based Change Process in her district, run the 21st Century before/after school program at two schools in her district, and is a consultant for a summer learning collaboration program to prevent summer reading loss. She also teaches first grade in a Dual Language classroom and is a mentor teacher. Michelle received her M.Ed. from Arizona State University in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in reading and early childhood education. She feels it is a privilege and honor to work with an organization like SchoolRise that values the uniqueness of every school, respects the core value system that may already be in place, and supports rigorous intentional learning for all students.
  • Patricia A. Edwards Ph.D. | Consultant

    Patricia A. Edwards, Ph.D., is a Michigan-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in parent involvement; home, school, community partnerships; multicultural literacy; early literacy; and family/intergenerational literacy, especially among poor and minority families and children. She is a Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Teacher Education, and a Senior University Outreach Fellow, at Michigan State University. She has developed two nationally acclaimed family literacy programs: Parents as Partners in Reading and Talking Your Way to Literacy. She received her Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison in Reading Education and Educational Administration. She enjoys working for SchoolRise because it empowers teachers and provides the strategies for them to improve literacy learning in their school and individual classroom. Her favorite quote related to education comes from Lynn Fielding, Nancy Kerr, and Paul Rosier: “We never really leave our non-reading children behind. We may forget about them, but we are chained to them socially and economically. Like a ship and its anchor, we must either lift them up or drag them along behind us.”
  • Angela Fortune M.Ed. | Consultant

    Angela Fortune is an Illinois-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in language arts, writing, and disciplinary literacy. Her work spans Pre-K through 12th grades in the roles of classroom teacher, district literacy director, secondary literacy coach, college adjunct instructor, and education consultant. She is a research assistant for Project READi, a national research project at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she is currently a Ph.D. student in the Literacy, Language, and Culture program. Angela appreciates the way that SchoolRise works collaboratively with schools to empower teachers and administrators in striving for sustainable school change. A favorite quote that guides her work comes from Socrates: “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”
  • Stephanie Furuta Ph.D. | Consultant

    Stephanie Furuta, Ph.D., is a Hawaii-based SchoolRise Consultant. She is a faculty member in the Institute for Teacher Education at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Before receiving her Ph.D. in Education at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, she received her B.A. from the University of Oregon and her Master’s degree in teaching from Oregon State University. One of Stephanie’s favorite quotes is “Teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning.”
  • Julie German-Murrey Ed.D. | Consultant

    Julie German-Murrey is a Michigan-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in school leadership and school improvement. She worked with diverse learners in a variety of middle school settings (rural to urban) for 13 years as a language arts teacher, assistant principal, and principal. She received a Doctorate of Education with a focus in Leadership from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. She also has a Master of Education with a focus in Leadership and a Master of Arts with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction. Julie’s favorite quote related to education is from Rita Pierson: “Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be.”

  • René Hauser Ph.D. | Consultant

    René Hauser is a New York-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in Differentiated Instruction, Special Education, Gifted Education, and co-teaching. She is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at St. Bonaventure University and the Accreditation Coordinator for the School. She received her PhD. from the University at Buffalo in Learning and Instruction with a focus on Special Education. In her “spare” time she likes to drive demolition derby cars. She is excited to work with SchoolRise because of their dedication to empowering teachers and educational teams to better meet the needs of all students. One of her favorite educational quotes comes from Yoda:  “You must unlearn what you have learned.”
  • Ann Hodgins Ed.D. | Consultant

    Ann Hodgins, Ed.D., is an Arizona-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in reading and writing. Ann has 27 years of teaching experience, including elementary school Music, third grade ESL, and junior high Reading. She is currently a literacy instructor working with preservice teachers at Arizona State University. Ann received her Ed.D. from Arizona State University in Educational Leadership and Innovation. Her doctoral research was presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. One of Ann’s favorite quotes related to education comes from Khalil Gibran: “The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”
  • Kim Hoke M.B.A., M.A.T. | Lead Consultant & Needs Assessment Team Manager

    Kim Hoke is a Michigan-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in math, social studies, and data analysis. She also serves as SchoolRise’s Needs Assessment Team Manager. She recently retired from teaching in the Berkley, Michigan school district, where she taught 4th grade for 12 years. Prior to that she worked with middle school students in Birmingham, Michigan for six years. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master in Business Administration (marketing and market research) from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts in Teaching (major in social studies and minor in math) from Wayne State University. She particularly enjoys working with the high-energy people of SchoolRise and the clients they attract! She ascribes to the Chinese proverb that says, “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”
  • Cynthia Holman B.A. | Consultant

    Cynthia Holman is a Michigan-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in 1st through 6th grade language arts and science. She is currently retired after 40 years of teaching in both private and public schools in Illinois and Michigan, 32 years of which were in Howell Michigan Public Schools. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois in Biology and Language Arts; graduate work completed in Guidance and Counseling from Eastern Michigan University. Throughout her teaching career, her dream was to help principals and teachers to work together to improve student learning. SchoolRise is fulfilling that dream by listening and working with educators and administrators, helping them build on common ground.
  • Megan Hughes Ph.D. | Consultant

    Megan Hughes is an Illinois-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in special education, content area reading and writing, and high school to college transitions. She is Assistant Professor of Reading and English at Prairie State College and also serves as the Coordinator of Reading. She received her doctorate from University of Illinois at Chicago with a focus on medical literacy and adult education. What she enjoys most about working as a consultant with SchoolRise is the opportunity to meet and collaborate with educators from across the region.
  • Joyce Iwashita M.Ed. | Consultant

    Joyce Iwashita is a Hawaii-based consultant who specializes in Professional Development. She was formerly a Principal with the Hawaii Department of Education at the elementary and the secondary levels. Joyce received her M.Ed. from Heritage College (University of Hawaii). She has experiences in teaching elementary and middle school students. Her favorite quote related to education comes from Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
  • Alice Kawakami Ph.D. | Consultant

    Alice J. Kawakami, Ph.D., is a Hawaii-based SchoolRise lead consultant who specializes in language arts, classroom organization and management, and indigenous education and evaluation. She was formerly Professor in the College of Education, University of Hawaii. Kawakami received her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Hawaii. She has extensive experience in elementary settings in the role of classroom teacher, curriculum developer, research director, professional development provider, evaluator, and school improvement consultant. She is interested in issues of literacy and equity and indigenous education and evaluation. One of her favorite quotes that she aims to live by is from Paul Halmos: “The best way to learn is to do; the worst way to teach is to talk.”
  • Christa Kileff B.A. | Operations and Accounts Office Manager

    Christa Kileff is the Missouri-based SchoolRise Operations and Accounts Office Manager. Christa was formerly the Bindery and Preservation Associate at the Loyola University Chicago Libraries, has served as a Language Instructor with The Japanese Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET) in Morioka, Japan, and as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Qamm, Kingdom of Jordan. She received her bachelor’s degree from Lake Forest College in Art History and Asian Studies. She feels privileged to work in the growth-fostering, people-centered environment of SchoolRise.
  • Gayle Lovett M.Ed. | Consultant

    Gayle Lovett is an Arizona-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in literacy and early elementary education. She is currently teaching second grade in an ELL classroom and is also a mentor teacher. She received her M.Ed from Arizona State University in Elementary Education and has an emphasis in early childhood education and reading. She set out to work with SchoolRise because she has witnessed firsthand how the SchoolRise process has helped to empower and support teachers. The change-base model helps the schools to make decisions and provide best practices to ensure their students’ academic success. Her favorite quote comes from Margaret Mead:  “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”
  • Vail Matsumoto Ph.D. | Consultant

    Vail Matsumoto, Ph.D., is a Hawaii-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in language arts. She is on faculty at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the College of Education. She received her Master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Educational Foundations. Her favorite quote related to education comes from Aristotle: “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
  • Kimberlee Militello M. A. | Lead Consultant

    Kimberlee D. Militello is an Illinois-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in supporting teachers and schools in reading and writing. She also has expertise in supporting RTI initiatives, special education students with significant emotional disabilities, and English language learners. She currently works as a 7th grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher. Additionally, she teaches a graduate class on assessment for minority students. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in special education from the University of Northern Colorado. She enjoys working for SchoolRise because the company offers real solutions that are based on students’ needs, not trends.
  • Marissa Montgomery M.Ed, M.A.T. | Director of Communications & Technology

    Marissa Montgomery is a Texas-based SchoolRise Director of Communications and Technology. Her previous roles include liaison for Partnership READ, classroom teacher (Grades 1, 2, 4), Reading Recovery teacher, and small group literacy instructor (Grades 1-6). She received her M.Ed. in Literacy, Language, and Culture from The University of Illinois at Chicago and her M.A.T. from Austin College in Sherman, Texas. She regards working for SchoolRise as her dream job since it offers opportunities to keep current in the field of education, and she can support her colleagues behind the scenes, while having the flexibility to be home with her young children.
  • Julia Myers Ed.D. | Consultant & RFP Project Manager (Hawaii RFP)

    Julia Myers, Ed.D., is a Washington-based SchoolRise consultant specializing in mathematics teaching and learning. She also serves as SchoolRise’s RFP Project Manager (Hawaii RFP). She received her doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis in Mathematics Education, from Montana State University, and has over 25 years of experience in teaching mathematics, preparing pre-service teachers, and collaborating with and supporting in-service teachers in an effort to improve teaching and learning. She has worked with diverse populations across the country and is passionate about ensuring educational opportunity and achievement for all students.
  • Susan V. Piazza Ph.D. | Lead Consultant

    Susan V. Piazza, Ph.D., is a Michigan-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in language arts and literate thinking. She is an Associate Professor of Literacy Studies at Western Michigan University. Piazza received her doctorate from Wayne State University in Reading, Language, & Literature with a minor in Curriculum and Instruction. She has extensive experience in elementary settings in the roles of classroom teacher, mentor to student teachers, researcher, professional development provider, and school improvement consultant. She holds professional leadership positions in state, national, and international organizations and collaborates with K-12 schools locally and nationally. She is interested in issues of equity, culturally responsive literacy practices, and school change. She is grateful to be working with SchoolRise because she shares the same core values and passion for supporting educators to develop and implement curriculum and instruction that meets the unique needs of each community that we serve. She loves the high level of professionalism and integrity that our work is grounded in.
  • Jacquelynn S. Popp M.Ed. | Consultant

    Jacquelynn S. Popp is an Illinois-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in PK-12 literacy teaching and learning, with a focus on teacher professional growth and disciplinary literacy. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where she is employed as a graduate research assistant for a national research project, Project READI. She also teaches graduate courses at UIC and Northeastern Illinois University. She enjoys working for SchoolRise because it empowers teachers and supports productive collaboration among educators in the service of meeting the diverse needs of students.
  • Taffy E. Raphael Ph.D. | National Consultant & President

    Taffy E. Raphael, Ph.D. is Emeritus Professor of Literacy Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and President of SchoolRise, LLC. Dr. Raphael’s research interests include strategy instruction in comprehension and writing, frameworks for literacy curriculum and instruction (e.g., QAR, Book Club Plus), and literacy improvement, especially in schools enrolling diverse students. She directed Partnership READ (2002-2011), a school-university partnership to improve literacy instruction through professional development funded by the Chicago Community Trust and recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education’s 2006 Best Practices Award for Effective Partnerships. She has published several books, including QAR Now (Scholastic, 2006) and over 100 articles and chapters. She received the International Reading Association’s Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award in 1997, the 2007 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Distinguished Alumni Award, the 2011 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Distinguished Alumni Award, and the 2008 National Reading Conference Oscar Causey Award for Lifetime Contributions to Literacy Research. She has been a Fellow of the National Council of Research in Language and Literacy since 1996 and member of the Reading Hall of Fame since 2002. She served on the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association (2007-2010). At the Literacy Research Association she was on the Board of Directors (1987-1989) and served as Treasurer (1989-1992) and President (1999-2000).
  • Jennifer Reichenberg Ph.D. | Consultant

    Jennifer Reichenberg is a New York-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in literacy curriculum, instruction, and leadership. She is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Education at Medaille College. She earned her Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo in Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning with a specialization in Literacy. The core values of SchoolRise resonate with her belief that collaborative professional development based upon the unique needs of each local context is fundamental to supporting students’ learning.

  • Diane Richards M.S.Ed. | Consultant

    Diane Richards is a New York-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in primary school language arts. She recently retired from the Whitney Point Central School District after a 37-year teaching career, mainly in kindergarten. She continues to be an adjunct lecturer since 2006 at SUNY Cortland, for both the Literacy and Childhood/Early Childhood Departments. Diane received her Masters of Science in Education, with a concentration in Early Childhood in 1987 from SUNY Cortland. She has conducted numerous literacy workshops throughout Broome County schools. Diane’s favorite quote is a Latin Proverb: “By learning you will teach; by teaching you will learn.”
  • Daryl Robbins M.A. | Consultant

    Daryl Robbins is a Michigan-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in educational leadership, language arts, principal and aspiring principal mentoring, and school improvement. She spent six years as an elementary school teacher and then thirteen years as an elementary school principal, the last eleven of these with the Berkley School District in Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and her Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Teaching, both from Michigan State University. She received her Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Oakland University. Daryl’s favorite quote related to education is from Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”
  • Michael Robert Ed.D. | Lead Consultant

    Michael Robert is an Arizona-based SchoolRise Consultant who specializes in school leadership, literacy, early childhood education, dual language studies, and second language acquisition. He is currently principal at Encanto Elementary School in Phoenix. He received his Doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from Arizona State University, as well as Master’s degrees in Multicultural Education from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and in Montessori Elementary Education from Loyola College in Maryland. A favorite quote comes from Maria Montessori:  “The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.”
  • Lynn Shanahan Ph.D. | Lead Consultant

    Lynn E. Shanahan, Ph.D., is a New York-based SchoolRise consultant whose work includes being an elementary teacher, reading specialist, English Language Arts Coordinator, and provider of numerous sustained professional development opportunities focused on aspects of literacy.  She is an associate professor at the University at Buffalo where she researches video reflection, the development of strategic readers and writers, and multimodal composing with digital technologies.  She received her Ph.D. from University at Buffalo in Reading Education.  One of her favorite quotes related to education comes from Benjamin Franklin: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
  • Lucia Stewart M.Ed. | Consultant

    Lucia N. Stewart is a Hawai’i-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in language arts. She is a retired elementary school principal from the Hawai’i Department of Education who strongly believes in continuous systematic professional development for all schools. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, an M.Ed. in Professional Development from Heritage University, Toppinish, WA, and another M.Ed. in Educational Administration from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She likes working with SchoolRise because the organization promotes high-level teacher engagement and teamwork to enable school improvement, and ultimately student success.
  • Mary Pat Sullivan M.Ed. | Consultant & Accounts Receivable Coordinator

    Mary Pat Sullivan is an Illinois-based SchoolRise consultant and Accounts Receivable Coordinator who specializes in literacy and early elementary education. She has taught Head Start and kindergarten through second grade in urban and suburban districts across both private and public school systems in Illinois and New Jersey. Currently, she is working toward a Ph.D. in Literacy, Language and Culture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. At SchoolRise, she particularly enjoys working with the interpretation of student data and other information to help educators make decisions regarding effective assessment and instruction to support student learning.
  • Amy Waechter-Versaw M.Ed. | Lead Consultant

    Amy Waechter-Versaw is an Indiana-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in elementary literacy instruction.  She is a doctoral candidate, and former teacher, coach, and school leader. She received her M.Ed. from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2003. A quote that resonates with her comes from Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
  • Melanie Walski Ph.D. | Consultant

    Melanie Walski is an Illinois-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in reading. She recently worked as a graduate research assistant for the Center for Literacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago before earning her Ph.D. in the Literacy, Language, and Culture program. Melanie received her M.A.E.D. from Dominican University in reading with a reading specialist certification. One of her favorite quotes that guides her work in education is from Charles Payne who said, “There are no simple solutions to complex problems.”
  • Mary Walter M.S.Ed. | Consultant

    Mary Walter is a New York-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in elementary reading, intervention (RTI), mentoring new teachers, and data analysis. She is currently retired after teaching over 32 years as a K-5 reading specialist in both suburban and rural schools. She also has experience as a Reading Recovery teacher, literacy coach, staff development provider, and grant writer. In addition, she teaches an undergraduate elementary literacy course at Daemen College. She received her B.S in Elementary Education, N-6 and M.S. in Reading, K-12 from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. One of her favorite quotes related to education comes from Albert Einstein: “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think!”
  • Kate Weber Ph.D. | Consultant & Vice President - Business Development

    Kate Weber, Ph.D., is a Michigan-based Vice President at SchoolRise, as well as Director of Internal Professional Development. She has served as a consultant and lead consultant for SchoolRise since 2005. Kate has extensive experience supporting schools to build capacity for long-term improvement. She served as Assistant Director of Partnership READ at University of Illinois at Chicago and Assistant Professor of literacy at Arizona State University. She received her Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Chicago in Literacy, Language, and Culture.
  • Cheryl Wiens M.Ed. | Consultant

    Cheryl Wiens is an Arizona-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in elementary literacy and social studies. She was formerly a clinical instructor at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University where she continues as a faculty adjunct teaching literacy methods, children’s literature, and elementary social studies methods classes. She received her Master’s degree in reading education from Arizona State University. As a teacher consultant with the Arizona Geographic Alliance, Cheryl works to strengthen geography education in Arizona. Cheryl feels that along with developing our students’ reading, writing, math, and science skills, our schools must not neglect to develop civic competence to prepare our children to hold the high office of citizen.
  • Sarah Williams M.Ed. | Consultant & Chief Operating Officer

    Sarah Williams is a Michigan-based SchoolRise Chief Operating Officer and Consultant who specializes in literacy. She received her M.Ed. in Literacy, Language, and Culture from The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Her previous roles include Acting Director of the Reading Clinic at UIC, liaison and project associate for Partnership READ, and classroom teacher in first grade and Spanish (grades K-3). She is honored to work for SchoolRise as it values the uniqueness of each school and institution it works with, and promotes high-level learning for all students.
  • Nance Wilson Ph.D. | Lead Consultant

    Nance S. Wilson, Ph.D., is a New York-based SchoolRise consultant who specializes in middle grades to secondary literacy with an emphasis on language arts and disciplinary literacy. She is currently an Associate Professor of Literacy Education at the State University of New York at Cortland. She received her Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Chicago in Language, Literacy and Culture. Nance enjoys the opportunities at Schoolrise because of her work with classroom teachers in helping them to address the unique needs of their students. Her favorite education quote is from George Washington Carver: “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.”
  • Annette Yamaki M.Ed. | Consultant

    Annette K. Yamaki is a Hawaii-based SchoolRise lead consultant who specializes in language arts. She was formerly an elementary principal and has extensive experience as a vice principal, district resource teacher, Headstart, elementary and middle school teacher. She received her M.Ed. in Elementary Education, Curriculum & Instruction and M.Ed. in Educational Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Annette enjoys her work with SchoolRise because it values and honors educators as professionals, thereby empowering schools to improve and achieve at ever higher levels.