Small Board Members w/Bios
Laura has a passion for students who have fallen through the cracks – due to disability, economic status, addiction, pregnancy or zip code. For 30 years she has worked as a teacher, administrator and consultant in a wide variety of schools and programs. In addition, she has served on various nonprofit boards for organizations striving for social justice and economic development. Laura joined Edmentum in 2017. Laura earned a BA from Kenyon College in Ohio and a Master’s from the University of Phoenix. She has been married to Morgan from more than thirty years and together they have four children and two grandchildren.
Madison believes a student’s zip code shouldn’t seal their fate on academic opportunity. She previously served as a Teach for America Corp Member in Dallas, Texas, teaching both kindergarten and 3rd grade. During her time in the classroom, she became passionate about connecting educators with online programs and instructional best practices that improve teaching and learning for today’s students. She has been a member of the Edmentum team since 2014, serving in a number of marketing roles, including most recently Marketing Program Manager. Madison earned an A.B.J. in Advertising from the University of Georgia.
Brianna is a passionate marketer and lifelong learner. Currently, she is a Consultant for Crescendo Fundraising Professionals leading strategic/communications planning, the support of client brand strategy and coordination/collaboration of all volunteers. Prior to joining Crescendo, Brianna served as a Marketing Manager for Edmentum. She holds a BA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from The University of St. Thomas and an MBA from Concordia University, St. Paul.
Larry is a coach, author, and educator. He is the first coach to win four straight state titles in the 100-year history of the Minnesota State Boys Basketball. In 2017, Larry became the first coach in Minnesota high school basketball history to lead two separate schools to multiple titles, both Minneapolis Patrick Henry and Minneapolis North. He is a long-time community and youth advocate with 20 plus years of experience working with urban youth. His service to young people has earned him numerous awards and recognition including KARE 11’s Eleven Who Care, KTCA’s Everyday Hero, the Minneapolis Park Board’s Volunteer of the Year, and Positive Image Father of the Year. In 2014, Larry McKenzie became the first African-American coach selected to the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. His commitment to the community has been valued as a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Alumni Chapter; serving on the Metropolitan Council Minority Issues Advisory Committee, and as a board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Minneapolis, the North Community YMCA, the Northside Development Council, and numerous other nonprofit organizations. Larry’s professional background includes 25 years of business experience in management, sales, and marketing—including 10 years in the non-profit sector. His experience includes serving as Executive Director of Hospitality House Youth Directions, an urban youth ministry; the Urban Director at Youth Frontiers, which provides character education to numerous Minnesota schools; and Executive Director and Charter School Liaison for Pillsbury United Communities. He is also co- founder of the Above The Rim Youth Sports Foundation, along with his wife Pamela Wilkins- McKenzie.
Joseph received his B.A. form the University of North Texas with a major in Strategic Management and a minor in Information Systems. He spent many years working in IT for major corporations such as EDS and Southwest Airlines where he served as a computer programmer, contingency planner, and a quality assurance analyst. About the same time Joseph adopted his oldest son, he decided he was ready for a career with a little more meaning. Joseph became an ESL teacher through alternative certification and was quickly recognized for his dedication to the field of education. He was named East Dallas Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year as well as the NAAC National Teacher of the Year. After enrolling at The University of Texas at Arlington to pursue a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction, followed by an administrative certification, Joseph also began developing curriculum, teaching both online and in-person courses, and designing college level courses for several universities including; DCCC, UNT, UTA, UCLA, and Cambridge University. Joseph later became a school administrator and eventually joined the Edmentum team as a pre-sales consultant, a territory manager, and most recently as a curriculum manager.
Brandon is a millennial and native of San Antonio who found inspiration at the nexus of business, community, and mentorship. Brandon has carved a niche for himself as an entrepreneur, advocate, and speaker on all topics relating to diversity, business, and service. From receiving the San Antonio Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Rising Star Award and the 2016 Community Impact Award by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., to being honored as a Community Legend by the San Antonio Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and being named by Essence Magazine as one of the 50 “Baddest Brothers” in America, Brandon’s accomplishments have been noted on local, national, and international levels. For his contributions, he has also received recognition from President Barack H. Obama, the United States Marine Corps, Rotary International, SA2020, and the San Antonio Express-News. Currently, Brandon serves on the Board of Trustees at Hallmark University and on the Board of Directors at The We Can Learn Foundation, KLRN, Najim Family Foundation, Pre-K 4 San Antonio, Rotary Club of San Antonio, SAISD Foundation, and Valero Alamo Bowl. In addition, Brandon serves on the Advisory Boards for the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind and TexStar National Bank.
Deana Jean is a New Yorker and holds degrees in Int’l Business, Finance and Spanish. She has been in Education Management since 2003 and with Edmentum since 2011, always with a focus on equity through education. Over the last decade she has served as a Solutions Consultant, Regional Vice President at Edmentum. She is currently the Director of Sales at Flocabulary. Although Deana began her education in one of the most impoverished communities in Brooklyn, she has had the opportunity to attend and excel at some of the most prominent and prestigious educational institutions in this country. Her oldest son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, but reads, speaks, understands and engages far beyond what has ever been expected or predicted of him; and he’s just getting started. The two key things that have driven her and her son’s individual successes are unmatched will, and access to tools and resources that broke down barriers, and were not limited by our ethnicity, socio-economic conditions, or perceived cognitive abilities.
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Carly Myers is a senior at Austin College majoring in History with a double minor in Education and Political Science. Carly is enrolled in the Austin Teacher Program where she will graduate with a Master of Arts in Teaching in 2020. She actively involved at Austin College and serves as a leader in multiple organizations, including the former secretary of student government and president of Greek Executive Council. She has worked for Duke University and currently interns at Edmentum as a Social Studies curriculum developer. Carly developed a passion for education reform early on in her college career. In January of 2017, she traveled to Costa Rica to volunteer at a non-profit establishing a summer camp for local students. As an aspiring educator, Carly hopes to bring change into her classroom by fostering student development programs and initiatives that address eliminating inequalities.
Tina has over 20 years of experience working in the field of education. She has served as a community college instructor, a counselor for students with disabilities, and an educational technology sales executive. She is currently a doctoral candidate studying education leadership and management. Her particular interest is in change management in education, and she believes equity and access for all learners should be a primary concern during change initiatives.
Christy has been with Edmentum since 2001. She is a former English language arts teacher for secondary and postsecondary institutions. During her time at Edmentum, Christy has served in a variety of roles within the organization focusing on Edmentum’s curriculum development strategy and was most recently appointed Edmentum’s vice president of curriculum and assessment development. Overall, she has spent more than 17 years supporting students and teachers in the field of education. Her experiences have allowed her to bring educational and business expertise together to lead an amazing team of curriculum and design experts who develop online courses, assessments, and other digital age learning products. Christy holds a B.A. in English from the University of West Georgia and an M.A. in English from East Tennessee State University.
Payton earned a B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma, followed by a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and another in Educational Administration, and she is currently wrapping up a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Texas A&M – Commerce. Payton worked as a design editor for both Signature Kitchens & Baths and Signature Pools & Outdoors and dabbled in event coordinating before deciding the intrinsic rewards that come with working in education were worth the most to her. She has taught grades 4 through 9 in private and public schools, including Glenview Christian, Canton ISD, and Dallas ISD. While working in Dallas ISD, she also worked as the academic facilitator, supporting the work of instructional coaches and design district professional development. Payton joined the Edmentum team in August of 2015 first as a curriculum developer and is serving currently as an implementation consultant. She also works as a freelance editor and writer. Outside of work, Payton spends time weekly with local public school campuses and has fulfilled many roles with Junior League of Arlington, including membership vice president on the board of directors, elevated leadership institute coordinator, and admissions chair. She is also a member of the alumnae chapter of her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta.