Small Board Members w/Bios
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Michelle D. Barrett is Vice President of Research and Learning Engineering for Edmentum. In her current role, Dr. Barrett guides Edmentum’s research policies and agenda and the design and instrumentation of technologies that improve learner outcomes. Following a first career as a mechanical engineer, Dr. Barrett started her career in education in the classroom, teaching middle and high school mathematics. She has since served as a policy analyst for the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, a consultant within the Colorado Department of Education, and in research, technical, and leadership roles at CTB/McGraw-Hill and Pacific Metrics, and ACT. For the past 15 years, her primary career focus has been the development of software, algorithms, and analytics for assessment and learning solutions. Dr. Barrett is published in the Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, the Journal of Educational Measurement, and Psychometrika and has contributed to book chapters on the topics of measurement and learning engineering. She holds certifications in Scaled Agile, Lean Six Sigma, and Pragmatic Marketing. Dr. Barrett chaired the IEEE Industry Consortium on Learning Engineering SIG on AI and Adaptive Technology in 2018-2019, served on the Program Board for the 2020 and 2021 Human Computer Interaction International Adaptive Instructional Systems Conferences, and currently serves as a reviewer for multiple peer-reviewed journals. She is also on the Board of Directors of the AIS Consortium, an IEEE-ISTO non-profit organization with a mission to support the adoption and advancement of products that use artificial intelligence and advanced technologies to help people learn. Dr. Barrett earned her Bachelor of Science from Stanford University, her Master of Education from Harvard University, a graduate certificate in large scale assessment from the University of Maryland, and her Doctorate of Philosophy in research methodology, data analysis, and measurement from the University of Twente, Netherlands.
Julie has been an educator since 2001. She joined Edmentum in 2019 and teaches Social Studies within Edmentum’s EdOptions Academy. Julie believes that to touch, to shape, and to grow the mind of a child is both a privilege and a responsibility. Therefore, advancing the needs of underserved youth across the world is one of Julie’s main focuses. She volunteers yearly to travel with students abroad spreading a message of peace through understanding so that young people have the opportunity to understand that we are more alike than we are different. She also serves on the Board of Directors for A Mighty Change of Heart, an organization that supports children in foster care, and on a local site council for Girl Scouts. Julie holds a BS in Education from Bucknell University and a Masters in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College.