Staff

KEN SOREY

Acting Executive Director / Director of Data Transformation (K to Career)

Ken is an independent consultant, who recently served as Senior Executive Vice President of Educational Results Partnership.  Ken led statewide and national initiatives that provide actionable data to public schools, districts, colleges and universities leading to improved academic, college completion and workplace outcomes for students through his leadership of CalPassPlus.  He also served as the primary liaison with business leaders to provide them with a focused voice on improving their workforce pipeline.  Ken has 28 years of experience building business and education partnerships and in helping schools and colleges improve student outcomes and prepare the future workforce.

Ken previously led the Bay Area School-to-Career Action Network and co-led the California School-to-Career Action Network.  Prior to his work in education, Ken provided marketing and market research consulting to numerous corporations, small businesses and non-profit organizations.  He has served on the board of directors for the San Francisco School Alliance and several education advisory boards across the state.  He is a transfer student from Foothill Community College, holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from University of California, Berkeley and advanced training at the Culinary Institute of America.

JOHN W. YOUNG, Ph.D.

Senior Advisor, Research & Evaluation

John W. Young previously held positions as the Head of Research for the International Baccalaureate Organization, Director of the Higher Education Research Group at the Educational Testing Service, and as an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at Rutgers University. In 1999, he received the Early Career Contribution Award from the American Educational Research Association’s Committee on Scholars of Color in Education for his research on the academic achievement of students of color. In 2014, he served as the President of the Northeastern Educational Research Association. In his career, he has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and has delivered more than 100 presentations at regional, national, and international conferences. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from New York University, his master’s degree in education from Harvard University, and his master’s degree in statistics and Ph.D. in educational research from Stanford University.

BARBARA ILLOWSKY, Ph.D.

Barbara Illowsky, Senior Advisor, Community College & State Level Mathematics Education

Barbara Illowsky retired after 30 years as a mathematics and statistics professor at De Anza College (CA). She was on loan to many statewide projects and offices, including the California Community Colleges’ (CCC) Online Education Initiative, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges Executive Committee, and the CCC Chancellor’s Office. Barbara is co-author of Introductory Statistics, Introductory Business Statistics, and Elementary Statisticshigh school edition, and open textbooks (OpenStax). She was a board member of the California Mathematics Council, Community Colleges (CMC3) for 18 years, including as president. At the CCC Chancellor’s Office, Barbara oversaw the Basic Skills Initiative, Middle College High School grants, as well as writing OER policy and working for veterans’ support. Barbara teaches annually at the National Center for Developmental Education’s (NCDE) Kellogg Institute and often represents NCDE for developmental mathematics. Barbara is currently the first OER and Innovation Fellow for the Michelson 20MM Foundation. She spends her days advocating for and promoting adoption of OER and zero-cost pathways for students.

 

JAMIE VALENZUELA-MUMAU, Ed.D.

Director of K12 Transformation

Dr. Valenzuela-Mumau is a groundbreaking educational leader with proven success in supporting the professional growth of teachers and administrators. He brings over 20 years of educational experience serving as a teacher, a site and district administrator at both elementary and secondary levels. He most recently has served as an Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services at a county level. His vast expertise along with his professional experiences and successes in improving student outcomes have prepared him to assist with meeting the needs of the educational community.

PATTI DIECK

Co-Director, Foundational Math Projects Group

Patti J. Dieck brings 30 years of teaching experience to her work with NLET.  As philosopher-practitioners who are still full-time teachers, Dieck and business partner Christopher Sarlo believe that the “process of learning” should always be at the center of mathematics instruction, with an emphasis on foundational math. Outside of the classroom, Dieck and Sarlo work facilitate professional development for local school districts, providing elementary math training for teachers. They’ve worked with numerous school districts, teacher centers, and parent groups in New York state and nationally.

Dieck and Sarlo served as content writers for the EngageNY PK-5 Mathematics Modules. Patti helped to create the Grade 4 curriculum and Christopher worked on Grade 5. This work with teachers, mathematicians, and curriculum specialists from across the country allowed them to gain a unique and in-depth understanding of today’s PK-5 Mathematics Standards. They have also worked with Questar Assessment as mathematics assessment item writers, and with A-Net as assessment content editors.

In addition to their work with students and teachers, Dieck and Sarlo have worked to address the issues many parents have with today’s math, publishing a series of six books titled Thinking Math Differently, An Essential Guide for Parents and Teachers, for grades Kindergarten through Grade 5. Positively received by parents, their books are also used by school districts as part of professional development programs, as well as by student teaching supervisors as part of their seminar programs.

At present, both Christopher Sarlo and Patti Dieck are doctoral candidates, pursuing Ed.D’s in Learning and Teaching with a specialization in Elementary Mathematics, as well as Advanced Certificates in Educational Leadership, at Hofstra University in New York.

Curriculum vitae

                                                                      

CHRISTOPHER SARLO 

Co-Director Foundational Math Projects Group

Christopher M. Sarlo brings 20 years of teaching experience to his work with NLET.  As philosopher-practitioners who are still full-time teachers, Sarlo and business partner Patti Dieck believe that the “process of learning” should always be at the center of mathematics instruction, with an emphasis on foundational math.  Outside of the classroom Sarlo and Dieck facilitate professional development for local school districts, providing elementary math training for teachers. They’ve worked with numerous school districts, teacher centers, and parent groups in New York state and nationally.

Sarlo and Dieck served as content writers for the EngageNY PK-5 Mathematics Modules. Christopher helped to create the Grade 5 curriculum and Patti worked on Grade 4. This work with teachers, mathematicians, and curriculum specialists from across the country allowed them to gain a unique and in-depth understanding of today’s PK-5 Mathematics Standards. They have also worked with Questar Assessment as mathematics assessment item writers, and with A-Net as assessment content editors.

In addition to their work with students and teachers, Sarlo and Dieck have worked to address the issues many parents have with today’s math, publishing a series of six books titled Thinking Math Differently, An Essential Guide for Parents and Teachers, for grades Kindergarten through Grade 5. Positively received by parents, their books are also used by school districts as part of professional development programs, as well as by student teaching supervisors as part of their seminar programs.

At present, both Christopher Sarlo and Patti Dieck are doctoral candidates, pursuing Ed.D’s in Learning and Teaching with a specialization in Elementary Mathematics, as well as Advanced Certificates in Educational Leadership, at Hofstra University in New York.

Curriculum vitae                                                                      

SUSIE FREEDMAN

Director of Workforce Transformation

Susie Freedman is committed to building bridges between four-year degree and skills-based- certification programs that redirect counselors, learners and job seekers to needed, but often hidden, resources for knowledge and career acquisition, and to integrating workforce readiness skills into the Pre-K-to-Career spectrum in creative and engaging ways.

At NLET she provides market analysis, outreach and engagement programming and strategic partnership development in higher education, workforce and skills development as part of NLET’s labor outcomes agenda.  Her work includes developing the NLET directory to skills and workforce programs and organizations, as well program development for two Department of Labor Trade Assistance (TAACCCT) Advanced Manufacturing Grants, and for the Skills Market Network concept funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In her consulting practice Freedman provides business development and change management services for organizations facing critical change and those seeking entrepreneurial options for revenue generation.  She develops strategic partnerships and programs utilizing new paradigms for the K-16 education sectors, and affinity and new market opportunities for non-profit organizations.

Relevant experience includes consulting services and positions with the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU); Coffey Consulting, LLC; The Online Learning Consortium (OLC); Excelsior College; The McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University; The George Washington University; Case Western Reserve University; Echo360; The Open University of the United Kingdom; the University of Michigan; and Michigan State University, among others.

KATHLEEN IVES 

Director Higher Education Transformation 

Kathleen S. Ives, D.M. has worked in online technology for over 30 years in the non-profit, higher education, and corporate arenas. Dr. Ives currently serves as Director, Higher Education Transformation for the National Laboratory for Education Transformation (NLET) where she oversees the development of tools, programs, and best practices by supporting higher education systems in strategic talent development and talent acquisition. Previously, Dr. Ives served as the Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director where she led the organization to become a fully, self-sustaining post-secondary member association.

 

Additionally, Dr. Ives serves as adjunct faculty in organizational leadership and management communications at Wentworth Institute of Technology and is co-editor/chapter author of Leading the e-Learning Transformation of Higher Education (2nd ed.) to be published in Spring 2020. Dr. Ives began her career at CBS participating in the development of one of the country’s first online services: Prodigy. She then spent fourteen years designing and implementing consumer online information services, first at AT&T and then at Verizon, where she spearheaded the development of the nation’s first online Yellow Pages product, now called superpages.com. She has degrees in communication, communication management, and organizational leadership from the University of California at Davis, the University of Southern California, Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, and the University of Phoenix-Online, respectively.

PATTI BOND

Marketing Coordinator, Website and Editorial

Patti’s marketing career spans 30 years. Prior to starting her marketing consulting business in 1997, Patti was general director of advertising for John Hancock Financial Services in charge of a $12 million advertising campaign that won all major domestic and international awards. Most of her experience has been working with small businesses and nonprofits. Patti has an MBA with a concentration in marketing from Northeastern University and a BA from Brown University. Patti served on the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce Women in Business steering committee and was co-organizer of Santa Cruz Business Connect. She currently volunteers for Teen Kitchen Project, a Santa Cruz nonprofit that teaches teens to prepare healthy meals that are delivered to local cancer patients.

STEVE STRINGER

Scholar in Residence (Volunteer)

Steve Stringer is an Industrial Fellow and Member of the Technical Staff at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), where he helps solve strategic business needs with collaborations within the basic science capabilities. In this role he reports to the Technology Transfer Division at LANL, as well as to the VP of P&G Corporate R&D.

Steve aspires to help the State of New Mexico address its educational challenges. He has led the creation of two education modeling initiatives, both based on strategic statistical and computer sciences capabilities that are otherwise primarily used for national security applications. Steve has worked with the Los Alamos and the Santa Fe economic development offices to elicit data and report on issues that affect job creation in the region. He currently serves as a citizen member of the Los Alamos Economic Vitality Action Team, advising the County Administrator and County Council on priorities related to community development strategy.

Steve has an extensive background in high performance computing hardware and software, including work for Cray Research and for Silicon Graphics, Inc.