Board of Directors and Board of Advisors
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About

Superintendents are defenders of our children’s right to a high-quality public education, leading their teams toward effective, sustainable solutions to age-old problems. They must be at the center of discussions around when, where, and how innovation will affect teaching and learning.

Many education solution providers, funders, researchers, and thought leaders are mission-driven: they do what they do to improve student outcomes.

The Institute for Education Innovation bridges the gaps between the individuals and organizations committed to seeing students succeed in school and life, creating a safe space for constructive problem-solving and innovative thinking.

 

Our Core Values

 
  • Continuous Professional Learning

    High-quality, peer-to-peer learning opportunities set the stage for superintendents and edtech leaders to advance their professional and personal practice.

    Our theory of action
  • Community Stewardship

    Summits bring together communities of practitioners improving outcomes for kids through creative thinking and strategic planning—we create a safe space for K–12 businesses and investors to learn from education leaders the issues ripe for innovative solutions.

    Our members
  • Opportunity Cultivation

    When educators broaden their professional and personal circles, they improve their ability to learn, grow, and problem-solve. In a dialog-rich environment, emerging and growth-oriented K–12 organizations can uncover potential partnership opportunities with innovative superintendents and the school systems they lead.

    Our members

IEI Team

Doug Roberts, Founder & CEO

Doug Roberts, Founder & CEO

Doug has worked with leading ed-tech entrepreneurs and district administrators for almost 20 years, developing partnerships that improve outcomes for students and help nascent organizations get their "sea legs."

As Founder and President of Educational Solutions Consulting, Doug found that there was a piece of the puzzle missing, a barrier between those who run school districts and those who start companies to help school districts. He partnered with some of the nation's most innovative educational leaders to form IEI to bridge that gap.

A Princeton graduate, Doug is a former public high school social studies teacher and ed-tech business development executive who earned his Ed.M. in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Sara Croll, Director of Marketing & Communications

Sara Croll, Vice President

Sara Croll has more than 15 years of experience in K-12 education. She has served as a classroom teacher, mentor, and instructional coach in diverse Title 1 schools throughout Florida. She has worked in the field for ed-tech companies and is a national speaker and author. Sara is a marketing expert in the K12 space creating a throughline between districts' needs and solutions available.

Tiffany Law, Director of Events

Tiffany has had a long and successful career in hospitality and event management, cutting her teeth in the restaurant business as a general manager specializing in launching restaurants from the ground up. At IEI, Tiffany leverages her talents to ensure every IEI attendee has a productive and stress-free experience from end to end. Tiffany’s passion and tireless efforts are the fuel that fires the IEI engine.

Alexa Escobedo

Alexa Escobedo, Marketing Coordinator

Alexa Escobedo has spent the last 10 years as a classroom teacher where she served in both private and public school settings. While teaching in Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, she acted as a district liaison for her school site where she had the opportunity to work with district leaders on implementation plans, curriculum decision-making, and collaboration with other school sites. Now serving as IEI's Marketing Coordinator, she brings a fresh perspective on how to connect individuals and companies alike through social media outreach.

Board of Directors

Mr. Matt Cole

Mr. Matt Cole

Matt is superintendent of New York’s Livonia School District. Before becoming superintendent, Cole served as Livonia’s elementary school principal, its curriculum coordinator/staff developer, and a social studies teacher.
Dr. Paul Shaw

Dr. Paul Shaw

Paul is a two-time State Superintendent of the Year who led Georgia’s White County School District and South Carolina’s York School District 1. He was a member of the Georgia School Superintendents Association’s board of directors and president of the South Carolina Association of School Superintendents.
Ms. Patricia Sullivan-Kriss

Ms. Patricia Sullivan-Kriss

Patricia serves as superintendent of West Hempstead Union Free School District in New York. Prior to that, she led Hauppauge School District for ten years and has been a deputy superintendent, an assistant superintendent, an elementary principal, and a special education teacher. She and her husband have four children.

Advisors

Mark Bedell

Dr. Mark Bedell

Mark leads the Kansas City Public School District as superintendent. He was named “Superintendent to Watch” by the National School Public Relations Association and a “New Superintendent of the Year” by the Missouri Association of School Administrators.
 
Mark Beigni

Dr. Mark Benigni

Mark D. Benigni, Ed.D., has been an educator for over twenty-five years and is in his twelfth year as Superintendent of the Meriden Public Schools.  Dr. Benigni leads a diverse urban school district with over eight thousand five hundred students.  Under his leadership, the school system has achieved some of the highest test scores and lowest suspension rates in district history.  The Meriden Public Schools approved Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Guidelines, launched one-to-one device programs at all schools, began elementary and middle school enrichment programs, and created an autism center. Dr. Benigni is currently the President of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents.

Prior to becoming Superintendent, Dr. Benigni served as a special education teacher at Platt High School, assistant principal at Belin High School, and principal at Cromwell High School.  He also served as a City Councilor, and 4-term Mayor of the City of Meriden. Dr. Benigni brought his extensive proven school leadership experience to the college classroom, where he taught graduate and doctoral level courses at Southern Connecticut State University. Courses that covered school finance and educational leadership allowed students to receive practical examples and experiences from a current practicing superintendent.  Coursework was grounded in theory, but always practical and designed to assist educational leaders in their day-to-day work.

Dr. Benigni believes that high quality public education can be the great equalizer for so many students and families.  He is passionate about challenging all learners with high level course work in an innovative digital learning environment.  Dr. Benigni values the relationships that he has made with students, staff, and families and is proud to have his own children attending district schools.   

The district was recognized as a 2021 International Center for Leadership in Education Innovative District and a 2021 ISTE District of Distinction. Dr. Benigni was the recipient of the 2019 AASA’s and CoSN’s EmpowerED Digital Superintendent of the Year, The Bushnell William A. Yandow Educator Award 2019, and he was recognized as a 2015 Education Week Leader to Learn From. 

The Meriden Public Schools also received awards from CoSN, the Learning Counsel, NSBA, Digital Promise, District Administration, and Edutopia.   In addition to leading the Meriden Public Schools to its highest academic scores in district history, Dr. Benigni has presented at national conferences, taught doctorate classes, and published a book and numerous articles. The Meriden Public Schools was recognized as a model district for the state in recognition of their collaboration between union and management and their innovative practices, including building two new student-centered high schools. 
 
Dr. Benigni received his Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and his Master of Arts in Special Education from The University of Hartford. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Western Connecticut State University.  He currently holds the following certifications: Superintendent of Schools; Intermediate Administrator and Supervisor; Comprehensive Special Ed., Pre-K-12.

Dr. PJ Caposey

PJ Caposey is a dynamic speaker and a transformational leader and educator. PJ began his career as an award-winning teacher in the inner-city of Chicago and has subsequently led significant change in every administrative post he has held. He became a principal at the age of 28 and within three years was able to lead a rural school historically achieving near the bottom of its county to multiple national recognitions. After four years, PJ moved to his current district, Meridian CUSD 223, as superintendent and has led a similar turnaround leading to multiple national recognitions for multiple different efforts.

PJ is a best-selling author and has written 8 books for various publishers. His work and commentary has been featured on sites such as the Washington Post, NPR, CBS This Morning, ASCD, Edutopia, the Huffington Post, and he has been featured in a Global Leaders Forum thinkpiece alongside the likes of General Petraeus and General McChrystal. He works in the Education Department of two universities and in a myriad of capacities with the Illinois Principal's Association including Principal Coach and author of the first complete stack of MicroCredentials offered in Illinois.

PJ's schools/districts have been recognized with the following accolades: US News and World Report - Top HS 4x, Schools of Opportunity - Silver Recognition, District Administration - District of Distinction, IASB - Governance Recognition 2x, and ILPEx - Bronze Award. Personally, PJ has been recognized in the following ways: METC - Making IT Happen Award, IPA/Horace Mann - Partners in Education, INSPRA - Distinguished Service Award, Eastern Illinois University - Distinguished Alumnus Award, NSPRA - 25 Superintendents to Watch, 40 Leaders Under 40 to Watch, Those Who Excel - Award of Merit, Regional Superintendent and Principal of the Year, ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Honoree, ASCD Emerging Leader, and an ASCD Slated Board of Directors candidate.

PJ is a sought after presenter, consultant, and provider of professional development and has recently been the keynote speaker at several national conferences specializing in time management, the tyranny of the status quo, school culture, continuous improvement, social media, and teacher evaluation. He lives in Northwest Illinois with his wife, who is also an educator, and their four children.
Philip Cutler

Mr. Philip Cutler

Philip is the founder and CEO of Paper, the nation's leading Education Support System. Philip began his career as a teacher, whose passion drove him toward entrepreneurship. He began his career as the youngest ever elected City Councillor in Westmount, Quebec. He is currently serving on Westmount's council and is the city's Commissioner of Infrastructure and Innovation.
Susan Enfield

Dr. Susan Enfield

A former high school teacher, Superintendent Enfield served as Chief Academic Officer and then as Interim Superintendent for Seattle Public Schools before joining Highline Public Schools in 2012. She previously held leadership positions in Evergreen Public Schools, Portland Public Schools, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Henry Grishman

Mr. Henry Grishman

Henry Grishman, who leads Jericho Public Schools in New York, has served as a superintendent for nearly 40 years. In a rapidly changing world, he focuses on educating students so they are adjusted to the accelerated pace of change, prepared for the jobs of the future, and are adjusting to the post pandemic world and associated challenges. Mr. Grishman has served as president of both the NYS Council of School Superintendents and Nassau County Council of School Superintendents, and was named New York State Superintendent of the Year in 2012.
Dwight Jones

Dr. Dwight Jones

Dwight Jones serves as Senior Vice President, Equity, Inclusion & Urban Markets at McGraw-Hill Education. Dwight has served as Discovery Communications’ Superintendent in Residence where his work benefitted the Education Division. Previously, he served as the superintendent of Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, the nation’s fifth-largest school district.

Mr. Stephen Murley

Steve Murley was appointed to the position of Superintendent of Schools for the Green Bay Area Public Schools July 1, 2020.  Prior to joining the District, Steve served the Iowa City Community School District (IA), the Wausau School District (WI), the Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools (WI) and the Neenah Joint School District (WI).  Steve has served as a teacher, coach, athletic department administrator, building administrator, director of human resources and employee relations, and superintendent. 
                                                                                                                                          
As Superintendent of Schools, Steve is involved in many community organizations focused on providing resources and opportunities to the children of the greater Green Bay area and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Achieve Brown County, the Brown County Chamber of Commerce, the Brown County United Way, and Junior Achievement of Wisconsin in the Greater Green Bay Area.  He has been active in professional organizations at the national, state, and local level including the Alliance for Education Impact, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Association of Community Colleges Commission on College Readiness, the District Management Group, the Education Advisory Board, the Horace Mann League, the Institute for Education Innovation, the National Superintendents Dialog, the National Superintendents Roundtable, the Urban Superintendents Association of America, the United States Department of Education Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, the Iowa Department of Education Superintendent's Advisory Council, the Iowa Urban Education Network, the School Administrators of Iowa, and the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators.  Steve is the past president of the Iowa Urban Education Network, the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, and the Wisconsin Association of School Personnel Administrators.
 
Steve has a deep and abiding commitment to public education and developing the next generation of leaders who will serve our students.  He has been active as a graduate school faculty member having taught at the University of Iowa in the Educational Policy and Leadership Studies Department, the University of Wisconsin – Superior in the Educational Administration Department, Marian University in the Educational Leadership Department, and the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh in both the Department of Human Services and Professional Leadership and the Department of Educational Foundations.  Steve also serves as the lead instructor for the American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent Certification Program – Midwest Cohort.
Paula Reed

Ms. Paula Reed

Paula Reed has over 20 years of K12 and higher education experience in sales, marketing, leadership, executive coaching, and DEI. Four years ago, she founded BizEducation Consulting, Inc. to share her expertise with education companies and nonprofits both large, small as well as start-ups.

She began working with district leaders in the K12 industry to create recycling and science programs for schools. Afterwards, she joined an alternative education company to design comprehensive education programs for at-risk students which increased graduation rates across the country. Later, she spent many years at Discovery Education, beginning as a regional partnerships director and promoted to focusing on national sales partnerships with the top 30 largest urban and suburban school districts, managing sales teams, developing events and conference strategies, and overseeing outreach and  thought leadership programming.  She is best known for building and maintaining relationships with C-level district administrators and education leaders across the country from large urban, suburban to rural districts. 

She’s currently a board member with Lightspeed, a board adviser with Institute for Education Innovation and participates in multiple education networking groups.  Historically, she has been a foundation board director for Montgomery and Baltimore County Public Schools.  

K12 business partners seek her to provide marketing, sales, conference/event planning, product reviews, recruiting, and DEI strategies as well as advice for navigating this unique industry. Her passion is working with organizations whose genuine mission is to offer services that significantly improve and equalize the education playing field for all students and their communities.  

Paula received a B.A from University of Maryland, College Park. She has a graduate certificate in Executive Leadership and a certification for Diversity and Inclusion Training from University of Maryland, University College. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA.
John Welch

Mr. John Welch

John is superintendent of the Puget Sound Educational Service District, which serves more than 420,000 PreK–12 students across Washington's greater Seattle-Tacoma region. The vision of the agency is to ensure success for each child and eliminate the opportunity gap and while leading for racial equity.