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Staff

  • Kate Walsh (@nctqkate) President kwalsh@nctq.org

    Kate Walsh has served as the president of the National Council on Teacher Quality since 2003, leading work to ensure that every child has equal access to effective teachers. At NCTQ, Walsh has spearheaded efforts to instill greater transparency and higher standards among those institutions which exert influence and authority over teachers. Notably, she launched the first-ever review and rankings of the nation’s teacher preparation programs. Previously Walsh worked at The Abell Foundation in Baltimore, the Baltimore City Public Schools, and the Core Knowledge Foundation. Among her accomplishments, she started and ran a boarding school located in Kenya, East Africa, in order to educate at-risk boys from Baltimore; founded one of the nation’s premier STEM programs, yielding numerous Intel Talent Search winners for Baltimore City; and, started the first alternative certification program for teachers in Maryland. A long-time resident of Baltimore, Walsh has also served on the Maryland State School Board.

    Kate tweets @nctqkate

  • Kathleen Bolles Director of Finance kbolles@nctq.org

    Kathleen joined NCTQ in 2005. She has a BS in Business Administration from Towson University and is a Quickbooks ProAdvisor. She handles the organization's Financial and HR functions.

  • Sarah Brody Chief of Staff sbrody@nctq.org

    Sarah Brody serves as NCTQ's chief of staff after having worked at Charter Board Partners as the nonprofit's Director of Development and External Affairs. Prior to that, she managed fundraising and assisted with state policy work for NCTQ from 2009-2013. Sarah began her career as a Teach For America corps member, teaching high school English in the School District of Philadelphia and then at Mastery Charter School. Sarah holds an MS in education from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in English and history from Emory University

  • Tanisha Brown Regional Director, School District Partnerships tbrown@nctq.org

    Prior to joining NCTQ, Tanisha spent seven years at the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education. During the last five years of her tenure she worked in the division of Educator Quality and Effectiveness evaluating candidates for teacher licensure and educator preparation providers for program approval and accreditation. She has also worked as a college instructor, teaching courses in psychology and human development. Tanisha is a doctoral candidate in Education Administration and Policy at the George Washington University. She also holds an MA in Psychology from American University as well as a Bachelors in Psychology from the George Washington University.

  • Barbara Davidson Senior Vice President, Teacher Preparation Strategies bdavidson@nctq.org

    A former special education teacher, Barbara has been deeply involved in education reform issues for over 30 years. She has held senior positions at the U.S. Department of Education, ran the nonprofit education consultancy StandardsWork, and most recently was Deputy Director of Great Minds, an education publishing company that develops and markets content rich, Common Core-based curricula. Barbara leads NCTQ’s programmatic work, including Teacher Preparation, Path to Teach, and a growing practice focused on supporting school district as the work more closely with higher education to prepare teachers for classroom success. Barbara is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s teacher preparation program. She makes her home in Montgomery County, Maryland, where she has been involved in a variety of school improvement initiatives.

  • Graham Drake Team Manager, Teacher Preparation Strategies gdrake@nctq.org

    Graham joins the NCTQ staff following the completion of a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Kentucky where he concentrated on education policy. He gained experience working in Washington during an internship at the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). Graham has previous classroom experience following the attainment of a BA and MA in Secondary Social Studies Education which were also earned at the University of Kentucky.

  • Dan Glaser Marketing and Communications Coordinator dglaser@nctq.org

    Dan joins NCTQ after working as a language test developer for Seoul National University. Prior to that, he taught in South Korea at both the elementary school and university level and coached public speaking for the Western Kentucky University Forensics Team. Dan has also managed online communications for a Kentucky health department, as well as a number of other organizations on a professional and volunteer basis.

  • Karen Gray Executive Assistant and Office Manager kgray@nctq.org

    Karen Gray comes to NCTQ with a richly varied professional background, including over 15 years in private practice as a Life coach. She is an ordained Interfaith Minister, who continues to lead ceremonies and worship services. And she’s a jazz vocalist who has led hundreds of performances, including at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Jazz Cafe, and countless private and public events. In a previous life, she worked in Organization Development for Goldman Sachs and Accenture. Karen holds a BA in General Liberal Arts from George Washington University and an MBA in Organizational Behavior from Columbia University.

  • Sarah Heaton Regional Director, School District Partnerships sheaton@nctq.org

    Prior to joining NCTQ, Sarah worked for Baltimore City Schools where she designed and implemented district teacher compensation, evaluation, and preparation policies. Before that, she taught high school English in west Baltimore. Her professional interests include teacher support and development, performance management, assessment and evaluation. She has a BA in English and History from Oberlin College and holds a Maryland Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate earned through the Johns Hopkins University MAT program.

  • Nithya Joseph Director, State and District Policy njoseph@nctq.org

    Nithya joined NCTQ after having worked at StudentsFirst as a Senior Policy Analyst. Prior to that, she worked at the DC Department of Parks and Recreation where she managed city-wide summer programming and at DC Public Schools where she assisted with summer school and after school programs. Nithya has a BA in Sociology from UC San Diego and an MPP from Georgetown Public Policy Institute.

  • Autumn Lewis State and District Policy Analyst alewis@nctq.org

    Autumn joins NCTQ after working as a staff assistant in the Office of Senator Mark Pryor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from the University of Arkansas. While attending college, Autumn ran an after-school reading program that paired 150 low-income elementary students with college-age mentors.

  • Cassie McGannon Director, New Initiatives cmcgannon@nctq.org

    Cassie joins NCTQ with experience in policy and strategy roles in Australian government, including for federal and state Departments of Education and as a policy adviser to the Minister for School Education. Most recently she worked as a Fellow at Grattan Institute, a leading Australian think tank. Cassie holds a Masters in Public Policy from Princeton University, and a BA/BSc from Monash University.

  • Amber Moorer Research Analyst, Teacher Preparation Strategies amoorer@nctq.org

    Amber is a former guidance counselor and K-12 research consultant for school districts and nonprofit organizations. She holds an Ed.M. in Risk and Prevention from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in English and Psychology from Columbia University.

  • Kency Nittler Manager, Teacher Trends knittler@nctq.org

    Kency comes to NCTQ after completing a Master of Public Policy degree at American University where she focused on statistical analysis and education policy while working as a graduate research assistant. She also holds a BA in economics and political science from UCLA.

  • Ruth Oyeyemi Manager, Data Collection royeyemi@nctq.org

    Ruth graduated from James Madison University with a BA in Psychology. Led by an interest in education, she began working with non-profits in 2006. Since May 2011, Ruth has been assisting NCTQ with the national review of education schools.

  • Laura Pomerance Policy Analyst, Teacher Preparation Strategies lpomerance@nctq.org

    Laura Pomerance taught middle school and high school physics and biology for five years before joining NCTQ. She has also worked in science education policy for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as a legislative assistant in the Maryland State Legislature, and in Congress. She holds a M.Ed in secondary education from the University of Maryland, College Park and a BA in physics and biology from Swarthmore College.

  • Hannah Putman Director of Research hputman@nctq.org

    Hannah comes to NCTQ following four years conducting education research with Westat, a social science research company. Her projects included work on informal science education and teacher incentive programs. Prior to Westat, Hannah taught seventh and ninth grade English for three years in the Bronx, New York, as a Teach For America corps member. Hannah holds BA's in English and Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, an MS in Teaching from Pace University, and an MPP from the George Washington University with a focus on education policy and evaluation.

  • Rob Rickenbrode Senior Director, Teacher Preparation Strategies rrickenbrode@nctq.org

    Robert Rickenbrode served as the Chief Academic Officer and mathematics/computer science teacher for the Cesar Chavez Charter Schools in DC for nine years prior to joining NCTQ. Before that, he worked in the San Juan School District in Utah and for seven years was a member of the 'Ndahoo'aah Summer Program at Monument Valley High School. He is on the board of the Bryant Woods Montessori School in Maryland. He holds a MA in applied economics from Johns Hopkins University and a BS in economics from the California Institute of Technology.

  • Isabel Spake Team Leader, Teacher Preparation Strategies ispake@nctq.org

    Isabel Spake joins NCTQ after overseeing AmeriCorps grants for Serve DC - The Mayor's Office on Volunteerism. Isabel holds a BA in History from St. Mary's College of Maryland- Public Honors College, and an MPA from George Washington University's Trachtenberg School. 


  • Caryn Wasbotten Program Administrator, State and District Policy cwasbotten@nctq.org

    Caryn joins NCTQ having most recently worked at the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) as an Accreditation Associate. Prior to CAEP, Caryn was a teacher and assistant director of an early childhood education center. She received her BS in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota.

  • Julie Greenberg Senior Advisor for Teacher Preparation jgreenberg@nctq.org

    Julie taught secondary math for 13 years in Montgomery County (MD) schools before joining NCTQ. During that time she was a co-founder in two applications for the Jaime Escalante Public Charter School.  Prior to teaching, she worked as a policy analyst for state government in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and for Yale University's Institution for Social and Policy Studies. She holds a BA (geology, Carleton College), a MS (water resources management, University of Wisconsin), and a MAT (secondary math, American University).