Kate Walsh President

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 that 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
Kathleen Bolles Director of Finance

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.
Graham Drake
Graham Drake Managing Director, Teacher Prep Review

Graham serves as NCTQ's Managing Director of Teacher Prep Review. Prior to joining the organization in 2011, he completed master's degrees in Public Policy and Secondary Social Studies Education at the University of Kentucky.
Christie Ellis
Christie Ellis Manager, Teacher Preparation Strategies

Christie Ellis serves as a Manager with NCTQ, supporting the Teacher Prep Review. She came to NCTQ after four years as a third grade English Language Arts teacher. Christie holds a MS in Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University, and a BA in Anthropology and Cognitive Science from Case Western Reserve University.
Nicole Gerber
Nicole Gerber Director of Strategic Communications

Nicole joined the NCTQ team after nearly a decade in the classroom as a social studies and language arts teacher. At NCTQ she has combined her education experience with her research and policy skills to support multiple projects with foci on process management and strategic communications. Nicole holds a B.A. in Government and International Politics from George Mason University and a M.S. in Political Science from the University of Nebraska - Omaha.
Samantha Jacobs
Samantha Jacobs Communications Associate

Samantha joined NCTQ after gaining experience in both the education and journalism worlds. She held public relations roles for several non-profit and educational organizations, and she coordinated and participated in academic and extracurricular programming for LAUSD. Most recently, Samantha was an English Language Arts and drama teacher in South Los Angeles. Now at NCTQ, she works on the communications team and focuses on strategy, outreach, and publication. Samantha holds a B.A. in Public Relations from the University of Southern California and an M.A. in English in Education from King's College London.
Ashley Kincaid
Ashley Kincaid Chief of Staff

Before joining NCTQ, Ashley co-founded and co-led Educators Rising, a national non-profit supporting high school-based teacher pathway programs. With more than a decade of experience in education, Ashley also served as Executive Director of Pi Lambda Theta and Director of Membership and Marketing for PDK International. In addition, she worked as an executive management consultant helping clients identify challenges and develop actionable solutions. Ashley holds a B.A. and an M.A. in organizational communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Texas at Austin, respectively.
Shayna Levitan
Shayna Levitan Executive Assistant to the President

Shayna Levitan serves as the Executive Assistant to the President, as well as supporting the development and fundraising work of NCTQ. She joins NCTQ after interning at several education advocacy non profits in Washington, DC and Boston, Massachusetts. Shayna holds a BA in Law & Society and Education Studies from American University.
Amber Moorer
Amber Moorer Director, Teacher Prep Strategies

Amber focuses on NCTQ's Teacher Prep Review and student teaching initiatives. She 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
Kency Nittler Managing Director, Teacher Policy

Kency directs NCTQ's teacher policy work, which focuses on how states and districts can use policy to improve teacher quality and ensure that every study has an effective teacher. She has a Master of Public Policy from American University where she focused on statistical analysis and education policy and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from UCLA.
Laura Pomerance
Laura Pomerance Director, University Relations, TPR

At NCTQ, Laura has conducted data analysis and evaluation for the Teacher Prep Review, and contributed to reports such as Learning about Learning and Student Teaching. She came to NCTQ after five years as a middle-school and high-school science teacher, and several more years working in state and federal government. Laura holds a BA in physics and biology from Swarthmore College, and a M.Ed in secondary education from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Hannah Putman
Hannah Putman Managing Director of Research

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.
Patricia Saenz-Armstrong
Patricia Saenz-Armstrong Senior Policy Analyst, Teacher Policy

Patricia Saenz-Armstrong manages the Teacher Contract Database and State Teacher Policy Database, leading data collection and analysis to surface critical policy trends. Patricia is an Economist and PhD candidate from George Mason University. She also holds a master's degree in Economics from Texas A&M University and a bachelor's in Economics from Universidad del Pacifico in her native Lima, Peru. Before joining NCTQ, she worked in think tanks, business associations, government agencies and international organizations both in Peru and the United States, and she has published articles in the Peruvian press and in peer reviewed journals. Patricia's fields of expertise are labor economics and quantitative analysis.
Danielle Wilcox
Danielle Wilcox Chief Development Officer

Danielle was an original NCTQ board member and contributed to a number of NCTQ publications. She served as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and led its Teacher Quality Project, a precursor to the National Council on Teacher Quality. Previously, Danielle taught high school English in Washington, DC, and Trenton, NJ, after working as a youth advocate with AmeriCorps VISTA in Seattle.

Danielle holds a BA in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia and a master's in education administration from Columbia University's Teachers College, where she also conducted her doctoral research in education policy.