ISA Advisory Board

Supporting College Readiness for All

Esteemed educational leaders have agreed to serve on ISA’s Advisory Board, giving strategic insights and direction to the management team. See the impressive list of leaders who support ISA’s work:

John L. Anderson

Former Vice Chairman and President of New American Schools, a non-profit, bipartisan, public-private partnership dedicated to creating and disseminating...

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Former Vice Chairman and President of New American Schools, a non-profit, bipartisan, public-private partnership dedicated to creating and disseminating bold new designs for public schools. Prior to joining New American Schools, John was director of governmental programs for education for IBM. He is a current partner in Schoolhouse Partners, a strategic advisory firm. John has served on the ISA Board for many years.

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Mark Atkinson

Mark is a serial entrepreneur, having been the founder of both Mursion and Teachscape, two professional development companies that use software tools and...

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Mark is a serial entrepreneur, having been the founder of both Mursion and Teachscape, two professional development companies that use software tools and online content to support the development of teachers. Mark is also an Emmy-award winning ABC News producer. Prior to founding Mursion and Teachscape, Mark served as Senior Producer and Manager of New Markets for CBS News Productions. As Senior Producer, he directed the production of The 20th Century with Mike Wallace, a nightly, one-hour, non-fiction television series for The History Channel produced by CBS. Before joining CBS, Mark served as producer of Peter Jennings Reporting, ABC News.

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Michele Cahill

Michele is a Distinguished Fellow in Education and Youth Development at the National Center for Civic Innovation. Prior to this post, she served as Vice-President...

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Michele is a Distinguished Fellow in Education and Youth Development at the National Center for Civic Innovation. Prior to this post, she served as Vice-President for National Programs and Director of Urban Education at the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Michele led the Corporation’s strategy to meet the twin goals of contributing to societal efforts to create pathways to educational and economic opportunity by generating systemic change across a K-16 continuum, and to create pathways to citizenship, civil participation and civic integration in a pluralistic society. Prior to rejoining Carnegie Corporation in 2007, Michele was senior counselor to New York City Department of Education under Chancellor Joel Klein, overseeing the Children First senior leadership team that was responsible for the full-scale reorganization and reform of the New York City public schools. She also served as Vice President of the Fund for the City of New York, where she developed the Beacons Schools initiative with New York City, co-founded the Public Policy Program and was Assistant Professor and Director of the Urban Studies Program at Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City.

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Michael A. Glassman

Former Senior Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions (Investment Banking Division) Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., Inc. – Michael has over...

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Former Senior Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions (Investment Banking Division) Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., Inc. – Michael has over 17 years of experience providing advisory services to corporate management teams, boards of directors and entrepreneurs. He has worked with public and private companies and private equity funds and their portfolio companies in a broad range of industrial and consumer products sectors on assignments that include sales and divestitures, mergers, acquisitions, buyouts, going private and other leveraged transactions, strategic alternative evaluations, fairness opinions and financings. Michael has also held senior investment banking positions with firms that include JP Morgan Chase, The Shattan Group and The Beacon Group. Prior to his investment banking career, he was trained as a chemical engineer and worked with Rohm and Haas Company as a research engineer.

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Nancy Grasmick

Former Maryland State Superintendent of Schools – Nancy began her career as a teacher of deaf children at the William S. Baer School in Baltimore City...

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Former Maryland State Superintendent of Schools – Nancy began her career as a teacher of deaf children at the William S. Baer School in Baltimore City and subsequently served as a classroom and resource teacher, principal, supervisor, assistant superintendent, and associate superintendent in the Baltimore County Public Schools system. In 1989, Governor William Donald Schaefer appointed her Special Secretary for Children, Youth, and Families; and, in 1991, the State Board of Education appointed her State Superintendent of Schools. Nancy is the longest serving state superintendent of education in the nation. After retiring as the state superintendent, Nancy was selected as the Towson University Presidential Scholar for Innovation in Teacher and Leader Education. In this role, she will be in charge of a campus-wide effort to prepare teachers and train educational leaders.

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Gerry House

President, Institute for Student Achievement – Gerry joined ISA as CEO in 2000. She is an accomplished educator, whose vast and rich experiences...

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President, Institute for Student Achievement – Gerry joined ISA as CEO in 2000. She is an accomplished educator, whose vast and rich experiences include 15- years of experience as superintendent of the Memphis, Tennessee and Chapel Hill, North Carolina school systems.

While superintendent in Memphis, Gerry led the district through a comprehensive change process, engaging all 160 schools in whole school reform, with a focus on standards and accountability, teaching and learning, school organization, resource allocation, student support and leadership development. She has also served as a teacher, guidance counselor, principal, and assistant superintendent.

Gerry has served on several national and state boards including as Chairperson of the Advisory board, Harvard Urban Superintendent’s Program; the Board of Trustees of Adelphi University and the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation. She has also been recognized as the National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA 1999), presented with the Alumni Leadership Award by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Education (2000) and awarded the Harold J. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education Award (1999.)

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Vinetta Jones

Professor (and former Dean), Howard University School of Education, Washington, DC. – Vinetta is widely regarded as a leading authority on the education...

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Professor (and former Dean), Howard University School of Education, Washington, DC. – Vinetta is widely regarded as a leading authority on the education reform movement and has written and lectured widely on issues related to the education of diverse populations, especially in the areas of mathematics and science. Vinetta served for eight years as Executive Director of EQUITY 2000 at the College Board, where she led one of the largest and most successful education reform programs in the country. Prior to that, she was the Dean at the School of Education and Urban Studies, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland. In 2000, she was inducted into the “Education Hall of Fame” by the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) at its annual conference. Vinetta has served on the ISA Board for many years including 3-years as Board Chair.

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Michael S. Leeds

Co-chair of ISA Board of Directors – Michael is currently the President of FlightStar, Inc., an aircraft charter and management services organization...

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Co-chair of ISA Board of Directors – Michael is currently the President of FlightStar, Inc., an aircraft charter and management services organization based on Long Island, New York. Until its sale, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of CMP Media, Inc., one of the largest high-tech media companies in the world. During his eleven years as the leader of the company, CMP grew from $100 million in annual revenues to nearly $500 million, while profits multiplied ten-fold. CMP was selected as one of Fortune’s Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” and Working Woman Magazine’s “100 Best Companies.” Mike has taught flying and worked for the US Parachute Association, Ziff Davis Publications and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. He is a Trustee of the North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital System and the Chairman of the Business Advisory Council of the University of Colorado School of Business. Michael’s parents, Lilo and Gerard Leeds, are the co-founders of ISA and Michael has served on the ISA Board for many years.

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Beth Leventhal

Beth is an elementary school teacher and philanthropist. She is involved in many community organizations and has served on the ISA Board for many years....

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Beth is an elementary school teacher and philanthropist. She is involved in many community organizations and has served on the ISA Board for many years. She currently serves on the Board of The Children’s Aid Society and has served as Co-President of the League of Women Voters of New Castle. She has also been a member of the Executive PTA committee for Chappaqua Schools, and is currently on the board of Friends of Karen, an organization that assists the families of children with life-threatening illnesses (Board President for 5-years). Beth also served on the Board of Trustees of Elmira College.

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Andy Plattner

Founder and head of Plattner Communications & Public Affairs – Andy served as a Senior Consultant to the National Center on Education and the Economy,...

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Founder and head of Plattner Communications & Public Affairs – Andy served as a Senior Consultant to the National Center on Education and the Economy, where he helped bring the public voice into the development of rigorous academic standards and high quality tests. For more than two decades, Andy has helped clients ‘listen’ to key audiences; craft clear, effective messages; and develop realistic strategies to sustain public support for better schools. Andy co-founded KSA-Plus Communications, a national communications company. He has worked on education issues since 1990. He also spent 18 years as a journalist covering politics, the last several of those years with U.S. News & World Report.

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Judith Rizzo

Dr. Rizzo began her career as a junior high school teacher in the Boston Public Schools. During her sixteen year career in Boston, Dr. Rizzo held a number...

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Dr. Rizzo began her career as a junior high school teacher in the Boston Public Schools. During her sixteen year career in Boston, Dr. Rizzo held a number of positions including consulting teacher, bilingual coordinator, and director of staff development. She also led the court-ordered desegregation programmatic effort including the coordination of cultural organizations, university support, and parent/community involvement. As a principal, Dr. Rizzo developed a model international school and served as principal of record for a trilingual elementary school on the campus of the University of Massachusetts. In 2002, she became the first executive director and CEO of The Hunt Institute. Dr. Rizzo is responsible for growing The Hunt Institute into a national resource for political, business, and education leaders, supporting their development and implementation of effective education policies and programs. Prior to coming to The Hunt Institute, Dr. Rizzo served as deputy chancellor for instruction for the New York City Public Schools.

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Adam Tucker

Senior Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation –Adam has been the program officer for ISA during all the years that ISA has had Gates grants....

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Senior Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation –Adam has been the program officer for ISA during all the years that ISA has had Gates grants. Prior to joining the Foundation, Adam served in various senior level roles at Edison Schools and LearnNow, both education management organizations. In his current role at the Foundation, Adam also draws upon his experience with the Coalition of Essential Schools where he led its public engagement and advocacy program, and Children Now, a nationally recognized children’s advocacy group. He started his education career as a high school history teacher and program administrator in New England.

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