NAFSCE Board of Directors
Susan Shaffer, President, Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc., and Executive Director, Center for Education Equity
Susan Shaffer serves as the founding Chairperson of NAFSCE's Board of Directors. Susan is the Executive Director, Center for Education Equity (CEE) and President of Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium. She provides strategic, fiscal, managerial, and programmatic oversight and leadership for MAEC. She serves as a liaison to the Department of Education, manages and coordinates the contributions of the CEE Advisory Board and Equity Experts, and supervises the Deputy Director and subcontractors. Susan is a nationally recognized expert for more than four decades. Her transformational work in public schools has centered on the development of comprehensive technical assistance, training on educational equity, and multicultural gender-related issues. She has published extensively on gender equity, family engagement, civil rights, multicultural education, and disability. Her most recent publications are a co-edited journal, Equity-Centered Capacity Building: Essential Approaches for Excellence and Sustainable School System Transformation, and co-authored book, How to Connect with your iTeen: A Parenting Road Map. She serves on several boards, including the National Association of Family, School and Community Engagement (co-founder), School of Education, Bowie State University, MD, the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, and Harmony through Education. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her service, leadership, and significant contribution to curricular materials on women. She holds a B.A. in History and M.A. in education from the University of California, Berkeley.
Anne T. Henderson, Senior Consultant, National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement
Anne Henderson serves as Vice Chair of NAFSCE's Board of Directors. Anne’s specialty is the relationship between families and schools, and its impact on students’ success in school and through life. Since 1977, Anne has worked with organizations that represent or serve parents and community members. Her clients include the Tellin’ Stories Project in Washington, DC; the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence in Lexington, Kentucky; the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City; the Alexandria, Virginia Public Schools; the Parent Institute for Quality Education in Southern California; and the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region in Washington, DC. She has worked in Civil Rights and Anti-Poverty programs for the federal government and for the New Jersey Department of Education. She help start the National Committee for Citizens in Education, a group that aimed to put the public back into the public schools. Since 1981, she has written a small library of books and materials about research and effective practice on how engaging families can improve student achievement, especially in diverse and low-income communities. Anne is a graduate of Oberlin College, and she received her Master’s Degree in politics from Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University.
Deborah Roderick Stark, Principal, Deborah Roderick Stark and Associates
Deborah Stark serves as Treasurer of NAFSCE's Board of Directors.
Deborah is the author or co-author of publications including but not limited to: Supporting Every Young Learner (2014), Maryland’s early childhood pedagogy guide; Nurturing Change (2013), policy strategies for improving infant and early childhood mental health; Breaking New Ground (2011), examples for using data as a lever for bolstering family engagement in student learning; Engaged Families, Effective Pre-K (2010), policies to support family engagement in state-funded pre-k; A Quiet Crisis (2009) an early childhood agenda for the Council of Chief State School Officers; Advocates in Action (2002 and 2005) rationale for why and how parents and child care providers can effectively speak out to advance policy; and the education and child welfare chapters in Beyond Rhetoric: A New American Agenda for Children and Families (1991) by the National Commission on Children. Deborah worked in the Clinton Administration and organized the design and implementation of the family preservation and support initiative passed by Congress in 1993, and the Early Head Start program passed as part of the 1994 Head Start reauthorization.
Margaret Caspe, Director of Research and Professional Learning, Global Family Research Project
Margaret Caspe joined the NAFSCE Board in August 2018. Over the past 20 years, she has studied how partnerships among families, schools, and communities influence children’s development in a variety of areas, including language and literacy, and bilingualism, as well as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). She has worked with various organizations, including Mathematica Policy Research, Children’s Aid, and Harvard Family Research Project. Currently, she serves as director of research and professional learning at Global Family Research Project, where she leads the Libraries for the 21st Century: It’s a Family Thing initiative and develops resources to prepare librarians and educators for family engagement. She is co-editor of Promising Practices for Engaging Families in STEM Learning and author of a variety of articles published in journals such as Early Childhood Research Quarterly, School Community Journal, Childhood Education, and Young Children. As an advisory member of various national collaboratives, she provides insights on the intersection of research, practice, and policy to promote innovative family engagement strategies. Margaret earned her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University, where she currently teaches courses as an adjunct faculty member. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and three daughters, all of whom count going to maker faires as one of their favorite family activities.
Oscar E. Cruz, President & CEO, Families in Schools
Oscar is President & CEO of Families In Schools. Previous to this position, he served as Vice President and first came to Families In Schools as Director of Community Engagement and Advocacy. Mr. Cruz has held various management positions including, Program Director for Community Partners, where he directed projects in the areas of community technology and civic engagement, and as Senior Program Manager at Center for Civic Education, where he managed an international network of civil society organizations, school districts, universities, and foundations working to implement civic engagement programs for students and youth throughout the United States and Latin America. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Latin America and served as an official international electoral observer in Mexico’s federal elections (2000 and 2006). He holds a Masters of Arts degree in Latin America Studies from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Latin America Studies from the University of California Los Angeles, and is fluent in Spanish. Mr. Cruz’s passion revolves around helping families and communities strengthen their capacity to support their children’s education so they can provide their children a pathway to achieve the American dream.
Arnold Fege, President, Public Advocacy for Kids
Arnold F. Fege is President of Public Advocacy for Kids, a national group devoted to federal and national education and child advocacy policy with a focus on low-income and special needs children and families. His personal and professional passion is to fight for the rights of parents and families who have no voice in the education of their children, in the United States and internationally, and bridging the practical needs of the local level with common sense national policy. Fege has over 30 years of public education and child advocacy experience. He has extensive local school district experience as a public school teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and desegregation director. As a staff person for Senator Robert F. Kennedy, he helped draft provisions in the original ESEA legislation, and since that time, he has been involved in each reauthorization of ESEA. He has recently authored Getting Ruby Quality Public Education: Forty-Two Years of Building Demand for Quality Public Schools through Parental and Public Involvement in the Harvard Education Review.
Debra Jennings, Director, Center for Parent Information and Resources at SPAN
Debra leads SPAN’s national efforts promoting the capacities of the approximately 100 Parent Training & Information Centers and Community Parent Resource Centers assisting families with children with disabilities in each state, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and Palau. These projects provide Parent Centers with the information and materials that support their individual parent advocacy efforts and systemic improvement activities across disabilities and across age spans from birth to 26. Debra’s experience as an advocate and leader includes organizing and supporting grassroots parent advocacy organizations and efforts around general and special education issues. She joined SPAN in 1997 to lead its “Parents Engaged in Public Policy Project.” On several state and national advisory committees, Debra is committed to ensuring that the voices of parents/families and communities are not left out of discussions of policies and practices impacting children and families. Debra is a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Economics and has completed coursework in business, finance, public administration and non-profit management at the Kellogg School of Management and Seton Hall University Center for Public Service. Debra’s eclectic professional experience prior to joining SPAN in 1997 includes construction, economic development, finance and constituent affairs. Debra also served on a local school board. She is the mom and first advocate of two daughters, one of whom received special education services and the other who participated in Title I Basic Skills. Both are college graduates. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a middle school administrator.
Holly Kreider, Program Officer, Heising-Simons Foundation
Holly Kreider is a program officer for the Local and Emerging Opportunities program at the Heising-Simons Foundation. She received her Ed.D. in human development and psychology from Harvard University and an undergraduate degree in psychology from UCLA. Her experience includes applied research, nonprofit and for-profit leadership, and consultation, with a focus on family engagement, child and adolescent development, and program evaluation.
Karen L. Mapp, ED.D, Senior Lecturer and Faculty Director, Education Policy and Management Master’s Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Karen L. Mapp, EdD, is a Senior Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and the Faculty Director of the Education Policy and Management Master’s Program. She is a founding member of the District Leaders Network on Family and Community Engagement as well as the National Family and Community Engagement Working Group, is a trustee of the Hyams Foundation in Boston, MA, and is on the board of the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) in Washington, DC. From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Mapp served as a consultant on family engagement to the United States Department of Education in the Office of Innovation and Improvement. Dr. Mapp is the author and co-author of several articles and books about the role of families and community members in the work of student achievement and school improvement.
Gabrielle E. Miller, ED.D, Director of the SALT Center, University of Arizona
As the Director of the SALT Center at the University of Arizona, Gabrielle E. Miller, EdD leads one of the nation’s most prestigious programs for undergraduates who learn differently. Dr. Miller leads a large multi-disciplinary team of professionals providing a comprehensive range of services to students with learning and attention challenges. Her responsibilities include successful engagement of internal and external stakeholders, ensuring both program integrity and innovation, securing additional funding, and extending the reach of the SALT model to a wide range of constituents.
Prior to her current role, Dr. Miller spent ten years in the nonprofit world, first as VP of
Programs at Reading Is Fundamental and, for the last nine years, leading Raising A Reader (RAR) National Office; first as Executive Director then as President and CEO. Before joining RIF, Dr. Miller served as assistant vice president of educational programs at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD, where she held a number of positions before ultimately assuming a leadership role in the special education department. During her time at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Dr. Miller was responsible for educational program development and research. Her research efforts focused on evaluating interventions for at-risk learners of all ages. Concurrently, she served as an assistant professor in The Johns Hopkins University’s Graduate School of Education’s Department of Special Education.
Dr. Miller began her career as a teacher in the Queen Anne’s County, Maryland public school system. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education from the University of Delaware and completed her graduate studies in special education and administration at Johns Hopkins University.
Andrea Prejean, Director of Teacher Quality, National Education Association
Andrea Prejean, Ed.D. is director of the Teacher Quality Department where she directs the NEA's policy and practice activities in support of the teacher continuum. In addition, she leads NEA's initiative on Community Schools, in collaboration with the Center for Organizing. During her career she has served as the Florida Department of Education's professional development lead in elementary mathematics education and as a Professor at American University in the School of Education where she taught and supervised student teachers. She received her Ed.D. from the University of Central Florida after a 10 year career as a public school teacher. As an NEA policy analyst she led NEA's policy and practice work in STEM and served as Director of the Priority Schools Campaign to support the union's work in struggling schools. She currently serves on the board of the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project and on the Steering Committee for the Coalition for Community Schools. In 2015 Andrea was awarded the PTHV Jocelyn Graves Award.
Gini Pupo-Walker, Senior Director of Education Policy and Programs, Conexión Américas
Gini Pupo-Walker is a native Nashvillian and Cuban-American and has been an educator for over twenty years. Through her role at Conexión Américas, Gini builds upon their strong reputation as a respected convener and collaborator, and will continue to accelerate their trajectory of growth in the education arena. Her tasks include identifying, convening, and building partnerships, locally and statewide, to develop a common education policy agenda that improves outcomes students of color across Tennessee. Prior to taking this position she was the Executive Director of Family and Community Partnerships for Metro Nashville Public Schools where she worked with families, community organizations, governmental entities and foundations in order to improve education in Nashville. She also worked as a teacher at the high school and college level for over 10 years, in Seattle, San Diego and Nashville. Ms. Pupo-Walker serves on the Executive Board of Trust of the Memorial Foundation, and on the board of FUTURO. She is a Master Fellow for NCLR’s National Institute for Latino School Leaders and she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, volunteering, traveling, gardening, and dancing salsa.
S. Kwesi Rollins, Director, Leadership Program, Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL)
A member of IEL’s Senior Leadership Team, Kwesi Rollins guides IEL’s portfolio of programs designed to develop and support leaders with a particular emphasis on Family and Community Engagement, Early Childhood Education, Principal Leadership Development and Support, and Community-based Leadership Development. Kwesi has 20 years of experience providing technical assistance and training to local communities and a range of state and county agencies, school districts, local schools and community-based organizations to improve cross-sector collaboration and service delivery systems supporting children, youth and families.
Working with young people is also a personal passion – Kwesi has special expertise in resiliency and youth development, has been recognized as the Big Brother of the Year, and served as VP for Program Services on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the National Capitol Area. He holds an MSW from the University of Maryland School of Social Work where he was a Maternal and Child Health Leadership Training Fellow.
Barbara Scherr, Family Involvement Coordinator, Maryland State Department of Education
Barbara Scherr is a Family Involvement Coordinator at the Maryland State Department of Education. In her 25 years of public service, Barbara has worked in the areas of childcare, safe and drug-free schools, homeless education, family literacy, and family engagement. Her primary responsibility is building capacity for educators by providing technical assistance and training to school systems and schools in the area of parent involvement, and ensuring that the requirements of No Child Left Behind pertaining to parent involvement are being fully implemented. Barbara also provides training and guidance to school districts on Title I as authorized under No Child Left Behind, in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of federal and State programs to support the teaching and learning of children living in high poverty area. She was instrumental in developing several statewide parent outreach initiatives including a family literacy campaign, Take 15 for the Family; Title I Parent Involvement training model for school teams that build capacity of educators, parents, and community partners to understand parent involvement research and the Title I Parent Involvement requirements; and most recently Maryland’s PreK-12 Family Engagement Framework. Barbara’s vision is to encourage, equip, and empower educators to increase effective family engagement for increased academic performance of all children.
Bianca Scott, Parent and Family Leaders Council
Bianca Scott joined the NAFSCE Board in April 2019. She is a parent who serves on NAFSCE’s Parent and Family Leaders Council and has been a part of many different systems that support children and families and engage their communities and schools. Bianca has served as a member of the Kittitas County Head Start policy council, was elected as the policy council chairperson in 2008, and also served on the governing board for Bright Beginnings for Kittitas County (formerly Kittitas County Head Start) as the liaison from the parents to the board and vice versa. She served on the Washington Department of Early Learning’s Parent Advisory Group, a statewide advisory group made of parents with differing backgrounds and perspectives, from 2009 until 2018. Bianca also served as a member of the Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC), Washington’s State Advisory Council charged with developing a high quality, comprehensive system of early childhood development and care. After serving her first two-year term, Bianca was reelected to serve a second two-year term and then ran for co-chair of ELAC and became the first and (to date) only parent elected to serve as a co-chair of a state advisory council. She and her co-chair worked to ensure statewide coordination and collaboration among the wide range of early childhood programs and services in the state. Bianca is a passionate advocate and has helped to move forward policies and procedures at the state level that have become federal policy standards that benefit children and families.
Sally M. Wade, Senior Program Associate, Manhattan Strategy Group
Dr. Sally M. Wade serves as a member of the Manhattan Strategy Group Education Team, specializing in leadership, technical assistance, professional development, grants management, program evaluation, publications development, research to practice, public presentations and group facilitation. She has a proven success record in implementing creative strategies, promoting long-term alliances, and creating sustainable program improvement. Dr. Wade has over 20 years of experience working at the national, regional, state, university, and local level. She is an author, speaker, technical assistance provider, project manager and sought after thought leader.
Prior to joining Manhattan Strategy, Dr. Wade was a Program Associate with the Southeast Comprehensive Center and Southeast Regional Educational Laboratory at SEDL headquartered in Austin Texas. She was founder and director of the Florida Partnership for Family Involvement in Education at the University of South Florida where she worked as a faculty member for over ten years.
Lacy Wood, Principal TA Consultant, American Institutes for Research
Lacy Wood is a principal TA consultant for American Institutes for Research (AIR). Wood has over 18 years of experience with information and support systems for school improvement and over 16 years of experience in family and community engagement. In her current role, Wood directs the $3 million statewide Illinois Quality Afterschool Program, providing oversight for training, professional development, and technical assistance to all 21st CCLC grantees in Illinois and building the capacity of SEA staff. Wood leads policy work for the Texas Comprehensive Center (TXCC) supporting work focused on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Texas Education Agency’s ESSA Consolidated State Plan Development, and Expanded Learning Opportunities Council. In addition, she leads the Wyoming Family Engagement Project, a district pilot and initiative designed to inform strategic development of Wyoming Department of Education’s (WDE’s) statewide family engagement framework and initiatives, help increase Wyoming educator’s knowledge and use of research-based strategies for planning and implementing family engagement programs, and assist districts in promoting integration of family engagement across their school improvement efforts. Wood chairs the Family Engagement State Leaders Network, a cadre of SEA family engagement staff across the United States, focused on providing resources and capacity building supports for SEA family engagement initiatives and serves as lead for STEM out-of -school time activities in the Austin AIR office. Previously she was the director of development and the program manager for the Afterschool, Family, and Community unit at SEDL. Prior to the SEDL-AIR merger, Wood was responsible for SEDL’s funding development efforts, and oversaw the work in SEDL’s Afterschool, Family, and Community unit. She led SEDL’s work related to identification and assessment of funding opportunities including proposal planning and conceptualization, creating and coordinating proposal development teams, project planning and development, along with drafting, reviewing, and critiquing proposals. She was also responsible for leading the design and implementation of SEDL’s programmatic work addressing afterschool, other extended learning programs, and family and community engagement with schools. Wood also has extensive experience working with federal grantee programs and supporting State Education Agency (SEA) staff to implement federal initiatives including 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLCs), Reading First, Smaller Learning Communities, and the Comprehensive School Reform programs. Wood holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin.