Contact Us

National Headquarters
1100 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 1310
Washington, DC  20036
(202) 223-8555

SERP Design Center &
Oakland and San Francisco Field Sites

1663 Mission Street
Suite 650
San Francisco, CA  94103
(415) 934-8700

Project SERP & Boston Field Site
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Larsen Hall
14 Appian Way
Cambridge, MA  02138


SERP is an organization of forward-thinking people working to solve the most intractable problems facing American education.

Gladys Aguilar (Boston) is an English Language Learner (ELL) Specialist at SERP.  With a B.S. from Loyola Marymount University and an M.S. from California State University, Los Angeles, Gladys first served children and families as a bilingual mental health professional in preK-6th grade educational settings. After earning her multiple-subject teaching credential and BCLAD (Bilingual, Cross Cultural, Language and Academic Development) certification, she taught in urban school districts working primarily with language minority children. Gladys is currently earning her Ph.D. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research involves Latino children’s first and second language acquisition and its relation to literacy development.

Wafaa Ahmed (National Office) serves as a Research Assistant for the SERP Institute where she works to support the implementation of the Strategic Adolescent Reading Intervention (STARI). She graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College, receiving a B.A. in psychology with a minor in public policy. Prior to SERP, she served as a research assistant at Dartmouth's Cognition and Education Lab. She also worked as a policy analyst at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center, co-authoring reports on special education, foster care and social capital.

Simone Calbi (New York) is an Adolescent Literacy Coach at SERP currently supporting the implementation of the Strategic Adolescent Reading Intervention (STARI). Simone has experience as an English as a foreign language teacher serving students in the U.S. and abroad. She taught English to adults in Buenos Aires for seven years where she also learned to speak Spanish fluently. Before her participation in the STARI work, Simone was a Word Generation Elementary literacy coach at SERP. She is passionate about language and literacy and supporting emergent bilingual students (K-12) on their paths to first and second language acquisition. She holds a B.S. in film from Boston University, where she focused her studies on Latin American cinema studies and documentary production, and a TESOL certificate from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Cara Cassell (Baltimore) is an Adolescent Literacy Coach for the Building Capacity to Support Struggling Readers research study, where she works with teachers and school leaders to support the implementation of the Strategic Adolescent Reading Intervention (STARI) curriculum. Cara has over twenty-five years of experience in education, beginning her career as an elementary and middle school English language arts teacher. She has also served as an instructional coach supporting Word Generation and many other literacy programs. Cara holds a bachelor’s degree in middle grades education from Elon University and a master’s in school administration from Bowie State University.

Keanya Clifton-Roach (Washington, D.C.) works with SERP as an Adolescent Literacy Coach. Keanya began her career as a social studies teacher in Prince George's County, Maryland. She went on to hold additional roles in public schools, such as instructional coach (District of Columbia) and data coach (Prince George's County). Keanya's desire to build culturally relevant and literacy rich classrooms has led her to being a two-time national presenter for the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and a contributor to a grant funded project, Teaching Stem Through the Use of Literature Circles, facilitated by Morgan State University. Keanya received her bachelor's in history and political science at Virginia Union University and her master's in history at Virginia State University. She holds an M.S. in educational administration from Trinity University and endorsements in social studies, ESOL, special education, and school administration. Currently she is pursuing a certificate in instructional systems design at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Neal Davis (SERP Studio) is the Director of Media and Design. Before SERP, Neal operated his own media company, Group 5 Media, which produced video and other materials supporting professional development, curriculum, program dissemination, scale-up, and marketing for local and national educational organizations. Prior to starting Group 5 Media, he worked as video producer, and before that, materials and staff developer at Developmental Studies Center. Neal has taught middle school and high school English language arts and social studies, worked as a school administrator, and helped found an independent middle school in the San Francisco Bay Area. He holds an Ed.M. and teaching credential from Harvard Graduate School of Education, an M.S. in video production from Brooklyn College, and a B.A. in English from Oberlin College.

Suzanne Donovan (National Office) is Executive Director of the SERP Institute, where she is building a program of work in partnership with school districts, and anchored in classroom and school practice.  She was primary author and co-editor of the two SERP reports: Strategic Education Research Partnership proposed the design and governance structure of the SERP Institute, and Learning and Instruction: A SERP Research Agenda details an illustrative research and development agenda directly tied to classroom practice. Suzanne has also directed the "How People Learn" project at the National Academies since 1999. She served as study director and editor of the most recent report in the series: How Students Learn: History, Mathematics, and Science in the Classroom, which was published in 2005. She was also the study director and co-editor for the NRC report Minority Students in Special and Gifted Education, and was a co-editor of Eager to Learn: Educating our Preschoolers. She has a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley. Before joining the National Research Council, she was on the faculty of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

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David Dudley (SERP Studio) is an Illustrator and Content Developer for SERP. He studied art at Oberlin College and did graduate work in creative writing and English at Temple University. He has illustrated books for Oxford University Press, University of California Press, and the Developmental Studies Center, and has done animation, video, and design for Consumer Health Interactive and California WIC. At the University of California at Berkeley, David worked as an art developer, illustrator, writer, and editor for Living by Chemistry, an NSF-sponsored high school chemistry curriculum development project. David has also published creative nonfiction and fiction, literary criticism, and environmental journalism in such periodicals as Schuylkill, Studies in Short Fiction, the San Jose Mercury News, and California Wild (the magazine of the California Academy of Sciences), and has written for a variety of medical websites.

Susan Eagle (National Office) joined SERP as the Director of Finance in February 2005. She began her career as an audit associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Deloitte & Touche, focusing on the non-profit industry. Upon graduating from business school, Susan worked as a senior management consultant for McKinsey & Company where she worked on Board-level strategic issues for companies in various industries. Susan received an M.B.A. in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She received a Bachelor of Science in Commerce, with distinction, from the McIntire School of the University of Virginia. Susan is also the mother of two sets of twins!

Matt Ellinger (SERP Studio) is a Designer focusing on user-centered design for teaching and learning. Matt served as SERP's first Director of Media and Design from 2008 to 2018. His work prior to SERP includes time with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching where he designed multimedia records of practice, administered studies on the professional preparation of elementary teachers, and facilitated lesson study programs for the Mountain View-Whisman School District in Silicon Valley. Matt consults for WestEd's Understanding Science Program as a materials developer and content specialist. Prior to entering the research world, Matt taught elementary & middle school and served as a school principal in El Cerrito, California. He attended the University of Texas and holds bachelor's and master's degrees in education.

Michelle Forman (Boston) is the Project Director for the SERP Boston Internal Coherence Project, and has been a researcher on the project since its inception in 2007. As director Michelle has overseen the development of the Internal Coherence Assessment Protocol, which has been administered in K-12 schools in Massachusetts, Texas, California, and New York. Michelle has also overseen the development and delivery of ongoing, job-embedded professional development for school and district leaders in the practices that build organizational capacity for improving teaching and learning school-wide. Michelle holds a doctorate in education policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on a conception of teachers' collective efficacy that is grounded in the professional knowledge of what teachers need to do to excel in their work and serve as agents of school improvement.

George Gumulinski (SERP Studio) serves as a Media and Design Specialist. His work includes collecting and processing video recordings, assisting in the production of online and print materials, and providing technical and logistical support to the media staff and to the organization as a whole. Prior to joining the SERP, he was a project manager in international business. This Minnesota native enjoys biking to work year-round in California and also appreciates the vast hiking opportunities available locally.

Beverly Hoffmaster (National Office) serves as the Director of Operations, which includes financial management, grants administration, and human resources. She earned a degree in Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University and went on to work in retail commerce for over twenty years prior to joining the SERP team. Her business background includes senior management positions at Finlay Fine Jewelry and The Imaginarium (an educational toy store). Beverly admits to being "crazy" for her dogs and enjoys connecting with family when not overseeing operations at SERP.

Lisa Hsin (Boston) is a Research Fellow with SERP working in adolescent literacy; she is also a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is responsible for exploring questions around the impacts of Word Generation using analytical techniques acquired during her doctoral studies in cognitive science at Johns Hopkins University and her postdoctoral training at Tufts University and Harvard. Lisa began her career in education as a Spanish teacher in the Washington, D.C. area and has carried out experimental research at dual-language early childhood centers and at public elementary and middle schools. More recently, she worked as assistant professor of educational psychology at the University of Alabama. Her research interests include the development of language and literacy skills, such as perspective-taking and written argumentation, especially with ELL and bilingual students.

Allie Huyghe (National Office) serves as Assistant Director. She joined SERP in May 2012 to support various SERP initiatives including AlgebraByExample, STARI, and Word Generation. Her work includes supporting study management as well as reviewing and editing curriculum materials. Prior to SERP, she worked with the Neuropsychology Group at the National Cancer Institute within the National Institutes of Health, and has aided in numerous research projects in the field of Industrial/ Organizational Psychology. She holds a B.A. in psychology from the George Washington University.

Avery Jones (National Office) serves as the Special Assistant, which includes taking on executive assistant responsibilities, as well as project work. She holds a B.A. in English and economics from Baylor University and a master’s in English literature from Texas Christian University. She has broad experience in event planning, executive support, communication, editing, travel coordination, and office management.

Carol Mahedy (Boston)  serves as Field Coordinator for the Academic Language Project. Carol has over thirty years experience as an English language arts teacher, mostly with the Dennis-Yarmouth (Massachusetts) Regional School District. She has also served as an instructional coach supporting Word Generation, STARI, and many other literacy initiatives. Like a true Cape Codder, Carol has been seen harvesting oysters on her lunch break and considers her home of Wellfleet to be "practically paradise." Carol completed her advanced graduate study in educational leadership and administration at University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and her master's in urban education at Iona College.

Brittany Morrow-Green (Jackson) currently serves as an Adolescent Literacy Coach supporting STARI implementation. Brittany is an educator with twelve years of experience ranging from classroom teaching to district level administration. Born and raised in Chicago, she moved to Mississippi to attend college and begin her career as an educator. After graduating from Tougaloo College with a Bachelor's Degree in Special Education, Brittany started her career as a special education inclusion teacher, focusing on individualized student achievement and education plans to support student success. Upon graduating from Belhaven University with a Master's in Elementary Education, Brittany worked as an interventionist. She then served as a curriculum specialist for two years and the district liaison of curriculum for two years. Brittany is currently earning her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Arkansas State University.

Rachel Ottaviano (Baltimore & Washington) is an Adolescent Literacy Coach for the Building Capacity to Support Struggling Readers project. Rachel is an educator with more than twelve years of experience as a classroom teacher, ESL and literacy specialist, and teacher trainer/coach in public schools. Most recently, Rachel coached in a Title I school in Salem, MA where she supported teachers in bridging the gap between language and literacy for English language learners struggling with reading and writing development. Prior to this role, she served as an English language fellow in Chile through the U.S. Department of State where she developed and implemented a nationwide professional development program for English teachers in partnership with the Chilean Ministry of Education. She holds a B.A. in social psychology from University of Massachusetts, Boston and both an M.S.Ed in elementary education and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from Simmons College.

Karen Tran (Bay Area) is the Assistant Project Director for SERP's Bay Area Field Sites. Her work includes leading the formative evaluation of Oakland's math and science programming as it transitions to the CCSS and NGSS. She also facilitates the research-practice partnership, Reading to Learn in Science, involving nearly 40 teachers in two dozen San Francisco schools. She brings both practice and research experience to her role at SERP, having taught ELL students as an AmeriCorps member and conducting research on a range of school/district improvement issues in her positions at both WestEd and Stanford. She holds a B.A. in political science and geography from UCLA, and a M.A. in policy, organization and leadership studies from Stanford University.

Margaret Troyer (National Office) is the Project Director for the Building Capacity to Support Struggling Adolescent Readers project. In this role, she draws on her significant experience working with adolescent readers to expand the reach of the Strategic Adolescent Reading Intervention (STARI). Margaret holds a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where her dissertation work focused on teacher implementation of STARI. Margaret began her career in education as a middle school English teacher in the Baltimore City Public Schools and later worked as a teacher and literacy coach in Washington DC. In addition to her recent Ed.D from Harvard, Margaret has a bachelor’s in English from Oberlin College and an M.A. in teaching from Johns Hopkins University.

Patrice Williams-Razor (Jackson) is an Adolescent Literacy Coach who supports the implementation of SERP's Strategic Adolescent Reading Intervention (STARI). Patrice is a native of Terry, Mississippi and is an avid reader and writer herself. She holds both bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Belhaven University. She also earned a masters of science in reading literacy, specializing in grades K-12. Patrice began her career in education over fifteen years ago as an elementary school teacher and has continued to work at various grade levels throughout the years. In addition to teaching, she has acted as an academic strategist, a state assessment program coordinator, and a literacy coach for the Mississippi State Department of Education. In her spare time, Patrice enjoys cooking, shopping, traveling, and spending time with her family.

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1100 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 1310  |  Washington, DC  20036

(202) 223-8555