For all media inquiries, please contact Amy Skinner, ECS Director of Communications, 303-299-3609 or email@example.com.
Jeremy Anderson President
Jeremy Anderson is the President of the Education Commission of the States. ECS was created by states for states in 1965 to track policy, translate research, provide unbiased advice and create opportunities for state education policymakers to learn from each other. Jeremy has a strong public service record working with officials in Washington, D.C., with many governors and legislators in states and with education policy organizations around the country. Some of his accomplishments include providing strategic leadership on education policy design and implementation through projects with the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Conference of State Legislators, and many other national policy organizations. Jeremy has served in multiple policy and governmental affairs roles for Governors on state and national education initiatives and was directly involved in brokering the bipartisan passage of the largest K-12 funding investment in Kansas history to avert a shutdown of Kansas schools. Jeremy currently serves on the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences Board of Governors. Jeremy is serving as the eighth president of ECS since its establishment in 1965.
Antionette Garcia Executive Office Manager and State Relations Specialist
Antionette Garcia is a 16-year veteran of ECS. She manages the president’s activities and projects, and oversees the executive office work flow. She also serves as the point person for human resources functions and conducts key outreach as part of ECS’ state relations team. She has worked in nearly every ECS division over the years, including the finance administration unit and the Policy Studies and Program Area. Antionette also worked on special projects with the previous chief of staff. Her institutional knowledge about ECS’ history and her longstanding relationship with ECS commissioners are invaluable to the work of ECS today. She left ECS briefly in the 1990s to work as a project manager supporting the chief information officer at Qwest Communications. Antionette returned to ECS because she wanted to share her extensive knowledge and expertise about ECS with ECS commissioners, corporate partners, foundation officials and other education leaders.
Tonette Salazar State Relations Director
Tonette Salazar joined ECS in 2013 as the state relations director. Prior to joining ECS, Tonette formed Salazar & Associates, an independent lobbying and political consulting firm, in 2002. During her tenure, she focused on K-12 education and higher education issues, and successfully represented school districts, counselors, special education directors, career and technical educators, and community colleges on major education reform issues and significant financial restructuring. Prior to the creation of the firm, Tonette worked for the Colorado General Assembly in the Office of Legislative Legal Services and State Senate. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and English from the University of Denver and her law degree from the University of Colorado.
Tracy Vigil Controller Tracy Vigil has more than 28 years of accounting and business experience. She earned her bachelor's degree in accounting from Regis University and is a Certified Public Accountant. She is working on her master’s degree in accounting at Regis.
Janet Martin Accountant
Janet has more than 30 years of experience in professional office management and accounting. Prior to joining ECS, she worked for a transportation company in Irving, Tex., where she served as office manager and was later promoted to secretary/treasurer.
John Ivey Publications Distribution Coordinator
John Ivey is the publications/distribution coordinator for ECS and also the lead person in the Central Services department. John attended the University of Colorado, the University of Colorado Denver, and holds a bachelor's degree in business with an emphasis in e-business from the University of Phoenix. Prior to ECS, he worked for 15 years in the printing industry.
Amy Skinner Director of Communications
Amy Skinner joined ECS as the director of communications in September 2014. Prior to joining ECS she served as the director of communications with the Colorado Department of Education, where she was charged with supporting Colorado’s education goals and driving successful implementation of education reform efforts. Amy’s education experience also includes developing and executing communications and outreach strategies while working with Denver Public Schools. Her work has earned several awards for outstanding communication practices and has prompted various state and national organizations to seek her as a featured speaker for conferences and webinars.
Kym Bloom Print/Web Designer
Kym Bloom joined ECS in September 2005 as the print and web designer for the Communications Department. Kym has more than 17 years experience in graphic and web design and is also involved with the local art community. She holds a Master of Humanities degree from the University of Colorado Denver, where she was an adjunct professor in the fine arts department, and a bachelor's degree in film from Brigham Young University.
Brady Delander Communications Specialist
Brady Delander is a former journalist who joined ECS in 2011. As a communications specialist, he handles media relations, social media, internal communications, editing and website maintenance, among other responsibilities. Previously, he spent 15 years as a writer and editor for various print and online publications, including medical journals, major metropolitan newspapers and international professional sports news distributers. He received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Northern Colorado.
Karen Kepler National Forum and Event Manager
Karen Kepler is responsible for the planning and management of the ECS National Forum on Education Policy and other ECS-sponsored meetings and events. She leads the organizational planning activities for the National Forum and coordinates all the logistical arrangements. Karen has more than 20 years of experience in the travel and hospitality industry. She received her bachelor's degree in marketing communications at the University of Colorado Boulder and has earned the industry's distinguished Certified Meeting Planner's certificate.
Heidi Normandin Associate, Communications, Governance and State Relations
Heidi Normandin joined ECS in September 2008. She serves as the staff liaison to ECS officers and governance committees, helps plan and coordinate the annual commissioner meeting and National Forum on Education Policy and manages ECS commissioner appointments. Before joining ECS, Heidi worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars, where she coordinated nonpartisan seminars for Wisconsin legislators and other policymakers on family issues. She has experience in program evaluation, public policy analysis, researching the information needs of state legislators and meeting coordination. She earned her master's degree in public policy analysis from the UW-Madison La Follette School of Public Affairs.
Kathy Christie Vice President, Knowledge/Information Management & Dissemination
Kathy Christie is vice president, knowledge/information management and dissemination. In addition, she co-directs the work of the ECS Clearinghouse, where staff work on matters relating to educational problems and how they are being met in different places throughout the nation. This helps provide the executive and legislative branches of state government and local communities with ready access to the experience and record of the entire country. It also allows both lay and professional groups in the field additional avenues for sharing experience and the interchange of ideas. Clearinghouse staff respond to policy and research requests across the states and work to make information broadly available at "point of need" through www.ecs.org. Prior to working with ECS, Kathy worked as a freelance writer, a secondary language arts teacher, juvenile detention center counselor and was employed with the National Conference of State Legislatures. She served three terms as a locally-elected school board member and one term on the board of directors for the Colorado Association of School Boards.
Jennifer Dounay Zinth Co-Director, Information Clearinghouse, and Senior Policy Analyst
Jennifer Dounay Zinth joined the ECS staff in 1997. Since 2005, she has managed the ECS High School Policy Center, a project to provide state policy information, analysis and research findings on a number of high school reform issues, including graduation requirements and high school assessments, graduation rates, P-16 and dual credit. She currently co-directs the work of the ECS Clearinghouse. She has been cited by numerous media outlets nationwide, including the New York Times, National Public Radio, Newsweek and the Washington Post, as well as by academic publications. A writer, Jennifer has served as the "Stateline" columnist for Phi Delta Kappan magazine, and has been published in Education Digest and the State Education Leader. She contributed a chapter to the book Promising Practices during High School, and an article to The Council of State Governments' 2009 Book of the States, both released in 2009.
Michael Griffith Senior Policy Analyst
Mike Griffith serves as the senior school finance analyst for ECS. He has worked in the field of school finance policy for the past 15 years with ECS, the consulting firm of Augenblick & Myers and the Michigan State Senate. His research has focused on the condition of state budgets, the adequacy and equity of state finance formulas, and promising practices in funding programs for high-need students. Mike is an expert resource to national news media and has been quoted more than 250 times by such outlets as CNN, Education Week, NBC Nightly News, National Public Radio and The New York Times. Mike holds a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University, a master's degree in public administration from The Ohio State University and a master's degree in education management from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
Maria Millard Policy Analyst
Maria Millard joined the ECS team in January 2014 as a policy analyst in the Information Clearinghouse. She also works with the Postsecondary and Workforce Institute. Prior to ECS, Maria worked for the Maine State Legislature’s Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future. She has also worked for several education nonprofits focused on access to higher education, both in Maine and in South Africa. Maria earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology at Amherst College after transferring from Cornell University. She earned her master’s degree in policy, organization and leadership at Stanford’s School of Education.
Jennifer Thomsen Policy Analyst
Jennifer Thomsen joined ECS as a researcher in December 2013. Prior to joining ECS, she spent 13 years working for the Colorado General Assembly, first in the Office of Legislative Legal Services as a legislative editor and then in the Legislative Council as a policy and research staffer focusing primarily on education issues. Her degree is in political science.
Micah Ann Wixom Policy Analyst
Micah Wixom joined ECS as a policy analyst in December 2013. Prior to joining ECS, she worked for the Legislative Counsel Bureau in Nevada in the Constituent Services Unit, where she helped legislators respond to constituent questions and concerns. She also worked as a volunteer coordinator for Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas and as a performance auditor for the Office of the Auditor General in Phoenix. She earned a bachelor's degree from Utah State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Brigham Young University.
Carol Kreck Researcher
Carol Kreck, a researcher with ECS, previously served as its librarian. She is a former reporter at The Denver Post, where she was a feature writer before moving to the news side to cover children’s issues, education and the Denver Police Department. Her degree is in criminal justice.
Julie Rowland Researcher
Julie Rowland joined ECS in September 2014. Prior, she worked as an education researcher for Colorado State Sen. Nancy Todd and as a grant writer for Mile High Women’s Outreach Center. She earned her law degree and master’s degree in education policy from the Pennsylvania State University and is a Colorado licensed attorney. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature from St. Edward’s University. Julie has taught legal research and writing to attorneys from around the world, tutored immigrants in English and published on a wide variety of education topics.
Bruce Atchison Director, Early Learning Institute and ECS Executive Director of Policy and Operations
Bruce Atchison is the director of the Early Learning Institute at ECS and is responsible for all of the early childhood initiatives. He brings more than 25 years of experience working in the field of early childhood. He was the chief of staff for Colorado Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien during Gov. Bill Ritter's administration, served as the executive vice president of the state’s child advocacy organization and as their lobbyist for three years, worked in Gov. Roy Romer's Policy Office as the Head Start state collaboration director and worked as the executive director of the Early Learning Partnership focused on preschool to kindergarten transitions. Additionally, Bruce worked for Denver Public Schools as the executive director of the Family Resource Schools, as director of the City of Boulder’s Children’s Services Division and as president and CEO of a private-nonprofit child care facility serving infants through preschool from primarily low-income single parent working families. Most importantly, he taught in kindergarten and early childhood classrooms for more than 10 years. He served on the faculty at the University of Denver in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology as a child development specialist and was an instructor at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he taught child development. He has received the “Raising Colorado” award, been honored as the “Educator of the Year” and was designated as the “Volunteer of the Year” for his work with Head Start in Boulder County and The Children’s Hospital in Denver. Most recently, Bruce received the Edna Oliver Nancy Swank Early Childhood Lifetime Achievement Award.
Emily Workman Policy Analyst
Emily Workman serves as a policy analyst for the Information Clearinghouse. She tracks, analyzes and produces policy reports on a variety of education issues, with a primary focus on early childhood education, teacher issues and the Common Core State Standards. In addition, Emily is the ECS staff liaison for the Legislative Education Staff Network (LESN), which serves to strengthen the capabilities of legislative education staff to support legislative institutions and individual legislators in developing state laws and policy that support student success. Prior to joining ECS, she spent time volunteering and teaching in Kenya and Thailand. Emily holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and business from Duke University as well as a master's degree in international and comparative social policy from the University of York in England.
Paul Baumann Director
Paul Baumann is director of ECS’ National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement. He earned his Ph.D. in education policy from the University of Maryland (UMD)–College Park, where his research focused on issues of teacher quality, teacher education and teacher compensation. Prior to attending UMD, Paul taught vocal music for 10 years at a private high school in suburban Maryland and in the District of Columbia Public Schools. He was elected to two terms on the board of directors of the Organization of American Kodály Educators, a national professional association of music educators, and served as its secretary from 2002-07.
Lisa Guilfoile Project Leader
Lisa Guilfoile received a bachelor's degre in education from Illinois State University in May 1983 and spent the next nine years teaching and coaching in central Illinois. From 2002-04, she served as a volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps, working with subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and promoting HIV/AIDS prevention education. Most recently, she worked for three years in Littleton Public Schools as a paraprofessional for Transition Services, a Life Skills-based program for developmentally disadvantaged young adults.
Brian A. Sponsler Director Brian A. Sponsler, Ed.D. is the director for the Postsecondary and Workforce Development Institute at the Education Commission of the States (ECS). In his role, Brian oversees the strategic direction of the institute’s work, manages the institute’s policy- research portfolio, and works to cultivate and maintain relationships with organizational funding partners, higher education policy researchers, policymakers and postsecondary administrators. Prior to joining ECS, Brian was the vice president for research and policy at NASPA, the leading professional association for the field of student affairs. Additionally, he served as associate director for research at the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), a leading higher education policy organization located in Washington, DC., and has held several campus-based professional roles. Brian’s research interests include college access for disenfranchised student populations, student development and success, college rankings, structural/ geographic impediments to college-going and policy-adoption theory. His policy research work has been financially supported by the Lumina Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kresge Foundation, among others. Brian has published policy research briefs with the Institute for Higher Education Policy, The Center for American Progress, Excelencia in Education, the NASPA Research and Policy Institute, and has presented at major policy gatherings and academic conferences. Brian holds a doctorate in higher education administration from The George Washington University.
Mary Fulton Policy Analyst
Mary Fulton is a policy analyst in the Information Clearinghouse and has been with ECS since 1990. Mary is a lead staff member for the organization's No Child Left Behind work and has overseen the NCLB database and publications, including "ECS Report to the Nation: State Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act" and "No State Left Behind: The Challenges and Opportunities of ESEA 2001." She has served as a generalist in the Clearinghouse and has tracked, analyzed and produced policy briefs on a variety of education issues. She also is responsible for ECS' e-Clips service that delivers relevant news articles to constituents on a daily basis. Throughout the 1990s, Mary served as the organization's school finance expert, providing technical assistance and testimony to policymakers regarding their education funding systems.
Emmy J. Glancy Policy Analyst
In December 2013, Emmy Glancy joined ECS as a policy analyst and project coordinator for the Postsecondary and Workforce Education Development Institute. In her role, she focuses on The Blueprint for College Readiness initiative, which is designed to help states maximize recent policy changes that share a common vision: to increase the number of students who are college and career ready, decrease the need for remedial education, and increase the rate of students who complete a high-quality postsecondary credential. Before joining ECS, Emmy was the P-20 Alignment director for the Colorado Department of Higher Education. She also served as program manager in the Office of Standards and Assessments for the Colorado Department of Education and staffed Colorado’s P-20 Education Alignment Council. Emmy received her bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism from the University of Iowa and holds a master’s degree from the University of Colorado.
Lexi Anderson Researcher
Lexi Anderson joined ECS as a researcher in February 2014. Prior to joining ECS, Lexi worked as an academic advisor for 3 ½ years with undergraduate and graduate students. Lexi’s role at ECS includes working with Lumina Foundation on the Strategy Labs project, tracking enacted and pending legislation, creating trend reports and preparing legislative summaries. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Loyola University Chicago, her master’s degree in leadership in higher education from the University of St. Thomas and is working on her Ed.D. in higher education at the University of Denver.
Zeke Perez Jr. Researcher
Zeke Perez joined ECS in September 2014 as a researcher in the Postsecondary and Workforce Development Institute. Prior, he was a government affairs fellow for the National Endowment for Financial Education and a government affairs intern at the City and County of Denver. He also served as a legislative aide in the Colorado State Senate for two years. He received his bachelor’s degree in public policy and political science from the University of Denver. He is pursuing a master’s degree in public policy at the University of Denver.
Sarah Pingel Researcher
Sarah Pingel joined ECS in February 2014 as a researcher in the Postsecondary and Workforce Development Institute. In this role, Sarah researches and tracks state legislation geared towards increasing higher education attainment for Lumina Foundation's Strategy Labs project. Prior to that, she worked in the financial aid offices of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Regis University and the University of Denver. Sarah received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her master’s degree from Bryn Mawr College. She is pursuing her doctorate in higher education at the University of Denver.