Jeremy Anderson President
Jeremy Anderson 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 Education Division of Standard and Poor’s, and ECS. He served as the long-time Policy and Governmental Affairs Director for former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, where he advised the Governor on state and national legislative initiatives and oversaw her involvement with ECS during her term as the ECS Chair. While there, he 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. Anderson is serving as the eighth President of ECS since its establishment in 1965.
Antionette Garcia Executive Assistant to the President and State Relations Specialist
Antionette Garcia, Executive Office Manager and State Relations Specialist, 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. Garcia 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. Garcia 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
On Nov. 1, 2013, Tonette joined ECS 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. Tonette received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and English from the University of Denver and her law degree from the University of Colorado.
Karen Schimke Special Advisor to the President
Karen Schimke joined the Education Commission of the States as Early Learning Project Manager after a long career in government and the nonprofit sector in New York State. Most recently, she was the President and CEO of the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, a well respected policy organization with a long history of work to improve health and human services. While there Karen spearheaded the creation of the early learning coalition, Winning Beginning and was the convener of the statewide child advocacy coalition, New York Children’s Action Network. Prior to that she served in various executive capacities in state and local government including as Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York Department of Health and the New York Department of Social Services as well as Commissioner of the Erie County Department of Social Services in Buffalo. A native of Nebraska, she graduated from the University of Nebraska and received a Masters degree in Social Work from Western Reserve University.
John Ivey Publications Distribution Coordinator
John Ivey is the publications/distribution coordinator for ECS, and also the lead person in the Central Services department. Ivey attended the University of Colorado, the University of Colorado Denver, and holds a Bachelor degree in business with an emphasis in e-business from the University of Phoenix. Prior to ECS, Ivey worked for 15 years in the printing industry.
Nancy Mitchell Communications Director
Nancy Mitchell is a veteran journalist who joined ECS in November 2013. She has nearly 20 years’ experience in print and online journalism, including serving as the education reporter for the Rocky Mountain News and as managing editor for Education News Colorado. Nancy is the recipient of a number of national and state journalism awards, including the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for coverage of children and families. She also has presented on computer-assisted reporting projects for the Education Writers Association. Prior to joining ECS, Nancy was communications director for the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
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 16 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 of Arts from Brigham Young University.
Karen Kepler Associate 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. Kepler has over 13 years experience in the travel and hospitality industry. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing communications and has received 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, manages ECS commissioner appointments and oversees ECS press releases. Before joining ECS, Normandin worked at the UW-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 & 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, so that the executive and legislative branches of state government and of local communities may have ready access to the experience and record of the entire country, and so both lay and professional groups in the field may have 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, Christie 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, Dounay Zinth 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.
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.
Michael Griffith Senior Policy Analyst
Mike Griffith serves as the Senior School Finance Analyst for the Education Commission of the States (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 over 250 times by such outlets as: CNN, Education Week, NBC Nightly News, National Public Radio and The New York Times. Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University; a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from The Ohio State University; and a Master of Arts degree in Education Management from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
Marga Torrence Mikulecky Policy Analyst
Marga Torrence Mikulecky has returned to ECS part-time to provide research for the Information Clearinghouse. While at ECS from 2001-05, Marga served as a policy analyst and project manager for postsecondary and as a project director for the Community College Policy Center. Prior to joining ECS, Marga was an attorney in corporate and private practice in Virginia and North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and German from Lenoir-Rhyne University and a Juris Doctor from Penn State University.
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, Workman 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 which support student success. Prior to joining ECS, she spent time volunteering and teaching in Kenya and Thailand. Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Business from Duke University as well as a Masters of International and Comparative Social Policy from the University of York in England.
Bruce Atchison Director, Early Learning Institute
Bruce Atchison is the Director of the Early Learning Institute at ECS and all of the early childhood initiatives. Bruce brings over 25 years of experience working in the field of early childhood. He was the Chief of Staff for Colorado’s Lt. Governor during Governor Ritters administration, served as the Executive Vice President of the State’s child advocacy organization and as their lobbyist for three years, worked in Governor Roy Romers Policy Office as the Head Start State Collaboration Director, and he was the Executive Director of the Early Learning Partnership focused on preschool to kindergarten transitions. Additionally Bruce worked for the Denver Public Schools as the Executive Director of the Family Resource Schools, he was the Director of the City of Boulder’s Children’s Services Division, served as the President and CEO of a private-nonprofit child care facility serving infants through preschool from primarily low-income single parent working families, and most importantly Bruce 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, teaching coursework in child development. He has received the “Raising Colorado” award, been honored as the “Educator of the Year”, and 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.
Paul Baumann Director
Paul Baumann is Director of ECS’ National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement. Paul 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.
Brady Delander Communications Specialist/Researcher
Brady Delander joined ECS in 2011 and serves as an editor and communications specialist. 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 and English from the University of Northern Colorado.
Lisa Guilfoile Project Leader, National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement
Lisa Guilfoile, ECS Project Leader, received a B.S. in Education from Illinois State University in May of 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 the Littleton Public School system, Colorado as a paraprofessional for Transition Services—a Life Skills-based program for developmentally disadvantaged young adults.
Matt Gianneschi, Ph.D. Vice President of Policy and Programs, and Director of the Postsecondary and Workforce Development Institute
On June 1, 2013, Matt Gianneschi joined ECS as the vice president of policy and programs and director of the Postsecondary and Workforce Education Development Institute. Prior to that, he was the deputy executive director for the Colorado Department of Higher Education (DHE). In 2011, Gianneschi served as the vice president of Student Services and Enrollment Management at the Community College of Aurora and before that he was the senior policy advisor for education to Governor Bill Ritter, during which time he directed the state’s P-20 Education Coordinating Council. Gianneschi also served on the “pipeline” subcommittee for the recent Higher Education Strategic Plan process and was the co-chair of the education transition team for Governor Hickenlooper and Lt. Governor Garcia. He has taught at the University of Denver and Community College of Aurora. Gianneschi holds a master’s degree from the University of Denver and a Ph.D. from the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona.
Mary Fulton Policy Analyst
Mary F. Fulton is a policy analyst in the Information Clearinghouse and has been with ECS since 1990. Ms. Fulton 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." Ms. Fulton 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, Ms. Fulton served as the organization's school finance expert, and provided technical assistance and testimony to policymakers regarding their education funding systems.