President – Ran Barnes
North Carolina Assoc. for Middle-Level Education
Ran Barnes has served for over fifteen years as a Board member for the North Carolina Association for Middle-Level Education. While on that Board, he has served as the Central Office Representative, Treasurer, and Past- President. In addition, Ran serves on the Board for the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. While serving on these Boards, Ran worked with the 2010 Investing in Innovation i3 grant for NC. This was a three-state collaboration with North Carolina, Illinois, and California. He is currently the state director for the SEED grant. This is a 4 state initiative with Michigan, California, North Carolina and Illinois. Ran is active in the Schools to Watch (STW) initiative in North Carolina. Each year he visits schools to help determine a school as a new STW or a redesignated STW.
Past President – Bruce Vosburgh
Pennsylvania Assoc. for Middle-Level Education
Bruce Vosburgh is currently the Director of the Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch program in Pennsylvania. He has been involved with the STW program in PA since they wrote their state application in 2005. He is a retired middle school teacher, coach, team leader, assistant principal and principal of a middle school in Pennsylvania where he spent 36 years, serving the last 20 as the principal. He is the current President of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform Board.
Schools to Watch Board Representative – Tina Jamison
South Carolina Assoc. for Middle-Level Education
Tina Jamison currently works at the South Carolina Department of Education in the role of External Review Team Coordinator. Prior to this position, she served as the Program Manager for State Priority Schools, the state coordinator for High Schools that Work and Making Middle Grades Work improvement frameworks, and a high school English teacher. She is also co-director for South Carolina's Schools to Watch program through the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades.
Jana K Vance
Jana is the Superintendent of the Rochester Community School Corporation. Jana also serves on the IMLEA Board, NIESC Board, Fulton County Health Board, Chamber Board, and FEDCO. She is married to Douglas and they have one son, Dryden.
Advocacy Chair – Martinrex Kedziora
Dr. Martinrex Kedziora is the Chief Academic Officer of Educational Services for the Moreno Valley Unified School District since 2011. Originally, from Memphis, TN, Dr. Kedziora has been a middle school teacher, special education coordinator, K-8 Principal and Professional Development Director during his 30-year career. He serves as President of the California League of Middle Schools. As an Education Faculty member for National and Brandman Universities. He serves as a team member of CLS for the California Department of Education and the Middle Schools Alliance. He is a committee member of the Urban Education Committee for ACSA. He is the Chair of the Advocacy Committee for the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades, Vice President of the Moreno Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and on the advisory board for the Schools First Federal Credit Union.
Scott Steele – Scott is currently the Executive Director of the California League of Schools. CLS produces multi-day professional development events for educators throughout California, guides the California Schools to Watch model schools program, and is involved in several federal grants. Scott is also involved in the California Middle-Grade Alliance and heads the CLS Educator of the Year program. Before joining with CLS, Scott spent 33 years in the Clovis Unified School District as a middle school teacher, elementary principal, middle school principal (and former Schools to Watch principal) and Director of Educational Services. Scott is from Fresno, California and attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
David Payton served for over 20 years as Supervisor of the New York State Education Department’s Middle-Level Education Program, retiring in 2006. While at the NYSED he led the team that wrote New York’s STW application. From 2004 to 2018, he was a Co-Director of New York’s Essential Elements: Schools to Watch program. Dr. Payton continues to serve the middle-level community as a member of the EE: STW Leadership Team, a reader of STW applications, a site visit team leader to schools seeking STW re-designation, and an advocate for middle-level education and the STW program. He has been a member of the New York State Middle School Association’s Board of Directors since 1985 and the National Forum since 2000. On October 18, 2018, Dr. Payton was inducted into the New York State Middle-Level Education Hall of Fame, joining his hero and friend, Dr. Conrad (Connie) Toepfer.
Dr. Chris Cook is a Professor of Middle Grades Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He earned his B.S. and M.A. from Appalachian State University and his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. His current research and teaching interests focus on effective middle grades practices, current implementation of the “middle school concept”, and middle grades teacher preparation. Chris served as the former chair of the Middle Level Education Research Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association and currently serves as the state co-director of the North Carolina Schools to Watch program.
Cathy is principal of Bridges School, a 6-12 alternative school in Carteret County, North Carolina. She was the Executive Director of the North Carolina Association for Middle-Level Education and past President as well as the NC State Schools to Watch Director for 15 years. She is currently a board member of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Level Education. Cathy is a member of the Board of Directors for the Administration Division of NCAE (North Carolina Association of Educators) and is in her 7thyear as a member of the Penn State College of Education Board of Directors. In her community, she is a member of the Newport Planning Board and is Vice President of her homeowners' association. Dr. Tomon received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Penn State University, a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from East Carolina University and her Doctoral Degree in Administration and Supervision also from East Carolina University.
Dr. David D. McDonald began his education career in 2001. He has served as a high school social studies teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal for 10 years prior to being named Assistant Superintendent for Middle Schools for the largest school district in South Carolina. In 2013, Dr. McDonald was named S.C. Middle-Level Principal of the Year and in 2017 was named the AMLE Educator of the Year. Well respected in numerous schools and states, Dr. McDonald works tirelessly to support middle-level education. His professional associations include serving as President of the South Carolina Association for Middle-Level Education, Schools to Watch State Co-Director, and as a board member for the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. Dr. McDonald earned a Bachelor’s degree from Winthrop University, a Master’s degree from Concordia University, and Educational Specialist and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of South Carolina.