Vicki’s Scoops for July 14

It is most definitely July in Houston—not the best time to visit here. “Hot town, summer in the city….” But you know you can count on me for the hot scoops of the week so please read on now….

New roles for colleagues and friends….

The education nonprofit MIND Research Institute’s Board of Directors has named Brett Woudenberg as its new chief executive officer. Co-founder Matthew Peterson, Ph.D., will focus his efforts on innovation as the organization’s new chief research and development officer.

During Matthew’s three-year tenure as CEO, MIND doubled the number of students it impacts in the classroom. He also piloted successful programs outside the classroom such as family math nights, math fairs, math camps, and game-a-thons, showing thousands of children, their families, and the community that math is not only all around us, but exciting and fun as well.

Brett most recently served as chief operating officer at MIND, successfully leading cross-functional teams to increase student and teacher access to MIND’s award-winning programs and services. Prior to MIND, he served as COO of Sapling Learning and later the STEM Group at Macmillan Learning, a top publisher with products serving secondary and post-secondary education markets. He was also COO at national online learning platform provider Gaggle and President and CEO at Trailblazer Learning, an online professional development solution for K-12 schools. Brett holds a bachelor’s of business administration in finance from Grand Valley State University’s Seidman School of Business and an MBA from University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management.

Join me in congratulating Brett on his new role at MIND!

Brian Kibby has been appointed chief executive officer for Knewton, Inc. Brian, a champion of personalized learning who previously served as a senior executive at McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson, has consistently grown education businesses at multiple times the rate of the rest of the market and built digital businesses with hundreds of millions in sales. With his appointment, Knewton is positioned to fulfill its promise of changing the world through personalized learning.

At McGraw-Hill Education, Brian helped turn personalized learning into a movement to increase student performance while making education more affordable. He made adaptive technology the centerpiece of the company’s higher education business, resulting in its adaptive offerings growing from 40 in 2012 to over 1,400 in 2015. His leadership has translated to financial success: Over a 20-year career as an executive at McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson, he regularly outperformed industry sales estimates by double-digit percentages and built digital businesses with hundreds of millions in sales. Most recently, he served as CEO of MV Transportation, the largest privately held transportation contractor in America.

Brian is not shy about the potential of personalized learning technology to transform teaching and learning. In 2012, he sent shockwaves throughout the world of higher education by calling on publishers to become all-digital with the goal of improving student outcomes and affordability.

A veteran of the U.S. Army, Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Western Illinois University. His tenure at Knewton began July 10th.

Ryan Prichard, who served as Knewton’s interim CEO since founder Jose Ferreira stepped down from the post in December 2016, will return to his role as the company’s president and chief technology officer.

Congratulations to Brian on his new role!

And the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the principal association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders, has announced its Board of Directors and Officers for 2017-18:

  • Todd Lawrence, Idaho State Department of Education (Chair)
  • Julia Fallon, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington (Chair-elect)
  • Carla Wade, Oregon Department of Education (Secretary)
  • Janice Mertes, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (Treasurer)
  • Laurel Ballard, Wyoming Department of Education
  • Peter Drescher, Vermont Agency of Education
  • Eric Hileman (Emeritus), Oklahoma City Public Schools
  • Ann-Marie Mapes, Michigan Department of Education
  • Shannon Parks, Alabama Department of Education Consultant
  • Candice Dodson, Indiana Department of Education (Past-Chair)

Todd Lawrence moves from the Chair-Elect position to the Chair for 2017-18 and will be joined by Julia Fallon, in her second term on the SETDA Board, as Chair-Elect. Carla Wade, who was re-elected to another term on the Board, will serve as Secretary and Janice Mertes will serve as Treasurer. Outgoing Chair, Candice Dodson, will serve in an advisory capacity as Past Chair but will not be a voting member of the Board. Newly elected members at-large are Laurel Ballard and Ann-Marie Mapes. Peter Drescher, Eric Hileman, and Shannon Parks will continue as at-large Board members.

The SETDA Board was elected at its annual Emerging Technologies Forum & Annual Business Meeting June 23-26, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. Congratulations to each of these education leaders!

Another author….

David Henderson, who owns and operates a LearningRx Brain Training Center, just published his debut book, Tea with Rex. It is a delightful children’s story that acknowledges sibling tensions and offers a path to understanding and cooperation between a sister and her brother. They define guidelines for constructive play and learn to appreciate each other’s point of view.

David is a former classroom teacher, lifelong educator, and parent. Dani Ward does a masterful job of illustrating the work.

The book looks delightful for young children, and I have ordered a copy for our youngest grandchildren. Check it out—it is available on Amazon.

I hope you caught the fun interview I had this week with Larry Jacobs, host of Education Talk Radio. Two of this year’s EdNET Advisory Board members, Dayton Johnson, President, Dayton Johnson Executive Search and Consultancy, and Katharine Mobley, Chief Marketing Officer for Crescerance, joined me for the program. We gave an overview of EdNET 2017 and a first look at the great sessions planned. The talk is always fun with Larry, and we also helped him celebrate his birthday! If you missed it, check out the archived program for all the details!

Don’t you dare miss out! You have just two more weeks to take advantage of the discount on registration for EdNET 2017. Register by July 31st to save!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! I am taking our daughter Amanda and her family to see “The Lion King” production tomorrow, and we are all excited. Stay cool and do something fun for your weekend, too! I will see you back here next Friday. Till then….Vicki, the Snoop

[Send me your scoops at and be sure to follow me on Twitter @Snoops4Scoops #SheSnoops]