Vicki’s Scoops for September 29

Happy Friday, friends! Since we didn’t have time to post news last week due to our being in Scottsdale for EdNET 2017, I am sure you are ready for a fix of my scoops, but first, pour another cup of coffee and prepare to sit back for a while, as I have a ton of news you will want to know about!

New roles for colleagues and friends!

Longtime education technology industry leader Gregg Levin has been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer for K12 Insight. He will be primarily responsible for scaling K12 Insight’s growing customer service and community engagement platform for schools.

Before joining K12 Insight, Gregg served as general manager of Fuel Education, a division of K12 Inc. There he led a period of rapid and extended growth, reaching more than 2,000 district and school partners and scaling from $5 million to $120 million in annual revenue.

A 20-year veteran of educational technology, Gregg has also held executive and leadership positions at such prominent organizations as ChildrenFirst, Inc. (acquired by Bright Horizons), Sylvan, and Knowledge Learning Corporation, where he specialized in creating strategies to hone the mission, grow the client base, and scale the business.

Gregg earned a bachelor’s from the University of Rochester and a master’s in business administration from the University of Maryland at College Park. He serves on the board of Illustrative Mathematics and Asteria Learning (October 2017) and formerly served on the board of Middlebury Interactive Languages.

I love what the K12 Insight team is doing, and they are fortunate to have Gregg join their team in his new and important role. Join me in congratulating Gregg at

John Bailey continues to be busy. As announced in an earlier column, he is a Visiting Fellow at AEI, where he is exploring the future of work, AI, and globalization as part of the Human Dignity Project. And for the last several months, he has been a Fellow at the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), working on education and economic mobility.

As you know, John previously served as special assistant to the president for domestic policy at the White House from 2007 to January 2009, where he worked primarily on education and labor policy issues. Earlier, he worked on economic mobility and other issues in the Departments of Commerce and Education.

John also worked with state policymakers on a wide range of education issues as the vice president of policy for the Foundation for Excellence in Education. He co-founded Whiteboard Advisors, a strategy and consulting firm, and has advised multiple presidential campaigns. He is a member of the Education Reform Advisory Council of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and a board member of the Data Quality Campaign, which focuses on education data.

His writings include book chapters for Education Savings Accounts (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), Educational Entrepreneurship Today(Harvard University Press, 2016), and Private Enterprise and Public Education (Teachers College Press, 2013). An alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program, John received his B.A. in international studies from Dickinson College.

Congratulations to John on his continued meaningful work!

Duncan Young, CEO of Envision Experience, has joined the board of the Council for Economic Education. He shares that CEE is a great organization that promotes the effective teaching of financial and economic literacy in schools around the country, including serving as the sponsor and host of the National Economics Challenge.

Congratulations to Duncan on his new role!

Alisa Dorman, with more than 20 years of experience in education, has been hired as the new Vice President of Research and Product Effectiveness for Voyager Sopris Learning. She comes to the company from the Office of Literacy for the Colorado Department of Education where, for the past three years, she was Executive Director and led the state’s early reading initiative.

Among the duties in her new position, Alisa will spearhead and monitor research projects with school districts, perform statistical analyses on student reading and mathematics assessment data, and investigate new ideas for product enhancements to support the company’s mission of helping children achieve reading and math success.

During a tenure that began in 1998 with the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s research and development team, Alisa was first introduced to Voyager Sopris Learning solutions. After leaving the Oklahoma Department of Education in 2007, she worked for Eugene, Oregon-based Dynamic Measurement Group (DMG) and contributed to the development of multiple literacy assessment tools and professional development materials for educators. DMG is the author of Voyager Sopris Learning’s DIBELS®-a set of assessments for measuring the acquisition of basic early literacy skills for K-6 students.

A graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Alisa received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1990 and two Master of Education degrees in 1995-one in Reading and the other in School Counseling. Upon graduation, she began her teaching career as an elementary teacher in Texas and later in Oklahoma.

Join me in congratulating Alisa on joining the talented Voyager Sopris Learning team!

Dr. Kari Stubbs, an internationally recognized global ambassador for the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning, has joined the Board of Directors of Edcamp.

Kari’s thought leadership has contributed to topics including digital learning, educational gaming, playful assessment, critical thinking, and more. She began her career as a public school teacher and is now Vice President of Learning and Innovation at BrainPOP. In addition to her work at BrainPOP, she also serves on a host of industry boards including EdCamp, SXSWedu, FETC, the Horizon K12 Report, and previously ISTE.

Kari has presented extensively on education technology across the United States and around the globe from Shanghai and Abu Dhabi to Sydney, Prague, and beyond. She’s received the “Making It Happen” Award, was recognized as “20 to Watch,” and Microsoft’s Education VP twice named her a Global Hero in Education.

Congratulation to Kari on her new role!

Engineering and technology industry veteran Richard Escott has been named President of PASCO Scientific, a leader in 21st century science education solutions for grades K-12 and higher education. He has been with PASCO since 2014, serving as the company’s vice president of engineering.

With over 30 years experience in the tech world, Richard began his career at Hewlett Packard where he held several leadership positions including 10 years as director of engineering. In that position he managed a globally distributed R&D organization with more than 200 people in teams across the U.S. and India. Prior to joining PASCO he served as the director of program management at VeriFone Systems.

A leading provider of innovative solutions that stimulate student interest and hands-on learning in science, PASCO reinforced that position in 2016 when it unveiled a complete line of affordable wireless sensors. Developed under Richard’s leadership, the wireless sensor line has been recognized by organizations and awards programs around the globe, including the British Educational Suppliers Association Bett Awards and several U.S. awards programs such as the Tech & Learning magazine Awards of Excellence.

Congratulations to Richard on his new leadership role with PASCO!

Eilif Serck-Hanssen, current President and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for Laureate Education, Inc., the world’s largest global network of higher education institutions, will become Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective January 1st, 2018. And Ricardo Berckemeyer, current Chief Operating Officer (COO), will assume the additional title of President. Douglas Becker, Laureate’s Founder, Chairman, and CEO, will become the non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.

The transition plan, developed over several years by the Board of Directors and Becker, results in the promotions of Serck-Hanssen and Berckemeyer, two seasoned executives with 25 years of combined experience at Laureate. As part of this process, both executives were promoted in March 2017 to their current roles.

Since joining Laureate in 2008 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Eilif Serck-Hanssen has been responsible for overseeing global finance, managing the growth of the company, leading the transition to a public company, and implementing the company’s business transformation initiatives which have dramatically improved efficiency and positioned the company to leverage the benefits of its global scale. Earlier this year, Eilif became President and CAO. Prior to Laureate, he was CFO and President of International Operations at XOJET. He has also served in key management roles at PepsiCo, Northwest Airlines, and US Airways where he was Senior Vice President of Finance and Treasurer. Eilif will retain the CFO role until a successor is named.

Ricardo Berckemeyer joined Laureate in 2002 and led much of Laureate’s acquisition activity in Latin America. He served as CEO of Latin America until his promotion earlier this year to COO when he began overseeing global operations. Ricardo has successfully directed Laureate’s entry into many of the company’s most important markets and developed operating models to deliver strong educational and financial outcomes. Prior to joining Laureate, he was Vice President for Latin America for Citigroup Global Insurance and served as the Director of Global Business Development, Mergers and Acquisitions for Aetna International.

Douglas Becker founded the predecessor company to Laureate through a small acquisition in 1989, followed by the acquisition of Sylvan Learning Centers in 1991. The company went public in 1993 and became the leader in the tutoring sector, with over 1,000 tutoring centers and more than 200,000 students. The company launched its post-secondary education division in 1999 and subsequently divested its other holdings to concentrate on higher education, renaming itself Laureate Education, Inc. in 2004. The company was taken private in 2007 and returned to the public markets in February 2017.

Congratulations to each of these gentlemen!

And Glynlyon, Inc., a leader in teaching technology for schools and businesses, announced the retirement of CEO Beth Te Grotenhuisand the election of Matthew Given as the next CEO. Matthew currently serves as executive vice president.

For more than 31 years, Beth Te Grotenhuis has been a devoted leader of Glynlyon’s Odysseyware and Alpha Omega Publications (AOP) businesses and played an instrumental role in building the company into the ed tech innovator it is today. She served in almost every department in the company, concluding her tenure as president and CEO for the last three years. Among her numerous accomplishments is leading growth and innovation for Odysseyware, a pioneer in the virtual instruction sector, and AOP, the leading provider of technology-based homeschool solutions, to become among the most successful businesses in their sectors.

Matthew Given will become Glynlyon’s president and CEO upon Beth’s retirement in October. In addition to serving on the board of directors, Matthew spent the last six months focused on growing and improving the Odysseyware business by bringing process and industry expertise to an already successful team poised for growth. In his new role, he will turn his attention to the entire Glynlyon organization.

Matthew spent his 20-year career in the for-profit education sector in a variety of leadership roles, including the last seven years in C-level positions focused on business development, marketing, and government relations. He began his education career as a teacher in Kaplan’s test preparation division and quickly transitioned into management, taking general manager roles for Kaplan’s retail operation in Georgia and then for the east coast at Kaplan K12 Learning Services. His subsequent executive experience focused on development, marketing, and government relations at large education companies including Kapan Virtual Education, Edison Learning and Catapult Learning.

Matthew has been recognized for his educational policy expertise including successfully influencing legislation in multiple states and testifying on the authorization of The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in front of a full committee hearing at the U.S. House of Representatives, Education and the Workforce Committee. He has frequent press and public speaking engagements and has lectured on educational policy at Tufts University. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in psychology.

Congratulations to Beth on her retirement and to Matthew on his new position!


Richard Robinson, the man responsible for bringing Harry Potter to American readers, among many other career highlights in children’s publishing, has been named the winner of the 2017 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community by the National Book Foundation. Chief executive of the publisher Scholastic since 1975, Dick is only the second person to lead the company-after his father, M. R. Robinson, who founded the company in 1920.

In naming Dick Robinson the award winner, the National Book Foundation cited his commitment to children’s literacy worldwide, his innovations in publishing, and his efforts in helping drive technology solutions in education. It also cited his continued support of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which were founded in 1923 to honor creative teenagers. Winners of those awards have included Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Stephen King, Lena Dunham, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Redford, and Ken Burns.

An aspiring writer himself when he was at Harvard, Dick went on to become a teacher before joining Scholastic.

Nominations for the Literarian Award are made by former National Book Award winners, finalists, and judges, as well as other writers and literary professionals. Final selections are made by the National Book Foundation’s board of directors. Dick will receive the prize, which comes with $10,000, at the National Book Awards ceremony on November 15th.

Dick is 80, and the Literarian is a lifetime achievement award, but it is reported that he is hardly winding down his career. Asked about his work habits, Kyle Good, Scholastic’s senior vice president of corporate communications, said, “He’s here when I get here in the morning, and when I leave at night, and I put in pretty long days.”

Join me in congratulating Dick Robinson on this greatly deserved recognition!

Another author in our midst….

Jennifer Javornik, Vice President of Sales for Filament Games, has written a children’s book, She’s a Technology Sales Executive and She’s My Mom, and her own daughter Ashley Quinto Powell, Business Development Manager at Bendyworks, is the main character.

Meet Ashley, a STEM Mom extraordinaire, who loves being a technology sales executive and loves being a mom! Ashley works for a company that makes apps for customers all over the world. Learn about this mom’s career and why her job is important. Along the way, you’ll get to meet some zany characters in quite extraordinary circumstances!

She’s a Technology Sales Executive and She’s My Mom is currently available on and will be released to major online retailers in the next two weeks!

Congratulations to Jennifer on the launch of a humorous book series for kids about moms in STEM careers. This series is perfect for children who wonder what working moms do all day while exposing them to unusual STEM professions they might not encounter in their everyday lives. I understand that if you want a good laugh while you learn something too, this is the book for you! Fun!

EdNET 2018 Save the Date

EdNET 2017

We had an awesome time in beautiful Scottsdale at EdNET 2017. Thanks so much to all who joined us there and especially to our wonderful sponsors who support EdNET and our work and the slate of stellar speakers who brought their experience and expertise to the content delivered during the week. Our sincere thanks to all of them!

And wow—just wow! I was so humbled and deeply touched by the surprise retirement send-off MDR and a number of my friends and even my secretive husband worked on for the Tuesday luncheon. I pride myself on being in the know, and this was one big secret! I was just overwhelmed. The tributes and the sharing from all of you and the well wishes I received onsite and also the e-mail messages and cards I have been receiving for weeks now are all so appreciated and treasured. I will keep each one and thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have been immeasurably blessed by work in our industry for over 40 years and by the countless friends I have made along the way. My unending thanks!

And….I am not gone yet! I will be working through the end of the year so keep reading the scoops and also go get your calendar right now and mark down September 16-18, 2018 for EdNET 2018, which will be held at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Florida. You will want to be there!

I am still recuperating from a fun and exciting EdNET and looking forward to the weekend. I recently posted a saying on my Facebook page: “While everyone and their mama is shouting from the rooftops ‘Welcome Fall’ and sipping on their pumpkin spice lattes in their cute layered clothing, I’m over here trying not to die from a heat stroke.” But here in Houston, we are leaving those 90’s this weekend for highs of upper 80’s and lows of around 70. Hey, this is what we call a cold front, and that makes for a happy Snoop!

Till next week….Vicki, the Snoop

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