Vicki’s Scoops for November 3

It’s been a busy week here and lot of fun with trick-or-treating earlier this week and then cheering on the new World Series champs! How about those Astros? Woo hoo! But there will be no tricks here as I bring you this week’s scoops. See what I have for you!

New roles for colleagues and friends….

Since 1887 the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) has been a leader in promoting educational quality. MSA-CESS is a nongovernmental, non-profit, peer-administered organization. The Commission works directly with public and private schools as well as non-degree granting programs and special purpose schools and educational institutions, including distance learning providers.

The MSA-CESS are made up of 37 leaders in education and business, representative of the association’s diverse membership. MSA-CESS recently announced the appointment of four new commissioners:

  • Nilsa Judith Gonzalez, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Nilsa is the Chief Academic Officer for Camelot Education. Prior to joining Camelot, she worked for the Philadelphia School District for more than 25 years, most recently serving as the School Management Officer.
  • Kevin McNulty, Pearl River, New York – Kevin is a teacher and Assistant Headmaster at Seton Hall Preparatory School in West Orange, N.J. He began his career in education as a teacher at Rice High School in New York, N.Y.
  • Frank A. Preston, Spring Lake, New Jersey – Frank is the President of Advantage Career Institute Medical and Dental School in Eatontown, N.J. He is a former principal, teacher, and counselor.
  • Carol Ribeiro, Maynard, Massachusetts – Carol is President and CEO of The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.) in Maynard, Mass., where she has worked in various capacities since 2001. She has a background in computer information systems and her Master’s degree in Business Administration.

The Commissioners will make decisions on the accreditation of institutions of elementary and secondary education and help form commission policies. MSA-CESS accredits 2800 schools across the United States and in nearly 100 countries.

Join me in congratulating Nilsa, Kevin, Frank, and Carol on their new roles!

Neal Goff has joined Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips as a Senior Advisor. Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips is a leading M&A advisory firm specializing in mid-market sell-side and buy-side transactions, corporate finance services, valuations, and restructurings for companies at the intersection of content, technology, and services worldwide. Education is one of the vertical markets that OD+P serves. Neal has more than three decades’ experience in educational and consumer publishing, having held senior executive positions at several major media companies, including Time Warner, Scholastic, and Simon & Schuster. He currently serves as President of the consulting firm he founded in 2010, Egremont Associates, which assists publishers, ed tech firms, and non-profit organizations with strategic planning, marketing (especially direct marketing), product development, licensing, and the development of strategic partnerships. Neal’s most recent corporate position was President of the Weekly Reader Publishing Group (WRPG), where he had P&L responsibility for Weekly Reader’s magazine and book publishing operations and managed its transition from print-only to print-plus-digital publishing. While at Weekly Reader, he oversaw the sale of WRPG’s library publishing division, Gareth Stevens, to Rosen Publishing.  Earlier, Neal was President of Scholastic Library Publishing and Prentice Hall Direct and managed children’s publishing operations at Book-of-the-Month Club, then owned by Time Warner, where he launched the Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club.  Neal serves on the Board of Directors of ReadWorks, a non-profit organization whose mission is to help teachers address the nationwide crisis in reading comprehension. He has served previously on the Boards of the self-publishing company AuthorHouse, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the Book Industry Study Group, and the Association of Education Publishers, where he served as Board President from 2010 to 2011. He has been a frequent speaker and moderator at industry conferences and was co-author from 2012 to 2016 of the annual State of the K-12 Market report, published by educational marketing services firm MDR.

Join me in congratulating Neal on his new role at

With the acquisition of West Corporation by Apollo Global Management last month, changes were to be expected. I heard this week from Frank Catalano that, following the acquisition, his position as VP Marketing Strategy for the Education business unit was being eliminated.  Frank shared that he will miss the people and the intelligence and the fact that the type of products West’s SchoolMessenger solutions provides are must-haves in a connected world—communications with the school community. He added that that mission was important to him.  Frank is not sure what the long term will bring, but in the short term he plans to consider advisory, consulting, and hands-on interim executive work. He also plans to spend more time writing on a variety of topics, including technology in education. And he will keep his GeekWire podcast and article series. Check out his latest!

Keep up the good work, Frank—we know you will! You may reach Frank at


The Edvocate has announced the Winners of The 2017 Tech Edvocate Awards. After four months of hard work, they narrowed down the year’s top ed tech companies, products, people, and more. They solicited nominees from readers in August and held online voting from August 1, 2017 – September 30, 2017. The nominee’s performance during the online voting period was used to gauge popularity but in no way signaled that they would become a finalist or walk away with an award.

The finalists and winners were ultimately selected by a panel comprised of two ed tech thought leaders, two PreK-12 teachers, one college professor, two K-12 administrators, one college administrator, and two PreK-12 parents. Here are their people winners and finalists for 2017.

Best Global EdTech Leader
Winner: Harry van der Veen
Finalist: Anant Agarwal

Best K-12 School Leader
Winner: Christina Bice, Haleyville Elementary School, Haleyville, AL
Finalist: Rachel Hesprich, Slinger School District, WI

Best Higher Education Leader
Winner: Ray Lefebvre, Bridgewater State University, MA
Finalist: Anant Agarwal, edx, Cambridge, MA

Best School District Technology Coordinator/Director
Winner: Dan Phillips, Marin County Office of Education, CA
Finalist: Rafranz Davis, Arlington School District, TX

Best K-12 Teacher
Winner: Francis Jim Tuscano, Xavier School; Luzon, The Philippines
Finalist: Anthony Stirpe, New Rochelle High School; New Rochelle, New York

Best College/University Professor
Winner: Nicole Kraft, Ohio State University
Finalist: David J. Malan, Harvard University

Best EdTech PR Firm
Winner: PR With Panache – Sue Hanson and team
Finalist: J Harrison Public Relations Group – Jennifer Harrison

Check out all the winners—companies, products, and more! Congratulations to all!

And sad news….

I am sorry to bring sad news that Lisa Kaminski, Talent Engagement Manager at Ingage Partners, passed away on October 23rd at the age of 59. Lisa was passionate about connecting talented people. She worked with recruiting and retaining talented professionals in technology companies all her life and had the opportunity to do so at several companies, including Ingage Partners; The Bauke Group; eInstruction/FSCreations; SARK, a division of Software Architects, Inc.; Meridian Bioscience; Digineer; Apple Computer; and HP. At Ingage, Lisa worked to build awareness and relationships with consultants before, during, and after their Ingage life.  Lisa was also enthusiastic about making the community a better place for all and did so through work with several non-profits. She was on the boards of Impact 100Melanoma Know More, and GETDOT Cincinnati and was a frequent volunteer at the Loveland Interfaith Food Effort.

A Memorial Celebration for Lisa will be held at Good Shepherd Church, 8815 E. Kemper Road in Cincinnati, at 10:00 am on Saturday, November 11th. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Melanoma Know More.

I know you join me in keeping Lisa’s family and all who mourn her passing in our thoughts and prayers.

And, our dear friend Luba Lewytzkyj, Marketing and Strategic Sales Consultant, unexpectedly lost her sister this week. They were very close, and my heart aches for Luba.  Funeral arrangements are pending with a target date of November 10th at 7:00 pm. Panachyda (visitation and requiem service) at Kozlak funeral chapel; funeral service November 11th at 10:00 am at St. Katherine Ukrainian Orthodox church, Arden Hills; burial at Sunset Memorial, followed by luncheon at the parish hall. Please check the Kozlak Radulovych funeral site for final details.

Luba, you are in our hearts and prayers during this difficult time!

Now off to another great weekend—dinner and a concert with friends, Saturday grandkid soccer games, and family birthday celebrations on Sunday. Go put some memories in your own memory bank this weekend, and I will see you back here next Friday, friends.

Till then….Vicki, the Snoop

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