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National Alliance Welcomes Eight New Board Members in 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools confirmed four new members to its Board of Directors; Sara Berman, John Katzman, Carol Quillen, and Gene Wade. In July, Tim Hutchinson, Jane Swift, and Dan Quisenberry joined the board. This past March, Brian Jones was added as well. Each board member serves a three year term.

“The Board of Directors at the National Alliance is comprised of some of the most respected and experienced names in the education community, and the members we’ve added this year are no exception,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance. “In order to serve the 2.3 million students in more than 6,000 charter schools, and those that remain on waiting lists, we rely on our board’s steady leadership, direction, and guidance. With their help, we will continue to strive toward our goal of growing the number of high-quality charter schools available to families, especially those who do not currently have access to high-quality public schools. We are excited to have these new members on our leadership team as we head into 2014.”

“I am honored to lead a great team of board members. Each of our members make meaningful contributions to the charter school community and it is a pleasure to welcome so many new members this year,” said Deborah McGriff, chair of the National Alliance’s board of directors. “We are looking forward to 2014 and the input they provide as we continue to strengthen public education by providing more high-quality public charter schools for students and families.”

More information about each of this year’s eight new board members is below:

Sara Berman, Foundation Trustee, The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life

Sara Berman is the chair of the board of directors of the Hebrew Charter School Center as well as the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in Brooklyn, NY. From 2004 to 2008, she was a weekly columnist for The New York Sun focusing on raising children in New York City. She has been a regular guest on CBS Morning News and FOX News, as well as a frequent guest lecturer at local schools and community centers throughout the city. She has also worked as the features editor, and then the news editor at Forward, America’s national Jewish newspaper. From 2002 to 2005, Sara chaired the board of one of the eight centers of the 92nd Street Y, the Makor/Steinhardt Center. She also currently serves on the board of directors of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and the board of trustees of the Areivim Philanthropic Group. She graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University, where she studied history.

The Honorable Tim Hutchinson, former U.S. Senator from Arkansas, Senior Advisor, Dickstein Shapiro LLP

Senator Tim Hutchinson is a senior advisor for Dickstein Shapiro LLP. Senator Hutchinson’s career spans nearly two decades in elected office. He began as an Arkansas state representative in 1985. In 1992, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. During his time in the House, Senator Hutchinson served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Education and Labor Committee, and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. He was the original sponsor of child tax credit legislation, a key figure in reauthorizing the 1996 welfare reform law, and he chaired the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health, which has jurisdiction over one of the largest hospital and healthcare delivery systems in the nation. Four years later, he became the first Republican ever popularly elected to the U.S. Senate from the State of Arkansas. In the Senate, Senator Hutchinson continued his leadership on education issues. While serving on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, he helped shape No Child Left Behind and took a leading role in the passage of Education Savings Accounts.

Brian Jones, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Strayer University

Brian Jones is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Strayer University, a provider of post-secondary education to working adults on 80 campuses in 17 states, and online globally. Prior to Strayer, Mr. Jones co-founded Latimer Education, Inc., an early stage venture-backed company partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to provide high quality online post-secondary education opportunities to African Americans. Prior to his tenure with Latimer, he served as senior counsel in the postsecondary education practice group at the law firm of Dow Lohnes PLLC. From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Jones served as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Education, the fourth-ranking officer of the Department and the principal legal advisor to the Secretary of Education. He was appointed to this position by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate. Mr. Jones served for six years on the D.C. Public Charter School Board, including three years as its chair.

John Katzman, Founder and CEO, Noodle Education

John Katzman’s innovative ideas about education have led him to found three companies: The Princeton Review, 2U, and Noodle. In 1981, Katzman founded The Princeton Review and served as CEO until 2007. By then, the Review was helping half of all students applying to U.S. colleges and universities each year find, get into, and pay for school. Katzman’s work has made him a leading authority on assessment and university admissions. He is the co-author of five books on testing and admissions, and a frequent lecturer and panelist. He serves on the boards of directors for three other non-profits, and the board of advisors of several for- and not-for-profit organizations, including the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the National Association of Independent Schools.

Carol Quillen, President, Davidson College

Carol Quillen became the 18th president of Davidson College on August 1, 2011. Since taking office, Quillen has sought to reimagine the liberal arts within the changing landscape of higher education and the global economy, so as to ensure educational excellence and access for all talented students regardless of their financial circumstances. An accomplished administrator and a respected scholar, Quillen came to Davidson from Rice University in Houston, Texas, where she was vice president for international and interdisciplinary initiatives. At Rice, Quillen was also a member of the history faculty, director of the university’s Boniuk Center for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance, and vice provost for academic affairs. Quillen has written two books on Petrarch, as well as scholarly articles, reviews and papers. She received a number of teaching awards during her tenure at Rice, and also has received grants and fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the Whiting Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation and the Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies. She holds a B.A. in American history from the University of Chicago, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with special and general honors, and a Ph.D. degree in European history from Princeton.

Dan Quisenberry, President, Michigan Association of Public School Academies

Dan Quisenberry, serves as the President of MAPSA. Mr. Quisenberry is a veteran communicator with more than 20 years of experience in governmental affairs, policy development, and business management. As President, Mr. Quisenberry oversees all aspects of the association that promotes, protects, and represents Michigan Charters. He began his career working at the State Chamber of Michigan. Mr. Quisenberry joined MAPSA in 1997 after six years as general manager and legal administrator for a leading Michigan Law firm. MAPSA currently represents more than 90 percent of charter schools in Michigan and is recognized as the leading advocacy organization on behalf of charter schools in the state.

The Honorable Jane Swift, Former Governor of Massachusetts, CEO, Middlebury Interactive Languages

Jane Swift earned her place in history as the first woman to serve as Governor of Massachusetts. Ms. Swift’s term as governor capped more than a decade of public service, as a state senator, a lieutenant governor, and a governor, devoted to improving the lives of children and families across Massachusetts. Today, Ms. Swift is the Chief Executive Officer of Middlebury Interactive Languages, LLC, a joint venture between K12, Inc. and Middlebury College. Together, they provide exceptionally high quality language learning programs, online and in person, to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Ms. Swift’s background also includes senior positions with ConnectEDU, Arcadia Partners, as well as her own consulting firm, which provided advice and guidance to early stage education companies. She currently serves on the boards of Suburban Propane (SPH), Sally Ride Science, and the External Women’s Advisory Network for Deloitte and Touch.

Gene Wade, Founder and CEO, UniversityNow

Gene has spent most of his adult life focused on helping ensure that everyone has access to high-quality education. He believes education is the solution to many of the greatest challenges facing people and societies around the world. He founded UniversityNow, a social venture that operates affordable, online, self-paced universities serving working adults. UniversityNow’s schools provide students with a personalized learning experience using a combination of committed faculty and adaptive learning technology. Tuition is structured so that no student has to borrow to afford college.  Prior to founding  UniversityNow, he was co-founder and CEO of Platform Learning, a tutoring company that served tens of thousands of low-income students throughout the United States. Gene was also co-founder and CEO of LearnNow, a school management company that operated  a network of charter schools and was acquired by Edison Schools where he was an Executive Vice President. Prior to becoming an education entrepreneur, he was a corporate bankruptcy attorney. Gene has a B.A. from Morehouse College, an MBA from The Wharton School, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

For a full list of our current board members, visit our website at publiccharters.org.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector.