MICKEY GARRISON, the founder of the Educational Excellence Group, was an educator for 40 years before recently retiring. She spent eight years with the Oregon Department of Education as the Director of the Direct Access to Achievement project and state Data Literacy Director. She has also worked as an educational consultant, elementary school principal and special education teacher. She is also the creator of Connections, a web-based behavioral intervention program. We remain indebted to Mickey for her leadership of this group and for her dedication to student success.
ROSEMARY BUCZKOWSKI has 20-plus years of teaching and leading teachers in Oregon. She has a wide variety of experience as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, and a coach in the areas of literacy and ELL. She has specialized training in dyslexia and is a Key Trainer for GLAD. Her areas of expertise are rooted in her strong desire to support diverse learners. Her leadership skills in this area include working with teacher teams, consulting educators in the area of effective strategies for a wide variety of learners including language learners, dual identified students, and struggling readers. When she is not helping teachers find strategies to support all students, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three busy daughters in a gym or on a sports field somewhere.
PENNY GROTTING is the Superintendent for North Central ESD in Condon, Oregon, and Assistant Superintendent for Columbia Gorge ESD in The Dalles, Oregon. During her 20+ years in education, Penny has been an elementary teacher, principal, curriculum director and superintendent. She currently coaches teacher and administrator teams in using data to improve instructional and assessment practices. In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking the beautiful lakes and rivers of the Columbia Gorge and spending time with her grandchildren.
ALI HURD is a world traveler who landed in Oregon and now calls it her home. She started as a teacher in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua and then moved on to getting her Masters in Bilingual/Bicultural Education at Columbia University while teaching in New York City. From there she taught ELD in California and then was a PYP teacher in a Dual Language program at an International School in Mexico. After the classroom, she became an ELL instructional coach, where she used her coaching skills to support teachers and principals in making instruction more accessible for ALL kids. When she is not working with data teams, she is either chasing after her four daughters, running, or hanging out at the beach with her family.
MEAGAN KIMBALL started her career in Forest Grove, Oregon, teaching first grade in a two-way immersion program. During this first year that she was introduced to GLAD and subsequently became a GLAD key trainer. She has many years of experience being a classroom teacher and ensuring access to content for all learners through high impact strategies. After the classroom, she moved into an ELL Instructional Coach position where she coached other classroom teachers into making their practice more inclusive of all their learners. Her strength is working with PLCs to coach them into looking at their students and devising an instructional plan for students that the core is not reaching. When she is not doing an input chart or devising a plan to get things done, she is traveling to Sunriver with her family, doing Zumba at the gym or planning a fantastic party.
Confederation of Oregon School Administrators
MEGAN MONSON provides the communication services that help us connect with you. She has 30 years of experience in the field, including eight years as Communications Director for the Oregon DATA Project, and 10 years as a newspaper editor. Her grant-writing efforts have helped educational and nonprofit agencies win more than $20 million. A technology nerd – and proud of it – Megan has a master's degree in professional writing as well as Project Management Professional certification. She is the creator of a journalism curriculum for American Indian students, and co-author of Connections, a Web-based behavioral management program for students.
JANE OSBORNE has the best job in the world – she gets to do math all day, every day. The math coach for Hood River (Oregon) County Schools, Jane works in the same district she attended as a child. When she’s not watching her son play basketball or do martial arts, she delivers professional development focused on math around the state and participated in item development for the Smarter Balanced Consortium.
ANDREA SANDE is a native Oregonian who has worked in education for the last 20 years. She has experience in curriculum and instruction with an extensive background in curriculum mapping. As a former principal in diverse communities including both a model school and a school in improvement, she brings her experience in administration to assist district and school leaders in the implementation of data teams. When she is not mapping curriculum she can be found traveling to tropical locations with her partner, Brian, and spending time with her family, which includes three silly cats.
MISSI THURMAN began her career teaching with 6th grade in southeast Portland. As a college athlete, she has always believed in the power of a great team, and found its educational match when she became involved with the Oregon DATA Project in 2007. The project nurtured her love for using data to improve instructional practice and student outcomes. She is a skilled coach who supports educators at all levels with not just the what of the PLC process, but the how. She is best known for being a terrible cook, but regularly dishes out quick one-liners and great analogies to make content accessible. When she is not driving all over the state spreading data team cheer, she is spending time volunteering to support children in foster care, chasing around her three kids and occasionally enjoying a glass of wine with her husband.
"The downfall of low-performing schools is not their lack of effort and motivation; rather, it is poor decisions regarding what to work on."
- Richard Elmore
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