Meet Our Staff

Angelica Herrera
Angelica Herrera
Senior Researcher

Angelica Herrera is a senior researcher at AIR where she manages and supports various projects for the Texas Comprehensive Center (TXCC) and the Regional Educational Laboratory of the Southwest (REL Southwest). Dr. Herrera serves as a project lead on the TXCC Rewards Schools Case Study project and as an Interim Project Director on a Task 4 REL Southwest study. In addition to those projects, Dr. Herrera provides technical assistance to the Texas Education Agency through the Texas Comprehensive Center.

Ann Neeley
Ann Neeley
Senior TA Consultant
Dr. Neeley’s expertise is on the systemic approach to school improvement, reducing high school dropout rates, data-driven decisions, and school leadership. She currently works on a variety of projects focused on building the capacity and effectiveness of the State's systems that assist school districts and campuses in improving student outcomes.
Brenda Arellano
Brenda Arellano
Senior Researcher

Brenda Arellano is a senior researcher at AIR. She has more than 15 years of experience utilizing her methodological expertise through quasi-experimental and mixed method designs, as well as survey design and analysis through the utilization of district, state, and national longitudinal data systems. Dr. Arellano is a co-primary investigator and project lead for several studies under the Regional Educational Laboratories Southwest, funded through the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

Chad Henry
Chad Henry
Research Associate

Chad Henry is a Research Associate within the Research and Evaluation program. He provides support for the Texas Comprehensive Center, focusing on GIS mapping and data analysis. He is currently assisting the TXCC’s work with the Texas Education Agency’s evaluation of educator preparation programs. 

Cheryl Harris
Cheryl Harris
Senior TA Consultant

Cheryl Harris is a senior technical assistance consultant at AIR. Her current work involves providing technical assistance for the Texas (TXCC) and Southeast (SECC) Comprehensive Centers, addressing state and local capacity building in school improvement and key content areas. This work includes assisting states and their statewide systems of support in the areas of teacher quality and effectiveness, college career and readiness, educator preparation, and technology-based instructional resources for teachers.

Concepcion Molina
Concepcion Molina
Senior TA Consultant
Dr. Molina supports systemic reform efforts in mathematics and assists state and intermediate education agencies in their efforts to implement the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. His areas of expertise are mathematics and leadership.
Debra Rodriguez
Debra Rodriguez
Researcher
Debra Rodriguez is a researcher at AIR. Ms. Rodriguez serves as the project manager for the Center working closely with the Director and Deputy Director to ensure the Center’s capacity building technical assistance projects have the resources and staff expertise needed to support state initiatives. Ms. Rodriguez also manages reports of technical assistance delivery to the U.S. Department of Education.
Erin McCann
Erin McCann
Senior Researcher

Erin McCann is a senior researcher at AIR. Dr. McCann has more than 15 years of experience designing and implementing evaluation studies for federal, state, and local-level contracts with a general focus on examining factors that influence school improvement processes and practices.

Garry Davis
Garry Davis
TA Consultant

Garry Davis is a technical assistance consultant in the Policy, Practice, and Systems Change practice area at AIR. He has over five years experience in program administration, research, and technical assistance with a particular focus on college and career readiness. In his current position with the Texas Comprehensive Center, he works to build the capacity of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to develop, implement, and sustain various education initiatives, policies, and programs, with a focus on college and career readiness and success.

Grace Fleming
Grace Fleming
Researcher

Grace Fleming is a researcher at AIR. During her nine years with SEDL (which merged with AIR on January 1, 2015), Fleming combined program experience with under-resourced populations and issues of effectiveness in education. She currently serves as qualitative lead on the BARR (Building Assets, Reducing Risks) Program evaluation and conducts site work with the Texas Developmental Education Program in higher education.

Janice E. Keizer
Janice E. Keizer
Senior TA Consultant

Janice Esau Keizer is a senior technical assistance consultant with the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest. In this position, she leads, coordinates, and facilitates the work of the Arkansas and New Mexico PreK Research Alliances as part of the REL Southwest work. She serves as the spokesperson for REL Southwest support activities related to prekindergarten in the states of Arkansas and New Mexico. Keizer also works on early childhood projects for the Texas Comprehensive Center.

Jason LaTurner
Jason LaTurner
Principal TA Consultant

Jason LaTurner is a principal technical assistance consultant at AIR. Dr. LaTurner’s work focuses on evaluation capacity building for state education agencies. Through the Southeast Comprehensive Centerand Texas Comprehensive Center, he consults with state education department staff on developing evaluation plans and employing appropriate quantitative and qualitative research methods to study the effectiveness of a range of district and school improvement programs.

John Spence
John Spence
Senior TA Consultant
Mr. Spence manages client relations with key leadership and staff of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to help build the capacity of the state’s public education system to address state and federal priorities related to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). He provides quality assurance for TXCC projects and oversees TXCC’s portfolio to ensure client satisfaction and leverage new opportunities for collaborative work.
Lacy Wood
Lacy Wood
Principal TA Consultant
Ms. Wood leads TXCC support for ESSA and Texas’ Expanded Learning Opportunities Council. She also leads leads the Family Engagement State Leaders Network, the Wyoming Family Engagement Project and the Illinois Quality Afterschool Program. She also serves on the board of the National Association of Family, School, and Community Engagement.
Mary Nistler
Mary J. Nistler
Senior Researcher
Mary Nistler is a senior researcher in the research and evaluation strand of AIR’s professional services. Mary has been with AIR for 13 years. She has experience in designing and conducting evaluations that focus on implementation and inform clients about effective and replicable practices and approaches that support program expansion and improvement. Her evaluation includes leading the design and analysis of an initial review of a statewide system of support to inform the state agency as it planned to move from a regional to a more centralized system.
Ramona Chauvin
Ramona Chauvin
Senior TA Consultant

Ramona Chauvin is a senior technical assistance consultant at AIR. Dr. Chauvin works with the Southeast Comprehensive Center and the Texas Comprehensive Center to build the capacity of state and regional education staff to assist schools and districts in need of improvement. Highlights of Dr. Chauvin’s qualifications include reading/language arts/writing instruction (K–12); adolescent literacy; coaching; instructional monitoring and feedback; assessment; leadership; teacher quality and effectiveness; and professional learning communities (PLCs).

rita_ghazal
Rita M. Ghazal
Senior TA Consultant

Rita Ghazal is a senior technical assistance consultant at AIR. Ghazal leads state projects and task forces on teacher quality and educator effectiveness, teacher mentoring and induction, and educator equity. She collaborates with state education agencies and assists them in strengthening their capacity to support high-quality implementation of teacher quality initiatives, policies, and programs. She also supports states in their efforts to create and maintain strong connections among state agency work streams and improve alignment across programs and policies.

Robert Stonehill
Robert M. Stonehill
Managing Director
Robert M. Stonehill is a managing director at AIR. Dr. Stonehill is responsible for development and oversight of a range of projects to support effective implementation and outcomes of education policies, programs, and initiatives at the national, state, and local levels. He provides guidance in developing, managing, and evaluating national education initiatives to improve teaching and learning in high-need schools and communities, and is a nationally recognized expert in designing, implementing, and evaluating afterschool and expanded learning enrichment programs.
Sarah Beck
Sarah Beck
Researcher

Sarah Beck is a researcher at AIR. She has more than seven years of experience in education and leverages her perspective as a former teacher to inform her work in policy and program evaluation. Her primary research interests include teacher preparation and teacher leadership. In her current role, Beck manages the qualitative components of the Denver Public Schools Talent Management evaluation including designing the data collection and analysis plans, creating focus group and interview protocols, developing coding frameworks, and constructing client communication plans.

Sylvia Pirtle
Sylvia Pirtle
Senior TA Consultant
Dr. Pirtle's current work centers on building the capacity of leadership at all levels of the educational system. She provides technical assistance in instructional leadership, data-driven decision making, leadership for systemic reform, and efforts to improve statewide systems of support.
Trent Sharp
Trent Sharp
Senior Consultant
Mr. Sharp works with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to increase district administrators’ capacity for supporting underperforming schools. His projects include coaching and sustainable systems development with district teams through the District Turnaround Leadership Institute and professional development for District Coordinators of School Improvement. Mr. Sharp also serves as the TXCC liaison to the Center on School Turnaround at WestEd.