Meet Our Staff
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 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 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.
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 is a technical assistance consultant in the Policy, Practice, and Systems Change practice area at the American Institute for Research. He has over seven years of experience in program administration, research, and technical assistance. 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.
Grace Fleming is a researcher at AIR. Fleming currently leads the District Excellence project in TXCC where her team is developing a toolkit of resources for based on case studies of high performing districts in the Texas Rio Grande Valley. She also works with SECC developing evaluation tools for school improvement and qualitative evaluation of a STEM program initiative for retention of university STEM students.
Janice E. 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 is the director of the Texas Comprehensive Center and oversees work focusing on educator effectiveness, school turnaround, and systemic change for Texas school districts. He brings more than 10 years of experience in scoping, assessing, and managing programs in education and nonprofit settings. This experience ranges from pre-K to post-baccalaureate levels and includes designing and implementing both large- and small-scale evaluation studies.
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.