The purpose of the K-12 Advisory Council, established in 2018, is to provide expertise and advice on QM K-12 expansion and initiatives in support of QM’s strategic objectives. The K-12 Strategy Committee members are well-respected and experienced educators who understand issues, challenges, and needs of working within the K-12 domain, within the QM community and beyond.
- Tracy Weeks, Chair
Dr. Tracy Weeks is the Executive Director of Government Affairs at Instructure. She has great interest in quality digital content and several years of experience working in local, state and national leadership positions. Prior to joining Instructure, Dr. Weeks was the Chief Academic and Digital Learning Officer for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the Executive Director for the North Carolina Virtual Public School.
She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from North Carolina State University.
- Savilla Banister
Dr. Savilla Banister is a teacher, dreamer, musician, geek and grandmother. Dr. Banister is a retired Professor of Classroom Technology at Bowling Green State University. She has spent her life engaging students in learning, focusing on hands-on learning activities, arts connections, and digital technology integration. As a K-12 educator, she received the Hanley Teaching Excellence Award for her district in 2001. During this same year she graduated from Indiana University with a PhD in Curriculum and Multimedia Technologies and moved to Bowling Green, Ohio. Dr. Banister has been a faculty member at BGSU since that time, and has proven to be an enthusiastic and challenging professor for her undergraduate and graduate students. She has coordinated the Graduate Programs in Classroom Technologies, teaching in online and face-to-face venues. Savilla also spends considerable time in local public schools, assisting teachers in integrating innovative technologies for teaching and learning. Dr. Banister has served the International Society for Technology in Education as their Visual and Performing Arts specialist for the flagship publication, Learning & Leading with Technology. In addition, she maintains an active academic writing life, securing grant funding and publishing numerous research articles. Savilla approaches life and teaching as an adventure and is fond of saying, “It’s all about the learning!”
- Ali Carr-Chellman
Ali Carr-Chellman is the Dean of the School of Education and Health Sciences at the University of Dayton, a Marianist Catholic Research University. Prior to her move to Dayton, she served as Dean of the College of Education, Health & Human Sciences at the University of Idaho from 2016-2020 and a Department Head and Professor of Learning, Design & Technology at Penn State University for more than 20 years. She is the prior Editor in Chief and current editorial board member for E-Learn Magazine and her research interests include systemic change, negentropy, online learning, gender and gaming, and instructional design practices.
- Eliz Colbert
Dr. Eliz Colbert joined the team at NC Virtual Public School in 2013 and currently serves as the Executive Director. She has over twenty years in service to NC public schools including twelve years as a school administrator and six years leading professional learning initiatives at the state and local level. These roles have allowed Eliz the opportunity to study and deploy best practices in learning for students of all ages through the online classroom.
She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and received a doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is the proud mother of two children who attend NC public schools.
- Shane Dennison
Dr. Shane Dennison graduated with a BA in Secondary Education (Comprehensive Social Studies) from the University of Findlay. Next, while teaching high school in Cleveland, OH he attained a MA in Education (Curriculum & 1-8 Education) from the University of Findlay. He then earned a MA in History from Cleveland State University. Finally, Shane earned a Ph.D. in Education (Specialization: Education Technology Management) from Northcentral University.
He started with Edmentum, Inc. in 2004. Shane was an “Education Consultant” with the company his first 8 years. In 2012, he took on the role of “National Assessment Consultant”. In 2013 he began his current role as “State Programs Manager”. Prior to working with Edmentum, Shane was a full-time high school teacher in Cleveland, Ohio for the previous 8 years as well as an adjunct professor at Cleveland State University.
Shane is responsible for consistent communications with each DOE director(s) within each state that oversee their individual states course and virtual academy approval processes. He also works closely with the Curriculum, Product, and Edmentum’s EdOptions Academy team members for quality assurance purposes surrounding new courses and custom courses that need to be created to adhere to both individual state and NSQ expectations/standards.
- Bruce Friend
With more than 25 years of K–12 education experience as a teacher, administrator, and many leadership roles, Bruce Friend is a recognized as a pioneer in developing innovative K–12 school models. He currently serves as the Head of School for Pine Springs Preparatory Academy, a K-8 school that he helped launch in 2015.
Bruce most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer for Aurora Institute. Bruce has routinely been asked to advise educational leaders, elected officials, and families on issues related to innovative school models, digital learning and the use of technology in education. He has proven experience in helping schools across North America grow highly successful online and blended learning programs.
Bruce’s successful work in launching charter schools in NC led to his appointment in 2018 to the NC Charter School Advisory Board by the NC Speaker of the House. His expertise in this field of school innovation resulted in an assignment to the K-12 education committee of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee in Paris, France as well as serving on the advisory boards for several online learning organizations. In 2011 Bruce was elected to the Board of Directors for the K-12 division of the Software & Information Industry Association. He has been recognized with the “Most Outstanding Achievement by an Individual: K-12 Education” award by the United States Distance Learning Association and is a two-time recipient of the Florida Principal Achievement Award.
- Clay Ham
Clay is a Project Management Professional (PMP) with leadership experience in HE accreditation and K-12 curriculum development. He was elected to consecutive four-year terms for a specialized accreditation commission recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, serving one year as Vice Chair and four years as Chair. Currently, he works as Senior Instructional Designer/Project Manager supporting teams of content experts, instructional designers, and media object designers in the development of online courses for VirtualSC, a program of the South Carolina Department of Education serving K-12 students across the state.
Clay regularly leads review teams for Quality Matters as a certified K-12 Master Reviewer. He has served on the QM K-12 fifth edition rubric review committee and the QMConnect program committee. His presentations at the annual QMConnect conferences include “Yoga as a Metaphor for Instructional Design” and “The Instructional Designer as Project Manager.” Clay received the 2019 Directors' Award for Exceptional Service to Quality Matters.
- Dang Phan
Dang Phan is currently the senior director of digital learning services for Cognia (formerly AdvancED and Measured Progress). Over the past twenty years, he has had numerous experiences working as an educational provider within the public school system, higher education, and the private sector. He has served as a classroom teacher, department chair, administrator, adjunct faculty, senior instructional specialist, senior program coordinator, curriculum manager, and director of curriculum development support services. Dang is a graduate of Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University and has an undergraduate degree in mathematics education and a graduate degree in education administration.
- Allison Powell
Dr. Allison Powell is the Director of the Digital Learning Collaborative (DLC), a membership organization that works to illuminate key issues in digital learning, disseminate data and best practices, and guide practitioners, policymakers, the media, advocates, and interested observers. She is the former Senior Learning Strategist for BloomBoard where she assisted states and districts in re-thinking professional development and licensing. She is the former Vice President for New Learning Models of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) which provides expertise and leadership in K-12 Blended, Online, and Competency-based Learning. Allison taught in face-to-face, online, and blended K-8 environments. She helped build the Clark County School District's Virtual High School and an online professional development program for the Nevada school district. She has served as a board member for several organizations and universities. She completed her doctorate from Pepperdine University in educational technology and leadership.
- Kirsten Wilson
Kirsten Wilson, M.Ed. is State Coordinator of Digital Learning with the DESE- Research and Technology Unit. Before that she was Director of Curriculum & Instruction for Virtual Arkansas, the Arkansas state virtual school. She has been immersed in online learning for a little over three years. 19 years of her career was in brick & mortar; experience spanning K-12. During that time she coordinated with a team that wrote 94% of the Virtual Arkansas course content providing rigorous, relevant online courses to over 250 public schools across Arkansas. Additionally, she was a strategic part of the Virtual Arkansas Organization being recognized by Quality Matters with the Making a Difference for Student Award: Outstanding Impact by a K-12 Organization or Individual. Kirsten now works with the Digital Learning Unit (also known as Team Digital) to support districts and educators leverage and purposefully utilize technology for student learning through a variety of strategies and models. She has designed an Instructional Model and Evaluation System that incorporates the elements of the Quality Matters Rubric and the National Standards for Quality (NSQ) for Online Teaching. Kirsten, outside of her work with the State Digital Learning Unit, is the wife of 27 years to Eric, and mother to Emmarie (18) and Kirstopher (16), along with being fur-mama to three dogs and four cats.