Office of School Improvement
SREB’s Office of School Improvement has spent decades investigating what works to build and sustain lasting capacity for change in schools nationwide.
Our staff have deep expertise as classroom teachers, school, district and state education leaders, research and evaluation specialists, and policy analysts.
Karen Gray is a school improvement instructional coach at SREB, where she provides ongoing coaching, feedback and professional development to teachers as they work to improve their practice. She joined SREB in August 2019, bringing 32 years of experience in the public education system. Her experience with SREB dates to 2014 when as a secondary math supervisor she led Jefferson County Schools in Alabama in the implementation of the principles of SREB’s powerful math practices.
Beth Green leads the Advanced Career initiative at SREB, where she is responsible for implementing AC in states, districts, and schools. She provides leadership for AC implementation, coordinates activities and staff, and organizes and implements AC professional development. Beth joined SREB in 2007 as a school improvement consultant, later facilitating AC curriculum development, and began development of a network of schools implementing AC through academy design.
Rebecca Holt works with SREB program directors and coaches to manage data collection for school improvement initiatives. She joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2010. Rebecca has experience in program development, coordination, writing, editing, researching, reporting and database management with nonprofit agencies, including Habitat for Humanity, the Marcus Institute and Partnership Against Domestic Violence. Rebecca holds a master’s in sociology from Georgia Southern University.
Denise Houghton is a school improvement instructional coach at SREB, where she provides ongoing coaching, feedback and professional development to teachers as they work to improve their practice. She joined SREB in July 2021, bringing 24 years of experience in the public education system. Her experience includes serving various Arkansas school districts as a literacy instructional coach for over 18 years.
Diane James joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2012 and brings more than 20 years of experience in journalism and education. Diane is responsible for editing publications, case studies, research briefs and brochures, and writing and editing newsletters that are provided to local and national education policymakers, principals and teachers. Prior to SREB, Diane was a writer and editor for CNN. She has held other reporting and writing positions in radio, television and print.
George Johnson is a school improvement leadership coach for the Southern Regional Educational Board and its High Schools That Work program, where he brings 37 years of experience as a teacher and administrator in New Jersey public schools. George has worked in numerous states as a trainer for the Learning Design Collaborative. He is the lead editor for the SREB Literacy Ready transitional readiness course, and he is the lead literacy expert for the writing of the eighth and ninth grade version of High School Ready.
Jasmine Jones joined SREB in 2017 as an administrative assistant for school improvement, where she coordinates training dates and schedules with contracting schools and districts and SREB consultants. She also conducts online research related to college and career readiness and manages staff webinars.
Prior to SREB, Jasmine worked as a manager for MeetingAdvice, where she coordinated weekly training programs for The Home Depot and built and maintained registration websites.
Kristi July joined SREB in 2021, bringing more than 16 years of experience in the public education sector. She was a Signature Academy coordinator for four years with Mobile County Public Schools leading the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the district’s academy model to prepare all students to be college and career-ready. Later she served as a high school assistant principal.
Kristi holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from Spring Hill College and a master’s in educational leadership from the University of South Alabama.
Donn Kirkwood is a school improvement instructional coach. He joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2014 as a literacy consultant for the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) program, where he brings more than three years of experience using LDC in the classroom. At SREB, Donn has led LDC training in seven states to improve teacher instruction and student outcomes. Before SREB, he was a middle school teacher for six years and was recognized in 2013 as K-8 Outstanding Educator of the Year for North Carolina.
Debra LaMothe is a school improvement coach for SREB, where she works with career and technical education teachers and school administrators across the country to improve college and career readiness. She brings many years of CTE education experience as a teacher, administrator and consultant. In her former role as a district CTE Supervisor, Debra supported teachers and administrators with curriculum, work-based learning, instructional technology, and postsecondary alignment and credentialing.
Debra received her doctorate from Oakland University in Michigan.
Kimberly Livengood joined SREB as a school improvement instructional coach in July 2019, bringing more than 25 years of teaching experience at the high school level in North Carolina and Tennessee. She began her work with SREB as a math consultant. She earned her National Board Certification, her certification in Teaching the Gifted, and her endorsement to teach AP Calculus while teaching in North Carolina.
Kim holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She lives in Tennessee.
Cindy Martin joined SREB’s school improvement team in 2016, bringing more than 28 years of experience in the public education sector and more than 20 years as an adjunct college professor. Cindy was a public education teacher, professional development trainer, principal, director of instruction, director of human resources and deputy superintendent. As a college professor, she instructed in reading, writing, early childhood and alternative licensure.
Gaye Hutton Martin joined SREB in 2018 as a school improvement instructional coach for the Teaching to Lead program, bringing over 30 years of experience in public education and corporate training and development. Prior to SREB, she was a career and technical education coordinator in Tennessee where she managed a new CTE teacher prep program, using SREB’s Teaching to Lead program, for a large, urban school district.