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.
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.
Pam Hogans joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2010 with more than 20 years of administrative experience in the field of education. Pam serves as an administrative assistant for the Division of Research and Accountability in the Office of School Improvement, where she coordinates and supports research and evaluation projects for SREB’s diverse client base.
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.
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 joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2014 as a literacy coach for the Literacy Design Collaborative program, through which he helped teachers and leaders in seven states use LDC practices and backward design techniques to develop exemplary curricula, improve instruction and increase student outcomes.
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.
Connie Lester joined SREB’s office of School Improvement as a leadership coach in April 2012. Prior to SREB, she spent 27 years as an English language arts teacher, department chair and high school writing portfolio cluster leader in Kentucky schools. After leaving the classroom, Connie became a member of Kentucky’s Highly Skilled Educator Program, where she provided schoolwide instructional and leadership support to struggling schools.
Rodriquez Leonard joined SREB in 2021, bringing 16 years of experience in public education. He was an English language arts teacher with the Birmingham City Schools district. He also worked as a master teacher, school improvement grant coordinator, and freshman academy coordinator.
Rodriquez holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Montevallo and a Master of Arts in English language arts – secondary education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
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 North Carolina.
Connie Luper joined SREB’s office of School Improvement in 2016. As a senior leadership coach, she brings more than 31 years of experience working on issues of education practice in the public education sector. In this role, Connie helps schools develop rigorous career pathways and CTE programs and blend them with a rigorous academic core. She also leads trainings for teachers and principals in literacy, numeracy, project-based learning and instructional leadership. Connie is currently supporting career academy development efforts in large districts in Alabama and Georgia.
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.
Jean Massey joined SREB in 2018 as an instructional coach. She spent 10 years at the Mississippi Department of Education and the previous 13 years as a high school principal. Prior to those roles, she served as an assistant principal at the elementary and secondary levels and taught grades K-12. In 2002, the Mississippi Department of Education selected Jean as the Mississippi Administrator of the year. The Mississippi Association of Secondary School Principals named her the High School Principal of the year in 2001.
Kathleen McNally is a senior school improvement instructional coach at SREB, where she works with technical centers and school districts to operationalize the Making Schools Work Key Practices. In previous roles, she served as a mathematics teacher in middle grades schools, high schools and CTE settings; as associate director of training for the national SkillsUSA organization; and as a CTE teacher educator in Penn State University’s Workforce Education and Development Program.