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.
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.
Amanda Merritt is a school improvement instructional coach. She joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2012 as a mathematics consultant to the organization’s school improvement team. While at SREB, she has worked with teachers across the nation on the strategies of the Mathematics Design Collaborative and SREB’s Powerful Mathematics Practices. Prior to joining SREB, Amanda was a high school mathematics teacher in Georgia.
Dan Mollette is the director of school improvement programs and resources. He joined SREB in 2010 as the director of training and lead math consultant for the school improvement team. He leads the roll out of literacy and mathematics in six SREB states. Prior to SREB, he was a math teacher and math specialist for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Allyson Morgan is the Director of State and District Partnerships for Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi. She joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2014 as a school improvement consultant to the High Schools That Work team. In that role, she led efforts in Alabama, Georgia and Florida districts and schools to effectively prepare all students for college and career. She brings to SREB more than 25 years of experience in change leadership as it relates to improving teaching and learning practice in public education.
Zach Riffell joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2013 as a project manager for Advanced Career, where he brings more than 10 years of experience in secondary education and training for careers. While at SREB, Zach has led curriculum development and promoted the Advanced Career program across the country – securing business, government and postsecondary partners for the program. Prior to SREB, he was the head of a construction academy at a high school in Florida.
Cathey Ritter is a School Improvement Instructional Coach at SREB, where she facilitates professional development sessions and coaches math teachers. She joined SREB in 2015, where she brings 26 years experience in public education. She was a middle school teacher for six years and a high school teacher for 12 years in Alabama before joining Alabama’s Math Science and Technology Initiative (AMSTI). She worked as a Math Consultant for AMSTI for eight years.
Debbie Robertson is a school improvement instructional coach. She joined SREB in 2016 as a Mathematics Design Collaborative consultant. Prior to SREB, Debbie served as a middle school math teacher in Escambia County, Florida, followed by two years as a district-wide instructional coach. During that time, she also taught Geometry at the high school level.
Debbie holds a bachelor’s of science in information systems from Mississippi State University and a master’s in secondary mathematics from the University of West Florida.
Jon Schmidt-Davis, program director of the Learning-Centered Leadership Program, provides overall direction for the work of the LCLP and coordinates leadership training and professional development to meet the needs of state and district clients. Jon has investigated and written on school leadership topics, including turnaround leadership, succession planning for school-level leaders, state and district supports for school leaders, and state policies supporting effective school leadership.
Tim Shaughnessy joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2015. He brings years of experience as a past community college leader, state legislator and healthcare executive. In his role at SREB, Tim works with the school improvement team to develop and strengthen career and technical education pathway programs of study. He also helps identify the critical success factors necessary for states’ successful implementation of effective, efficient and sustainable pathway models.
James Thomas (Tom) Siler is the director of state & district partnerships for the school improvement team. He joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2015 as director of statewide initiatives. He brings more than 35 years of experience as a former school leader and district superintendent. While at SREB, Tom has developed partnerships with districts and schools in several states and works toward improving student outcomes. Tom holds a master’s, education specialist degree and Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of South Carolina.